Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents happen every day in Houston. Many are fender benders that cause only minor vehicle damage. Others unfortunately result in serious injuries to drivers and passengers and extensive damage to the vehicles. There are many different types of collisions, and some pose a greater risk of injury than others.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may have a right to demand compensation from the other driver’s insurance for your medical bills and other losses. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs of a crash caused by another driver’s carelessness or neglect. Contact the best car accident injury lawyer in Houston at Fleming Law, P.C. today for a free initial case review.
You can talk to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer about your legal rights and options. Attorney Michael P. Fleming has practiced law in the Houston area for more than 30 years and is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law. We can discuss whether you are entitled to make an injury claim against another driver’s insurance and seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses after a car wreck.
What Types of Car Crashes Are Most Common in Texas?
According to motor vehicle accident statistics from 2019 published by the Texas Department of Transportation, some of the most common types of car crashes in Texas include:
Of all the accidents in Texas in 2019, over 24,000 accidents involved following too closely as a contributing factor in the crash. Following too closely, or tailgating, ranks as one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. Drivers who tailgate have less time to react to avoid a crash if the vehicle in front slows or stops.
Commonly called a “T-bone” accident, these collisions frequently occur at intersections due to drivers running stop signs and red lights or making unsafe turns. According to TxDOT, over 33,000 accidents involved disregarding stop signs and traffic lights. Nearly 29,000 accidents involved a motorist failing to yield the right of way at a stop sign.
Head-on collisions commonly occur due to distracted driving, drowsy driving or drunk driving. In 2019, more than 86,000 crashes involved driver inattention, while more than 9,000 accidents were caused by drivers asleep at the wheel. Nearly 18,000 accidents involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Over 3,600 collisions were caused by vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road or the wrong way down a one-way street. Head-on collisions are more likely to cause severe injuries or fatalities.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Drivers have to deal with numerous potential distractions while behind the wheel, including vehicle navigation and infotainment systems that increasingly resemble tablet computers and smartphones. Of course, drivers also have to contend with traditional distractions, such as interacting with passengers or pets, grooming or applying makeup, eating or drinking, attempting to reach for objects inside the vehicle, or paying attention to activity outside the vehicle.
Distracted driving is often cited as being just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In the time it takes a person to read a text message on his or her cell phone, at highway speeds, a vehicle will have traveled the length of a football field or more. Over that time and distance, a situation may arise that leaves a distracted driver without enough time to avoid an accident.
Weather ranks among the leading contributing factors to accidents in Texas. Adverse weather, such as heavy rain or fog, can reduce visibility, increasing the risk of certain types of collisions such as rear-end accidents. Rain, ice, or snow can make it harder for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles or stop when necessary. A driver may not realize a road is slick before encountering a patch of black ice and losing control.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence remains one of the leading causes of car accidents in Texas. Being under the influence of alcohol or narcotic/psychedelic drugs has the effect of impairing a driver’s decision-making ability, slowing reaction times, rendering the driver less capable of safely operating their vehicle or reacting to an emergency. Intoxication may cause a driver to speed or engage in reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic.
Other Common Types of Accidents
Other types of accidents involving cars and passenger vehicles that commonly occur in Texas include:
- Merging accidents, including accidents while merging from an on-ramp onto a highway, or when lanes of traffic merge.
- Multi-vehicle accidents, particularly chain-reaction accidents in which a collision between two vehicles causes them to careen into other vehicles.
- Sideswipe collisions, where the sides of two vehicles traveling next to one another collide.
- Collisions with pedestrians
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Crash
Following a car crash, you should try to take the following steps. Taking these steps can help protect your rights and options for pursuing a legal claim for any injuries or losses you suffer as a result.
- Report the accident to police
- Take photos or video of the scene of the crash, damage to the vehicles involved in the accident, and any visible injuries you may have suffered.
- Make sure to take down the name, vehicle registration and license information, and insurance information of each driver involved in the crash.
- If possible, get a brief statement or contact information from any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Get examined by your primary care physician or another doctor as soon as possible to diagnose any injuries you may have suffered in the crash.
- Keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts for expenses you incur during your recovery, along with repair invoices for your vehicle, and paystubs or income statements to document any lost wages. Consider keeping a diary or journal to document how your injuries and treatment affect your personal and professional life.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car wreck in Texas, call or contact Fleming Law, P.C. today for a free, no-obligation assessment of your legal options.
You’ll learn about how our personal injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses no matter what type of car accident you may have suffered.