The Different Types of Car Crashes: Explained

It is a legal requirement for car drivers to understand and maintain control of their vehicles at all times. While not all accidents are the result of careless driving, certain types of accidents can be explained by an inadequate understanding of vehicle operation.

In this article, we will look at the different types of car crashes which occur as a result of driver error or misjudgment, and how to avoid them.

Head-on collisions 

Head-on are collisions in which the front of, for example, a car hits the front side of another car. There are two types of head-on collisions: offset and full.

According to research by Car Crash Statistics (2017), an ‘offset’ collision is “when one vehicle crosses into the opposite lane of traffic and collides with an oncoming vehicle.” These types of head-on crashes account for about 11% of all accidents according to AAA (2018). One type of offset crash is when there are adverse weather conditions like fog or rain. When visibility is poor, cars sometimes drift into the wrong lanes; this might cause drivers to cross paths at an angle that can trigger a head-on collision. Sometimes drunk drivers swerve their cars too. An example of this type of crash is when rapper Lil Peep was killed in an accident caused by two other cars swerving into the wrong lanes.

Another way for head-on crashes to occur is through full collisions. In these types of accidents, one car crosses over the “centerline” which divides the traffic and collides with oncoming traffic. Full collisions are far less common than offset collisions but they account for about 17% according to Car Crash Statistics (2017). More than 39,000 people died on U.S. roads in the year 2019, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). 43% of this number involved crashes between vehicles, with head-on collisions accounting for 5,000 (29.9%) of the fatalities. Because of the catastrophic and often fatal nature of collision accidents, the services of a head-on collision lawyer are more preferred than a personal injury lawyer. Head on collision lawyers specialize in these cases and can give in-depth attention and investigation to get the compensation of their clients. These types of crashes happen because some drivers drive too fast or lose control of their cars while others follow too closely behind another vehicle without leaving enough space between them. According to AAA (2018), it’s wise to leave at least four between you and the car ahead in case you need to stop or slow down.

Angle collisions

In angle collisions, the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. This type of crash is often caused by distracted driving. When a person isn’t paying attention to their surroundings, they’re more likely to lose control and crash.

Angle collisions are also common among young drivers due to inexperience, which leads them to drive carelessly or recklessly while they learn the rules of the road. Another kind of angle collision is when a car changes lanes while another car is in its blind spot and can’t slow down in time before crashing into it. However, this kind is easily avoidable since changing lanes should always be done carefully and with awareness. Going back to the same 2019 statistics from NSC, angle collisions accounted for 7,500 deaths (44.9%) of crashes involving two or more vehicles.

Fender benders

Fender bender crashes happen when the front part of the car collides with another car. At intersections, poor visibility or distractions can cause drivers to crash into other cars in their blind spots. These types of accidents are usually caused by human error. Drivers may not see each other at intersections—especially if they’re distracted by talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, etc. Bicyclists have just as much right to be on the road as cars do, but they are often hit because people don’t pay enough attention to what’s going on around them while driving. Of course, it also doesn’t help when people decide to use intersections for reasons other than stopping and letting others go. It is important for drivers to always be aware of what’s going on around them. 

Rollover crashes

There are many factors that can lead to a rollover crash. If a car runs off the road and hits a tree or another object, it can cause the driver to lose control of the steering wheel which may flip the car over onto its side. The main reasons for this are excessive speed, poor weather conditions, drug/alcohol use, etc. When cars get into these types of crashes, they usually sustain extensive damage all along their sides from being pushed into other objects or rolling over on bumpy terrain. In order to reduce your chances of getting into a rollover crash, always obey posted speed limits and drive carefully when there’s rain, snow, or ice on the ground. Even though you may see other drivers speeding and sliding around in slippery conditions, do not follow their example.



Car accidents can happen at any time and for any reason. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you might get into a crash that simply wasn’t your fault. If this happens to you, make sure that you contact an attorney who will explain everything in detail to you so there are no misunderstandings over whose insurance company pays for what follows the accident.