Motor vehicle accidents kill tens of thousands of people each year. When police officers are dispatched to New York traffic accident scenes, they often start their investigations by determining how many vehicles were involved and what happened in the moments before they crashed. Single-vehicle accidents rarely cause serious injuries unless drivers lose control of their vehicles while traveling at high speeds, but multi-car accidents often cause catastrophic injury or death. This is especially true when vehicles are struck head-on or roll over.
Rear, lateral and sideswipe impacts
Rear impacts occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle. These motor vehicle collisions usually take place at stop signs or traffic signals, but they can also occur on busy roads when drivers follow too closely and brake too late. Lateral accidents usually occur in intersections, and they are often caused by drivers who fail to see or ignore red lights. Sideswipe accidents take place when the sides of vehicles traveling in the same direction come into contact with each other.
Head-on collisions and rollovers
Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous because the speeds of both vehicles contribute to the force of impact. These car crashes may be caused by fatigued, distracted or impaired motorists who stray into the path of oncoming traffic. Rollover accidents that cause vehicles to flip onto their sides or roofs can also be deadly. Vehicles like SUVs that have high centers of gravity are more prone to flipping over, but side-curtain airbags and robust vehicle safety cages have made rollover accidents much more survivable.
Front, side, lateral and head-on motor vehicle collisions are almost always caused by some sort of human error. If you would like to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident, you should remain vigilant at all times and watch out for signs of drowsiness, intoxication or distraction.