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Types of car crashes and their impact

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In Massachusetts, car accidents cause many non-fatal and fatal injuries on the road. These traffic accidents affect millions of people each year and take place in a variety of scenarios. The following are the most common accident types and their potential causes.

Single- and multi-car accidents

This broad category captures most motor vehicle accidents. In a single-car accident, only one vehicle is involved, and the driver often has an accident due to fatigue, intoxication or a vehicle malfunction, such as brake problems. Other causes include reckless driving or swerving to avoid something in the road. If the car collides with something stationary, such as a light post or guardrail, the outcome can result in minor scratches to life-threatening injuries.

Multi-care accidents include more than three vehicles and may involve a chain reaction or a pile-up of cars. An error made by one driver often causes these types of crashes, and they usually happen on high-speed roadways and highways. Consequences range from minor to catastrophic and may cause several drivers to sustain injuries.

Front or rear impact

Front-impact or head-on collisions aren’t very common but often result in severe injuries or fatalities. distracted driving, speeding, reckless behavior and driving while intoxicated rank among typical causes.

Rear-impact accidents are much more common and happen when one driver hits the back of another driver’s vehicle. Following too closely or not paying attention contributes to rear-end accidents. Rainy or snowy conditions are another common cause. Injuries include whiplash, neck and spinal injuries, and can also cause traumatic brain injuries and severe fractures.


A rollover collision happens when a car rolls onto its side or roof after an accident, potentially causing devastating outcomes for the driver and passengers. Common causes include lack of road traction due to poor weather, sharp turns and sudden braking suddenly at high speeds.


Sideswipe accidents happen when two cars driving side-by-side hit each other. They can cause further collisions, often due to drivers changing lanes too quickly. Distracted, inattentive or impaired drivers also cause sideswipe accidents. Victims may sustain severe injuries, especially when the accidents involve multiple vehicles.

Knowing the types of vehicle accidents can help you understand your legal rights in case of an accident. Driving safely and wearing your seat belt can reduce injuries and fatalities and keep you and others safe on the road.