Schedule Your Free Consultation. Talk to an Attorney Today!

Most Common Types of Auto Accidents

Types of Car Accidents

According to the most recent N.C. Department of Transportation statistics, at least one car accident occurs every 1.4 hours in Asheville and surrounding areas in Buncombe County.

While every crash involves different parties and unique facts, there are certain types of crashes that happen more often than others in Western North Carolina and elsewhere.

The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC has compiled the following list of common types of car accidents:

Motorcycle Accidents

Numerous great motorcycle routes can be found throughout Western North Carolina, including the famous Tail of the Dragon in Deals Gap on the border with Tennessee, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Cherohala Skyway. However, collisions between cars and motorcycles can occur when the road is not shared safely by motorists and motorcyclists. According to the NCDOT, more than 4,000 motorcycle wrecks occur in the state each year.

Truck Accidents

Tractor-trailers are allowed on many (but not all) of the winding two-lane mountain roads in Western North Carolina, presenting extra hazards to drivers. These narrow roads offer little room to maneuver to avoid a speeding truck or out-of-control 18-wheeler. These crashes can cause serious injuries and wrongful deaths to car drivers and passengers.

Rear-End Collisions

This is the most common type of car accident. It results from one car failing to stop before hitting the car in front. Rear-end collisions are the primary cause of whiplash, which is a painful injury caused by sudden, jerking-motion trauma to the neck and upper back.

Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision typically involves one car crossing the centerline into the path of an oncoming vehicle. This could happen because a driver drifted or swerved across the line or because the driver started off by going the wrong way. Drivers and passengers who are involved in a head-on collision are very likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries.

Right-Angle/Side-Impact/T-Bone Collisions

These collisions involve the direct impact of one vehicle into the side of another. They typically occur at intersections and during turns. Because passenger cars have less space along their sides to absorb the impact of a collision and protect occupants, these crashes can be deadly.

Sideswipe Accidents

In these collisions, both vehicles’ sides come into contact. Sideswipe accidents typically happen because a driver has drifted out of the lane, attempted a lane change in traffic or an improper turn or has over-steered or under-steered in a curve.

Single-Vehicle Accident

Accidents that only involve one car can also be deadly to drivers and passengers. Single-vehicle accidents include but are not limited to collisions with objects like trees, bridge abutments, guardrails and street signs – any of which can stop a car instantly.


Driving above the speed limit or going too fast for conditions remains the leading cause of car accidents. Speeding can lead to loss of vehicle control. It also reduces the reaction time available to a driver when confronted with an unforeseen object or action by another driver in the roadway ahead.

Distracted Driving

The growth in cell phone use and texting while driving has led to a spike in distracted driving accidents, injuries and deaths in North Carolina and across the nation over the last decade. In fact, recent DOT stats show that 718 crashes occurred in the state within a single year.

Drunk Driving

Driving while impaired by alcohol remains a problem – even after decades of major legal reforms and public campaigns that are aimed at stopping drinking-and-driving. Driving under the influence of drugs, both illicit substances and over-the-counter drugs, is a similar problem. Alcohol and many drugs degrade a drivers’ physical dexterity, reaction time, perception and ability to think as they maneuver a speeding car.

Fatigued Driving

Driving while sleepy, fatigued or “drowsy” is similar to driving while drunk or drugged. Reflexes, thinking and perception are all hindered by a lack of proper rest. A drowsy driver can even nod off, momentarily falling asleep while at the wheel of a moving car. Shift workers and students, particularly students who also work, are more likely to be driving while fatigued.

Aggressive Driving

In addition to speeding, such recklessness as tailgating, frequent lane changes, improper passing and running stop signs and traffic lights leads to many accidents. Aggressive drivers are a danger to other people and property.

Faulty Equipment

The failure of a car’s brakes, tires, steering or other parts or systems can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. In these cases, defective equipment may have been designed or manufactured incorrectly or maintenance or repair work may have introduced or failed to correct problems. Common types of automotive defects are those that lead to rollovers, tire blowouts, sudden acceleration or brake failure.

Defective Road Conditions

State and local government entities in North Carolina owe citizens the duty to provide safely designed and maintained roads. If defective road conditions such as potholes or deteriorating shoulders cause an accident, the contractor in charge of the condition or the government entity can be held liable.

Get Legal Help From An Experienced Asheville, NC Car Accident Lawyer

Regardless of the type or cause of a car accident, if it has resulted in serious injury to you or a family member of yours, you should have an experienced car accident attorney from The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC investigate it on your behalf. If someone else’s careless acts caused the wreck, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

The Elmore and Smith Law Firm, PC has investigated car accidents in the Asheville area and throughout Western North Carolina for more than 30 years. We fight to protect our clients’ rights.

To schedule a free consultation about your case, contact us today by phone or online.

For more Information: