Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents carry a range of results. They can vary from minor dents to life-threatening harm. The degree of vehicle damage and bodily injuries – as well as your legal rights and options – often will depend on the type of crash.
The lawyers of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., regularly represent victims of the following types of car accidents that commonly occur in Spartanburg and other areas throughout Upstate South Carolina:
These crashes occur when one car crosses the centerline into the path of an oncoming vehicle. They may also happen because a driver goes the wrong direction on a one-way road. Drivers and passengers in head-on collisions are very likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries.
Rear-end crashes are the most common type of car accidents. They are also the leading cause of whiplash. This is a painful injury to the neck and upper back. A person suffering from whiplash may experience chronic pain that requires extensive treatment.
Sideswipe crashes typically happen when drivers carelessly merge into interstate traffic, attempt to change their lanes, make an improper turn or drift due to distraction, alcohol impairment or fatigue. Serious injuries may not occur upon impact. However, sideswipe accidents can cause vehicles to leave the road or collide with other vehicles, which can increase the severity of the crash.
These accidents involve one vehicle running into the side of another. A side-impact crash typically occurs during turns or at intersections. Because passenger cars have less space along their sides to absorb the impact of a collision, vehicle occupants often suffer severe injuries.
A rollover may be caused by a car hitting a curb, the shoulder of the road or another vehicle. They may also occur due to the driver’s speed, a slippery road or a difficult-to-negotiate curve. Taller vehicles, like SUVs and large passenger vans, may be more likely to roll over than others. Manufacturers of defective cars or automotive parts may face liability for these accidents.
Single-vehicle accidents include striking stationary objects like trees, bridge abutments, street signs, or running off the side of the road which can lead to a rollover accident.
Year after year, exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is the leading cause of car accidents in South Carolina. Excessive speed makes loss of control more likely. It also reduces the ability to react to an object or situation in the road ahead. Higher speed also increases the force of the impact in a car crash.
Cell phone use and texting while driving have caused an increase in distracted driving accidents over the last decade. However, any activity that takes the driver’s eyes and mind away from the task of driving, such as talking with passengers or tuning the radio, is a distraction that could lead to an accident.
Drunk Driving / Drugged Driving
Decades after changes in the law and the start of public campaigns against drinking-and-driving, driving under the influence (DUI) remains a danger on South Carolina roads. Driving under the influence of drugs, including certain over-the-counter medications, is likewise a dangerous problem.
The effects of driving while fatigued or sleepy, sometimes called “drowsy driving,” are similar to being drunk or drugged. Lack of proper rest impairs perception, reflexes and physical dexterity. A drowsy driver may even momentarily “nod off” or fall asleep behind the wheel.
Faulty Equipment / Design
Sometimes, the driver is not at fault. The failure of a car’s brakes, tires, steering, suspension or other parts or systems causes many car crashes. Maintenance or repair work may fail to correct a problem. Faulty design or manufacture of a vehicle or its parts may lead to significant legal claims.
Car accidents may also be caused by dangerous road conditions due to lack of maintenance (such as potholes or obscured warning signs), poor design, or how a work zone has been set up. In such cases, the government agency responsible for the roadway or its contractor may be held liable.
Contact an Upstate South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
The attorneys of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., help residents of Upstate South Carolina to pursue compensation for their losses after car accidents of all types.
We’re ready to help you. Contact us today to receive a free consultation about your case.
For More Information
• South Carolina Traffic Crash Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration