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What the most common car crash types are and how to avoid them

When it comes to traffic accidents, there are three primary types — side, rear-end and head-on collisions. While drivers can minimize their risk of becoming involved in any of the aforementioned types of accidents by learning and practicing defensive driving techniques, unfortunately they can't control the other drivers on the road.

Most automobile collisions occur between two vehicles despite often hearing media stories about multi-car pileups and single-vehicle crashes. Research also shows that at least one-third of these types of collisions happen while motorists are moving through an intersection.

Side collisions most often occur at intersections. Most of these crashes are caused by one motorist not yielding to another's right-of-way before proceeding through an intersection. One way that motorists can avoid this type of crash is by looking both ways before proceeding. Even if you have a green light or it's your turn to go after stopping, wait that extra beat to avoid an accident.

Head-on collisions are perhaps the most deadly type of accident. One of the best ways to avoid them is by continuing to scan the road in front of you for speeding or reckless drivers. If you see someone ahead driving erratically, you may want to pull over on the right shoulder of the road and wait for them to pass.

Rear-end crashes can happen for a number of reasons. Motorists are most likely to have their cars struck from behind by other drivers following too closely. That's why it's important to use turn signals and to gradually slow down as you approach an intersection or turn. Doing alerts drivers to your intentions and gives them more time to react.

Injuries from car crashes can be serious. Being out of work as you recover can take a toll on you financially. If you've been hurt, learn about your right to recover medical costs and lost wages from the liable parties.

Source: Markel Insurance, "Avoid collisions," accessed May 25, 2018

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