What are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Chicago? | Staver
Car Accidents

What are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Chicago?

There are many different types of car accidents in Illinois for motorists to worry about. These depend not only on the type of vehicle someone drives, but also the location, the time of day, type of road, weather conditions, pavement conditions, the amount of traffic, and much more. Myriad elements factor into whether a crash occurs or not and whether a crash causes serious injuries or property damage only.

Each type of auto accident can result in injuries to the motorist and any passengers, whether it is a low speed rear-end collision or a multi-vehicle pileup on the highway. Regardless of the type of accident, they can all cause injuries and financial losses for those unlucky enough to be involved.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, do not hesitate to contact one of our Chicago car accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to discuss your legal rights and options.

Fatal Car Crashes

It’s any person’s worst nightmare to have a trooper knock on the door of your home and tell you that your spouse, parent, or child is never coming home again. That was the tragic reality experienced by more than 1,000 families in 2019 that lost loved ones to fatal car crashes in Illinois.

When you lose a loved one in a sudden, unexpected way, you may feel like your life has been torn apart. You’re coping with the shock and grief of the loss, and the unfathomable burden of making funeral arrangements, sorting through insurance policies, and details like transferring assets from your loved one’s name into yours or another family members. There’s an overwhelming amount of bureaucracy that goes along with such an enormous loss.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents and occur in many different settings. According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions accounted for more than 40% of the collisions in the United States in the last several years.

A rear-end collision occurs when a car strikes the car in front of it. However, they mostly occur in heavy, stop-and-go traffic like during rush hour. Rear-end collisions often cause considerable damage to the back of the vehicle that is hit, as well as substantial damage to the rear vehicle’s front end. Rear-end collisions also can result in injuries to both the driver and passengers in any of the cars involved.

These types of collisions are more likely than other accidents to involve multiple cars, as one car rear-ending another can cause the forward car to crash into the car in front of it in a cascading pattern.

Head-On Collision Accidents

One of the more prevalent types of auto collisions in rural areas is head-on crashes. Also, head-on collisions are a significant portion of all fatal crashes. The Insurance Information Institute reports head-on accidents were 10.2% of all fatal crashes in 2016.

Head-on accidents occur when one vehicle’s front end collides with another vehicle’s front end. These types of collisions commonly occur when one vehicle leaves its lane of traffic and crosses the yellow line into the oncoming lane of traffic. Or, a vehicle may drive the wrong way down a one-way street.

Head-on collisions are usually very serious unless they occurred at very low speeds. Drivers and passengers tend to suffer serious if not catastrophic injuries in these collisions.

Side Impact Collisions (T-Bone Accidents)

All too often, at intersections, one car fails to stop when they should. When a vehicle drives through a stop sign or stop light, another car may be headed toward it at a perpendicular angle. The vehicle with the right of way may strike the negligent driver’s vehicle on the side. Or, the negligent driver may strike the other car on the side. This type of collision, when one vehicle is at a 90-degree angle to the other, is known as a side impact or “T-Bone” accident.

Side impact accidents are one of the most common types of accidents throughout the U.S., and they lead to far too many serious injuries and fatalities. When a head-on, rear-end, or side angle accident occurs, there often is a great deal of metal, plastic, and safety features protecting the drivers and passengers. But when a vehicle is struck directly on the side, there is far less protection in the doors to protect the occupants from harm.

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles, moving in the same or opposite direction, come into contact with one another. A car may move along the side of a parked vehicle on the side of the road or moving vehicle in the adjacent lane. Sideswipe collisions also can occur between a moving vehicle and stationary object, such as a pole, guardrail, sign, or vegetation.

Accidents at Intersections

An intersection accident most frequently occurs when a driver is attempting to make it through a yellow light, and a driver who is going in the opposite direction is attempting to make a left turn at the same time. These can be extremely dangerous accidents for passengers on the left side of the turning vehicle because drivers are attempting to make a light often travel at high speeds. These accidents also can be very dangerous for passengers in older cars that lack side airbags.

Though left-turn accidents at intersections are common, we also handle side-impact accidents and right-turn accidents that occur at intersections in Illinois. In most intersection accident claims, one driver was negligent or reckless when they ran a stop sign, ran a red light, sped up to get through a yellow light, or turned without looking for pedestrians.

Right and Left Turn Accidents

Left-turn accidents are more common than right turn accidents, but both turning accidents occur on a relatively frequent basis and can lead to significant damages and injuries.

Left-turn accidents can occur when the driver making the turn does not have a green arrow to do so. Or, the turning vehicle may be able to turn, but lack the right of way. In these circumstances, the turning vehicle is responsible for being careful and only turning once there is plenty of room to do so safely.

Left-turn crashes are far more common at uncontrolled intersections. At some intersections, the left turn lane receives its own arrow and a time to go without oncoming traffic. Intersections without a left turn arrow or without any traffic control signals experience a greater rate of collisions.

Right turn accidents are more common between vehicles and pedestrians and at unconventional intersections. Some intersections involve more than two roads. In fact, Chicago has several intersections, including the intersection of Irving Park, Cicero, and Milwaukee and the intersection of Stony Island, 79th, and South Chicago. When a right turn is not a typical 90-degree angle, confusion and carelessness can lead to serious accidents.

Merging and Lane Change Accidents

Angle collisions often occur when a vehicle moves into a lane where another vehicle is already present. This can happen when cars change lanes on a highway. A car may shift over to the left lane to go around a slower vehicle only to not leave enough room when shifting back into the right lane. Or, a vehicle merging onto a highway may not time its entrance well enough and collide with another vehicle that is unable to avoid the collision.

Lane change accidents often occur because drivers carelessly ignore or fail to check their blind spots. Merging accidents happen because a vehicle fails to speed up enough to match the speed of the traffic it is entering or because the vehicle fails to time its entry between two vehicles.

Fixed Object Collisions/Single Vehicle Accidents

Single-vehicle collisions usually occur when a single-vehicle leaves the road and strikes a stationary object on the side of the road, like a guardrail or a tree. It is common for a driver to be distracted, impaired, overly tired, or traveling in inclement weather such as snow or rain.

Single vehicle accidents often result in substantial damage to the affected car and significant injuries to the motorist and their passengers. Vehicles that leave the road are often traveling at high speeds and are extremely difficult to control. In addition, many of the stationary objects involved in these accidents, such as a tree, are not very shock absorbent. Much of the force of the crash is exerted on the vehicle’s occupants.

Low-Speed Collisions

Low-speed and low-impact collisions often occur when a vehicle is moving around 15 mph or less. They often happen when a motorist backs into someone else in a parking lot or taps another car in bumper-to-bumper traffic. They typically don’t result in much damage to the cars or injuries.

Diagonal Parking Accidents

A common type of low-speed accident is a diagonal parking collision. On some streets, motorists are required to back into diagonal parking spaces. The hope is that motorists can see other vehicles when they pull out, reducing the risk of collisions. But drivers who are unfamiliar with diagonal parking spaces may have trouble backing in, leading to a collision with a nearby vehicle.

Roadway Departure Crashes

In single- or multi-vehicle accidents, one or more cars may leave the road. This can lead to significant property damage and injuries. A vehicle may roll over, roll down an embankment, or collide with a guardrail, tree, parked vehicle, building, or other object. Roadway department crashes can happen because a driver was fatigued, distracted, intoxicated, or driving in difficult weather.


Cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs may rollover in a single- or multi-vehicle collision. When a vehicle collides with a low or short object while traveling at high speeds, the force causes the vehicle to roll onto its side, its roof, or a full 360 degrees. This is known as tripping. Motorists also can experience untripped rollovers when they conduct high-speed maneuvers, such as swerving to avoid a collision with another vehicle, animal, or object in the road.

Rollover accidents can happen to any vehicle, but they are more common with larger, top-heavy vehicles like SUVs.

Hit and Run Accidents

A hit and run accident is any collision that occurs in which a vehicle leaves the scene. Typically, a hit and run involves a car colliding with another moving or parked car, and the negligent motorists drive away.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Staver Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., are here to assist anyone involved in the accidents described or any other type of collision. We are skilled attorneys who fight hard for each and every one of our clients.

For a free consultation with one of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.’s aggressive no win no fee injury attorneys, please contact us at (312) 236-2900 or through our online form.

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(312) 236-2900
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