Accidents can be classified according to major impact types. Some crash patterns are however remarkable because of their collision mechanisms and their legal consequences.
A hit-and-run includes any accident where a vehicle hits a person, other vehicle, or object and the driver knowingly flees the scene without providing information and/or assistance to the victims.
More than 1 hit and run accident occur every minute in the U.S with more than 2000 fatalities in 2016 according to a study conducted by the AAA foundation.
Most hit-and-runs involve parked cars: you return to your car in a parking lot after some shopping, only to find a dent in your bumper. But hit-and-runs can be much more severe: you’re side-swiped on the highway and the other motorist drives away, a drunk driver hits you while you’re crossing the street and, scared of the consequences, flees the scene, etc.
In the USA, Tennessee ranks 11th out of 50 for hit-and-run fatalities.
Tennessee law requires anyone involved in a traffic accident to stay at the scene, exchange information, and render aid if needed. Failure to do so is a criminal offense:
- Class C misdemeanor if the accident only involved property damages.
- Felony in case of personal damages.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, remember to use your phone camera to identify the driver, especially by filming the license plate.
If you’re not able to identify the fleeing driver, remember you’re not without recourse:
- You can always file a claim with your insurance company.
- Law enforcement will conduct an investigation that may help identify the culprit.
- An expert attorney at Keith Williams Law Group may find witnesses that could help identify the driver.
- Single-vehicle accident
A single-vehicle has a collision without involving any other vehicle.
The causes are usually the same as head-on crashes: a vehicle departs from its lane but no other vehicle happens to be on the way. This mostly happens because of driver distraction and drowsiness.
Poor road maintenance (potholes, loose gravel, etc.) and car design defects can also be a cause and, although no other driver is involved, the government or the car company may be liable for your injuries.
Speeding is always an aggravating factor, with a higher risk of fatal rollover and run-off-road crashes.
In 2019, the most common type of car accident in Tennessee was single vehicle accidents, accounting for 53% of all crashes.
- Multi-vehicle crash
Multi vehicle accident involve more than 2 vehicles. They are also called “pile-ups”, especially when they involve more than 6 vehicles.
They mostly happen on highways and interstates where cars travel side by side and merge at high speed. Low-visibility conditions like fog are a common cause, as well as poor weather, especially black ice and snowy roads.
A regular collision in-between 2 vehicles may lead to a multi-vehicle accident if a third vehicle is too close to the initial crash to avoid the impact. Then other vehicles may pile-up, creating a chain-reaction.
On February 24, 2021, a 6 vehicles pile-up happened on I-24, North of Nashville, killing one person and injuring 4 others.
Multi-car crashes are more complex than regular accidents. Proving the cause of the accident and which parties are liable is a challenging task.
If you’ve been involved in a multiple-vehicle crash, contact a car accident attorney at Keith Williams Law Group. We’ll determine fault and negotiate with multiples insurance carriers on your behalf.
- Run-off-road (ROR) crash
Run-off-road crashes happen when a vehicle leaves the road and collides with a tree, a pole, or another object, whether natural or not. They’re a classic cause of tripped roll-over.
In most cases, only one vehicle is involved. According to the NHTSA, ROR crashes account for 64.4 percent of all single-vehicle crashes.
Running off the road increases the risk of severe injuries: among the fatal single-vehicle crashes, 71% are ROR crashes
Common causes of ROR crashes include driver inattention, driver fatigue, alcohol consumption, and poor roadway conditions.
- Wrong-way collision
Wrong-way accidents occur when a driver steers his or her vehicle into the opposite direction of travel, colliding with vehicles moving in the right direction.
They are rare, with only 3% of highway accidents in the US but very likely to be fatal as they’re responsible for highspeed head-on crashes.
Here are the most common causes of wrong-way crashes:
- Human error is the most common cause of wrong-way collision. They usually occur as a driver enters a freeway using the exit ramp. They can also happen at lower speeds on city streets.
- More than 50% of wrong-way drivers are impaired by alcohol.
- They happen mostly at night: 78% of fatal wrong-way collisions occur during night time.
- Senior drivers are over-represented in wrong-way driving liability, they cause 15% of those accidents.
- Other causes include vehicle malfunction or poor roadway design (bad cloverleaf designs, lack of warning signs, etc.)
The car accident attorneys at Keith Williams Law Group can help you if you or a loved one was involved in a car accident caused by another drivers negligence. Contact us today at: 615-313-3999.