The Most Common Vehicle Accidents in Wyoming
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 6 million vehicle accidents occur each year in the U.S. In Wyoming, our population is approximately 585,000, and last year there were 1,112 traffic fatalities out of 13,846 crashes.
Here, we will discuss the most common types of accidents that occur within the state and some of the ways to prevent them.
Remember, not all crashes are the result of collisions with other vehicles. Defective vehicle equipment, bad roads, weather conditions, or just distracted driving can all lead to single-car accidents—which account for more than half of all fatal accidents in Wyoming.
Overturn and Rollover Accidents
Overturn or rollover accidents often do not involve a collision with another vehicle. These accidents are very destructive and lead to approximately 30% of motor-vehicle-related fatalities in the United States. Taller vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and vans are more susceptible to rollover due to their higher center of gravity. Fortunately, newer vehicles are being manufactured to prevent this from happening.
Government estimates suggest that most rollovers occur from “trips,” such as when the vehicle strikes a curb or pothole. Large shifts in weight, which may occur during a sharp turn, can create the force necessary to overturn as well. Other critical factors include tire grip, overloading a vehicle with excessive weight, and speed of travel.
The NHTSA estimates that rear-end collisions account for 23% of all crashes involving automobiles. Each year they cause millions of dollars in property damage and bodily injuries. This type of accident is most common during the day, and is likely to occur when the vehicle in front is temporarily stopped. The parties in both vehicles may incur injuries, but those in the front car usually suffer worse injuries because they are unprepared for the impact.
The leading reasons that these accidents occur include:
- Driver is distracted by mobile devices, interacting with passengers, eating, reaching for objects, etc.
- Driver is traveling too fast.
- Driver is maintaining an inadequate distance between cars.
- Driver is drowsy or fatigued.
- There is a mechanical problem with a vehicle.
Rear-end collisions are largely avoidable (from behind). Drivers should remember that heavier vehicles will usually take longer to come to a stop. It is critical to maintain a safe distance for stopping between your car and the one traveling in front of you.
Angled or Front-to-Side Collisions
These collisions occur when one vehicle strikes one another at an angle, including broadside or T-bone accidents. A true “T-bone” accident is when one vehicle strikes another at a 90-degree angle. Angled collisions account for roughly 25% of accident fatalities in the U.S. Side impacts are dangerous because there is less space or material to absorb the impact and protect occupants, particularly those positioned near the side of impact. Occupants usually suffer worse injuries compared to occupants in a vehicle struck from the front or rear.
Some of the leading causes of angled or front-to-side accidents include distracted driving, impaired driving, and failing to yield. Many occur at intersections where one motorist enters the intersection prematurely. In recent years, as a result of crash testing and enhanced safety features, passengers are less likely to be injured in a side collision. Newer vehicles now distribute the force of an impact across a wider area. In addition, side airbags allow for better passenger protection.
Sideswipes involve two vehicles that are traveling parallel to one another. The Institute of Highway Safety data indicate that over 240,000 sideswipe collisions occur in the U.S. annually and cause approximately 27,000 injuries and over 2,000 fatalities. Roughly 45% of crashes involving large trucks fall within this category. Common reasons for sideswipes include mistakes with changing lanes, drivers “drifting” outside of their lanes, and errors in steering the vehicle.
Defensive driving is the key to preventing sideswipe accidents. For example, drivers must remember to check their “blind spots” when switching lanes, and drivers should avoid traveling in another vehicle’s blind spot. When changing lanes, it is important to use your signal ahead of time to alert other drivers. Also, change lanes when you need to, not just to whip around the slow driver in front of you.
If you were injured in a crash with another vehicle, we may be able to help you get compensation from the at-fault driver. Our Wyoming car accident attorney at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., have experience in getting justice for clients. For a free consultation, please call (307) 257-7800 today.
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