Some car accidents result only in property damage or minor injuries. Other types of car accidents, however, have the potential for serious injuries and even death. It is in your best interest to speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Each year, there are tens of thousands of car accidents across Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) publishes a yearly statistical report on car accidents in the state. This report provides useful insights for drivers, including the most common types of car accidents.
The most recent statistical report available from the NDOT is the 2020 Nebraska Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report. Based on the latest data, the most common types of car accidents in Nebraska include:
According to the NDOT, 49.6% of all non-intersection accidents and 29.6% of all intersection accidents involve rear-end collisions. While rear-end collisions can result from a variety of different factors, some of the most common issues that lead to these accidents include:
- Texting and using social media apps behind the wheel (which are both prohibited under Nebraska law)
- Talking on the phone (hand-held or hands-free) or talking to passengers
- Tailgating and driving aggressively
- Looking at people, objects, etc. outside the vehicle (a.k.a., rubbernecking)
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Rear-end collisions at intersections also frequently occur when one driver mistakenly expects another driver to proceed through the intersection when the light is changing. If the driver in front starts to brake just when the trailing driver starts to accelerate in order to “beat” the yellow light, the driver in the rear may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Collisions at an Angle
The Traffic Crash Facts report shows that 45.8% of all accidents at intersections involve collisions at an angle (collisions at an angle account for just 3.1% of non-intersection accidents). These collisions most frequently occur when a driver turns either in front of or into the side of another vehicle that has entered the intersection from the opposite direction.
While it may seem obvious which driver is to blame in some cases, determining which driver is at fault (or if both drivers share responsibility) in this type of accident often requires a comprehensive on-scene investigation and skilled accident reconstruction. A car accident attorney will investigate and obtain traffic camera footage, traffic signal patterns, eyewitness testimony, and various other forms of evidence to assess liability for the accident and build a strong case on your behalf.
In total, sideswipe accidents account for 38.9% of all non-intersection accidents and 9.8% of all intersection accidents. Most of these sideswipe accidents involve collisions between vehicles traveling in the same direction. Texting, talking on the phone, and other forms of distracted driving are common factors in sideswipe accidents, though these accidents are often the result of drivers simply being inattentive and failing to check their blind spots before merging or changing lanes.
Sideswipe accidents involving vehicles traveling in opposite directions are often near-misses for serious head-on collisions. If the vehicles do collide head on, the results are often devastating.
Head-on collisions account for a relatively small number of car accidents in Nebraska – 2.2% of non-intersection accidents and just 0.4% of accidents at intersections, respectively. However, the rate of injury in these crashes is disproportionately high.
In head-on collisions at intersections, 53.8% of accidents lead to some degree of injury. Outside of intersections, 61.3% of head-on collisions result in injury. Depending on the rate of speed and other factors, the likelihood of catastrophic injury is high.
In the intersection accident category, NDOT recognizes a special class of accidents involving left-turn collisions. According to NDOT, 12.1% of all intersection accidents result from either:
- Drivers making improper left turns.
- Drivers failing to stop or yield when other drivers have the right of way to turn left in front of them.
While some drivers and passengers will escape these accidents unscathed, left-turn collisions can result in serious injuries. Drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and falling asleep behind the wheel are all common issues that can lead to left-turn collisions. They are also factors for which at-fault drivers can and should be held accountable.
NDOT reports that 7.4% of all car accidents in Nebraska involve at least one vehicle being driven in reverse. The likelihood of injury in a backing or reversing accident is approximately 10% for both intersection and non-intersection crashes.
Backing accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, including:
As with the other types of car accidents discussed above, you may be entitled to significant compensation for the injuries and damages you sustain in a backing accident. It is in your best interest to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been injured by a careless motorist who was driving in reverse.
If you have been in any type of car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Your entire life may feel like it’s been turned upside down.
The attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have more than 200 years of experience combined. Our lawyers take steps to protect your rights and safeguard your future.
Please call Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop at (402) 241-5020 today for a FREE case review. Our car accident attorneys serve clients in Omaha, Sarpy County, and all of Nebraska and nearby Iowa.