A Deeper Look at Multi-Vehicle Crashes

A Deeper Look at Multi-Vehicle CrashesThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report that gives early estimates of motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2021. In general, the statistical projection of traffic fatalities has increased by 10.5% from 2020 to 2021. One alarming statistic that the report revealed is the increase of multi-vehicle crashes. Compared to 2020, multi-vehicle crashes are projected to have increased by 16% in 2021.

This NHTSA report is worth a second look, as multi-vehicle accidents can cause many injuries and legal complications.

What are multi-vehicle crashes?

Multi-vehicle crashes are one of the most serious traffic accidents that can happen. A multi-vehicle crash happens when the collision of two vehicles causes a collision with another vehicle, and so on. The initial and subsequent impacts can include:

Rear-end collisions

In 2007, the NHTSA said that rear-end collisions were one of the most frequent types of collisions, accounting for 29% of all crashes. Fifteen years later, things have changed: the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that rear-end collisions account for about 17% of car crashes that happen nationwide.

There are several negligent actions that can result in a rear-end collision. One of these involves the rear driver speeding up behind the front driver. When two drivers who are traveling in the same direction are speeding, a rear-end collision can happen when the front driver has to reduce their speed or come to an abrupt stop.

Side-impact collisions

Another common collision that can lead to a multi-vehicle crash is a side-impact collision. A side-impact collision happens when one vehicle hits another vehicle from the side. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that side-impact collisions were responsible for 23% of passenger vehicle deaths in 2020.

Head-on collisions

Multi-vehicle crashes can also be caused by head-on collisions. A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles traveling in different directions collide in a sudden manner. Because multi-vehicle crashes stem from a chain reaction of different accidents, one vehicle can veer off of the roadway and collide with another vehicle traveling in adjacent lanes of traffic.

Sideswipe collisions

Sideswipe collisions are accidents that happen when one vehicle drifts off into another lane and hits another vehicle from the side. In a multi-vehicle crash, one vehicle that has been struck from behind can be moved into another lane based on the impact from the collision. In some cases, a sideswipe collision can cause a multi-vehicle crash.

Common reasons for multi-vehicle crashes

There are certain conditions like traffic congestion and inclement weather conditions that can increase the chances of a multi-vehicle crash. However, negligent driver actions almost always play some role in   a multi-vehicle accident occurring. One such action is speeding. Even though drivers must keep up with the speed of traffic on roadways, some drivers engage in tailgating and other dangerous behaviors. This can make it difficult to stop safely and react to sudden traffic changes.

Another common reason for multi-vehicle crashes is distracted driving. All it takes is for a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road for one second to become distracted. While seemingly a short period of time, the complexities of multiple vehicles traveling in many directions at potentially high speeds allows for circumstances to change in an instant. Traffic congestion is another factor that can lead to a multi-vehicle accident. When two vehicles crash into one another, a chain reaction is nearly guaranteed, due to the amount of vehicles trapped on the roadway. There is very little room for other drivers to move out of the way or avoid the accident.

Liability for multi-vehicle accidents in Tulsa

Because of multiple-vehicle collisions often involve more than one wrongdoer it can be difficult to establish liability. However, there are parties whom you can hold liable for your accident. One of the biggest assumptions about a multi-vehicle crash is that only the driver who initially caused the pileup to happen can be held liable. However, there may be several at-fault parties.

The driver or drivers at fault for any crash will be responsible for compensating all injured parties in the crash.  In a multi-vehicle scenario, each insurance company for each participant will take any opportunity to deflect responsibility onto any other party so as to lessen their driver’s overall fault.

Another issue you could face when establishing liability lies in Oklahoma’s comparative negligence laws. Comparative negligence is a legal principle that reduces the amount of liability based on how much the other party or parties contributed to the cause of the incident. This type of negligence is common with multi-vehicle crashes. Each party is only responsible for the percentage of fault attributed to them.

When you have been involved in a multi-vehicle crash, you need a strong, expereienced car accident lawyer who can anticipate the actions of several insurance companies. At Biby Law Firm, we have a proven track record of success negotiating fair and just settlements for our clients. Our results have earned the praise of our clients and our legal colleagues. Call our respected Tulsa lawyers at 918-574-8458, or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.