What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Houston?

Common Types of Car Accidents in Houston
Share this:

Every year the Texas Department of Transportation collects data on motor vehicle accidents throughout the state. In 2019 (the most recent year of statistics), Houston experienced 68,682 vehicle crashes. Over 32,000 injuries were reported from these accidents, as well as 253 fatalities.

Our car accident lawyers have helped many injured clients and families who lose loved ones pursue fair compensation for their losses. As such, we have seen the wide variety of factors that cause serious and fatal crashes in Houston and throughout Texas.

Keep reading for more information about the types of car accident claims we commonly see.

Rear-End Crashes

Most rear-end collisions occur because the driver in back fails to stop in time to prevent an accident. These crashes are often the result of:

  • Driver inattention or distraction
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Improper lane changes

In rear-end accidents, the driver in front often suffers whiplash injuries because the head and neck are forced forward by the impact and then quickly back into the original position. Other catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord trauma and brain injuries, may also occur.

Drivers in rear-end collisions are often at risk for secondary accidents as well. The rear-ended vehicle may be forced into the back of the next vehicle in the lane, creating a multi-car accident. If the rear-ended vehicle is the first at an intersection, the crash may force the vehicle into the intersection and into the path of other traffic.

Head-On Collisions

Some of the most serious accidents we see are collisions where one vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle. Negligence is a common factor in head-on collisions, with possible causes including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Drifting into oncoming traffic
  • Failure to pay attention to road signs
  • Errors in turning

Those most in danger in the event of a head-on crash are occupants who are not wearing seatbelts. Last year in Texas, over 2,100 of the reported serious injuries and 924 fatalities involved vehicle occupants who were unrestrained – most commonly the driver.

Remember: Always buckle up when you are driving or riding in a car!

Side-Impact Collision

Also known as a “T-bone” accident, side impacts happen most often in intersections when one vehicle collides with another at a right angle. The seriousness of the injuries in a side-impact accident vary depending on whether the car is struck on the driver’s side or passenger side, as well as the position of occupants in the car.

Factors that commonly cause a side-impact collision include:

  • Driver inattention or distraction when approaching an intersection
  • Excess speed
  • Driver intoxication
  • Failure to stop at a red light, stop sign, or yield sign
  • Failure to adjust for rain and other adverse weather conditions

The sides of a car are generally less able to withstand the force of a crash than the front or the back of the vehicle. As such, a T-bone accident can result in serious trauma to the head, neck, and back. Bone fractures and other injuries are also likely on the side of the victim’s body where the impact occurs (i.e., the left-hand side for the driver and passengers behind the driver’s seat, or the right-hand side for passengers on the other side of the vehicle).

Sideswipe Accidents

Although the name is similar, a sideswipe crash is different from a side-impact collision. In this type of accident, the side of one vehicle comes into contact with the side of the vehicle next to it.

Sideswipe accidents are often the result of errors in changing lanes. Unsafe lane changes accounted for 41,587 accidents in 2019. After speeding and driver inattention, changing lanes unsafely was the leading cause of accidents in Texas last year.

Single-Vehicle Accidents

Safe drivers know that they are responsible for their actions behind the wheel. If you were driving too fast, got distracted, or fell asleep while driving (to name a few examples), you likely know that you are responsible for crashing your car.

However, if you were driving safely and an accident occurred due to circumstances beyond your control, one or more parties may be at least partly at fault for the crash. Situations where the driver may not be entirely liable for a single-vehicle accident include:

  • Another driver’s negligence. If you were forced to take evasive action because of an unsafe driver and wrecked your car as a result, you may be able to pursue a claim against the other driver.
  • A defect in your vehicle. Various types of vehicle defects were a contributing factor in 9,265 accidents in Texas last year. If your vehicle or a part suffered from a design or manufacturing flaw that caused you to crash, you may be able to pursue a defective product claim against the company or companies that made the part.
  • A dangerous road. Construction errors and negligent maintenance can make roadways unsafe to drive. A government agency and/or a construction company may be liable if you crashed your car due to a defect in the road surface or flaws in the way the road was built.

In these cases, prompt investigation is crucial to identify the liable parties and gather evidence of wrongdoing. If you were involved in a single-car accident that you believe was not your fault, you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Multi-Vehicle Accident

Sadly, Houston is no stranger to the multiple-car pileup. Just last year, 17 vehicles were involved in an accident on I-45 after a tire fell into the road. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the ensuing series of vehicle collisions on the interstate.

Unfortunately, the occupants of vehicles involved in a multi-car accident are not always so fortunate. The speed at which the vehicles are traveling and the point on the vehicle where impacts occur can make the difference between minor and serious injuries.

Determining liability in a multi-vehicle accident can be difficult because the positioning and damage of the vehicles may change with each subsequent impact. Timely, comprehensive investigation is crucial

Rollover Accidents

Vehicle rollovers are generally single-car accidents. They may be the result of the driver losing control of the vehicle, especially at high speeds or in the event of a collision. Some vehicles also suffer from defects that increase their likelihood of a rollover accident.

Rollover accidents often result in serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. If you were involved in a rollover crash, it is important to work with a lawyer to investigate the vehicle, the roadway, and other factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Contact Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Today

At Patrick Daniel Law, we are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in pursuing compensation for car accident victims and their families. We develop a legal strategy tailored to your case and meticulously investigate to ensure we account for all of the liable parties and all of the damages you deserve.

We have achieved extensive recoveries on behalf of our clients through both settlements and jury verdicts.

For a free review of your case, please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout Houston and all of Texas.


Texas Department of Transportation, Crashes and Injuries – Cities and Towns 2019
Texas Department of Transportation, Restraint Use by Injury Severity and Seat Position 2019
Texas Department of Transportation, Crash Contributing Factors 2019
KHOU, ‘It was insane’ | Up to 17 cars involved in I-45 pileup caused by runaway tire

  • FREE Case Evaluation
    Share your experience and we will get back to you A.S.A.P.
    Share your experience and we will get back to you A.S.A.P. or call (713) 999-6666.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Patrick Daniel's Awards and Recognition