3 Most Common Types of Collisions

As parents, we do not want to see our teens get into any type of vehicle collision, minor or major. Your teen needs to be able to identify risk before the consequence occurs and develop risk reduction strategies. One of these many strategies includes being aware of the types of collisions that can occur and learning how to avoid them or identify them before driving independently. While you are coaching your teen from the passenger seat, it is an excellent opportunity to point out the types of collisions that can occur from the risky behavior that your teen may be close to engaging in or that other drivers are performing. In the following blog, I will discuss the three most common types of vehicle collisions so that you can discuss them with your teen, point out behaviors that may lead to these collisions, and together develop risk reduction strategies.

Rear-End Collisions

I’m sure you guessed it, rear-end collisions are by far the most common type of vehicle collision to occur on the roadway. Why is this? Many causes can lead to a rear-end collision, but they all trickle down into one main idea, following too closely. I have discussed safe following distances in previous blog posts and on our social media channels (click the links at the bottom of the blog to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), but to refresh your memory, a safe following distance is usually about 3-4 seconds however this can increase in situations such as lowered visibility and adverse weather. Other than consciously decreasing the following distance, distractions are a huge cause of rear-end collisions. When you are coaching your teen, emphasize the importance of paying attention to the road. 

Sideswipe Collision

Sideswipe collisions are another common type of vehicle collision. These collisions occur when one vehicle merges into another vehicle. In some cases, these collisions can cause serious injuries. So why do sideswipe crashes occur? These collisions are usually caused by one vehicle not checking their blind spot in preparation for changing lanes. Remind your teen that they must ALWAYS perform a blind spot check before changing lanes, even if they are sure that the lane is clear. Although your teen may not be able to control if they are sideswiped by another vehicle, they can take the necessary precautions:

T-Bone Collisions

T-bone collisions usually occur in an intersection. The front end of one vehicle hits the middle of another vehicle forming the letter “T,” hence the name T-bone collision. These collisions usually occur due to one vehicle running a stop sign, red light, or making an unsafe left-hand turn. These crashes can result in severe injury and fatality. You must remind your teen to scan the road for other drivers making risky decisions continually.

Now that you know more about the common vehicle collisions, you have a better idea of what you need to point out and explain to your teen as you are coaching them from the passenger seat. The more situations they become aware of, the less likely they will be in one of these collisions. To learn how to coach your teen from the passenger seat and prepare them for the eight danger zones, visit our homepage to sign up for the Coaching New Drivers program. Until January 31, 2021 we are offering a discount of 70% OFF using the code NEWYEAR70, don’t miss out!

Looking for more free useful tips? Download the Driving Handbook from our homepage or visit our library of blogs!



Daily Awesome. (2019, January 31). T-Bone Crashes. YouTube. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SdvZyFMLXA

xSupaD. (2019, February 15). Sideswipe Accident Caught on Dashcam. YouTube. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JMaKJ0_pnI

Vortex Radar. (2020, January 16). I Got Rear Ended Again… YouTube. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvlX_suwRY

Coach Bill

Coach Bill

Bill is the Managing Partner of Coaching New Drivers and has a vast background in driver education. Bill is passionate about technology-based driver assessment and has gained extensive knowledge and experience through lecturing on driving topics across North America, Australia, and Asia. Bill is a parent to two teens who he has also successfully coached during the Learner’s permit stage.

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