Crashes are categorized by what is struck and the direction of impact, or impacts. These are some common crash types, based on the total number that occurred in the U.S.A. in 2005, the percentage of total crashes, and the percentage of fatal crashes:

    * Rear impacts (1,824,000 crashes, 29.6% of all US crashes, 5.4 % of US fatal crashes)

    * Angle or side impacts (1,779,000 crashes, 28.9% of all US crashes, 20.7% of US fatal crashes)

    * Run-off-road collisions (992,000 crashes, 16.1% of US crashes, 31.7% of US fatal crashes)

    * Collisions with animals (275,000 crashes, 4.5% of US crashes, 0.4% of fatal crashes)

    * Rollovers (141,000 crashes, 2.3% of all US crashes, 10.9% of US fatal crashes)

    * Head-on collision (123,000 crashes, only 2.0% of all US crashes, but 10.1% of US fatal crashes)

    * Collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists (114,000 crashes, only 1.8% of US crashes, but 13.5% of US fatal crashes)

    * Back-up collisions killed 221 people in the US in 2008, and injured about 14,400. This is one of the most common types of non-traffic auto collision in which road workers and children 15 and younger are killed.

Rollover, head-on, pedestrian, and bicyclist crashes combined are only 6.1% of all crashes, but cause 34.5% of traffic-related fatalities.

Sometimes the vehicles in the collision can suffer more than one type of impact, such as during a shunt or high-speed spin. This is called a "second harmful event," such as when a vehicle is redirected by the first crash into another vehicle or fixed object.

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Types of Crashes: