A traffic collision, also called a motor vehicle collision (MVC) among other terms, occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree, pole or building.
Traffic collisions often result in injury, death, and property damage.
A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, and driver skill, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and behavior, notably distracted driving, speeding and street racing.
Worldwide, motor vehicle collisions lead to death and disability as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved.
In 2013, 54 million people worldwide sustained injuries from traffic collisions. This resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990.
About 68,000 of these occurred in children less than five years old.Almost all high-income countries have decreasing death rates, while the majority of low-income countries have increasing death rates due to traffic collisions. Middle-income countries have the highest rate with 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, accounting for 80% of all road fatalities with 52% of all vehicles.
An Opel Vectra involved in a rollover crash
A rolled over box truck being handled by fire fighters in Jakarta, Indonesia
Road collision types
Traffic collisions can be classified by general types. Types of collision include head-on, road departure, rear-end, side collisions, and rollovers.
Many different terms are commonly used to describe vehicle collisions. The World Health Organization uses the term road traffic injury.
Some organizations have begun to avoid the term “accident”, instead preferring terms such as “collision”, “crash” or “incident”.
This is because the term “accident” implies that there is no-one to blame, whereas most traffic collisions are the result of driving under the influence, excessive speed, distractions such as mobile phones or other risky behavior.
Historically, in the United States, the use of terms other than “accidents” had been criticized for holding back safety improvements, based on the idea that a culture of blame may discourage the involved parties from fully disclosing the facts, and thus frustrate attempts to address the real root causes.
Following collisions, long-lasting psychological trauma may occur.These issues may make those who have been in a crash afraid to drive again.
In some cases, the psychological trauma may affect individuals’ life can cause difficulty to go to work, attend school, or perform family responsibilities.
A number of physical injuries can commonly result from the blunt force trauma caused by a collision, ranging from bruising and contusions to catastrophic physical injury (e.g., paralysis) or death.