Mar 17, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Single-Vehicle Accidents

single car accident

A car accident is a stressful occurrence. Not only do you experience the same emotions as any other accident, but also you could experience additional guilt and embarrassment from being the sole driver involved. A single-vehicle accident has its own level of stress.

What Is Considered A Single-Vehicle Crash?

The term single-vehicle crash seems self-explanatory, and in some ways, it is. However, not all single-moving vehicle crashes are classified as single-vehicle accidents. The authorities might not rule a crash with a parked car or a building a single-car crash even though there was no other individual involved.

A vehicle in transport sometimes leaves the travel lane and encroaches onto the shoulder, median, roadside, parking lane, gore, or a separator and hits one or more natural or artificial objects. This event usually involves a single vehicle and is referred to as a runoff-road (ROR) crash. ROR crashes contribute to a large proportion of fatalities and serious injuries to the vehicle occupants in fatal single-vehicle crashes (around 70% of the fatal single-vehicle crashes are ROR crashes). (1)

What about an accident with a pedestrian or bicycle? Many times these instances are deemed single-vehicle accidents. Consult a truck accident lawyer Macon to understand the classification of your accident.

Consequences of A Single-Vehicle Accident

As with any accident, there are consequences following the incident. The most obvious is the driver must shoulder the responsibility for the accident. In some cases, someone else could be found responsible, but typically, a single-vehicle accident is considered the driver’s fault. A meeting with a car accident lawyer Macon could be required depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

An accident seems like enough to process. However, you could face legal consequences following a single-car accident. Some laws require at least the issuance of a ticket depending on the circumstances of the accident. Contact a truck accident lawyer Macon to discuss the ramifications of your accident.

Factors That Contribute to Single-Vehicle Accidents

Any car accident can be scary, embarrassing, and financially draining. But, those sensations can be greatly enhanced when the accident involves only one vehicle. Obviously, factors like road conditions, hidden obstacles, and weather conditions can adversely affect one's ability to control a vehicle and can result in an accident. (2)

Here are some of the factors that contribute to a single-car accident.

  • Negligence: Not paying attention, speeding, or ignoring the consequences of irresponsibility behind the wheel are attitudes that can contribute to a crash.

  • Recklessness: Some people, particularly younger people, like to show off to friends or family. Playing and driving wildly to show off can lead to single-vehicle accidents.

  • Age: Younger drivers are inexperienced and immature. Older drivers can become complacent. Both factor into the occurrence of accidents.

  • Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven travel lanes, cracks in the pavement, sinkholes, and loose gravel are some of the poor road conditions that can lead to loss of control and a one-car wreck.

  • Obstacles: Sometimes, you run over something unexpected in the road. Something as small as a stone can puncture a tire leading to a blowout and subsequent accident.

  • Weather Conditions: Driving in rain or snow is more dangerous than driving on a beautiful, sunny day. Wind, low visibility, and wet roads can contribute to the loss of vehicle control.

  • Distracted Driving: Purposely driving while distracted can result in a severe accident. Texting while driving is the most recognized form of distracted driving. Set your cellphone away from you to avoid the temptation.

  • Drowsiness: How many times have you thought, “I’m fine; just a little sleepy” before you got behind the steering wheel? Driving while you are drowsy can have irrevocable results. Falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to an accident that leaves you injured or worse.

While many of these reflect driver attitudes, some things, like road conditions, obstacles, and weather conditions, are beyond a driver’s control. In an accident where these conditions are present, extenuating circumstances may be considered before ruling the driver solely at fault.


Any car accident is stressful. A single-vehicle accident is a different breed of stress. Not only are there damages to a vehicle, possible injuries, and insurance headaches, but also there could be legal consequences to face. Legal matters can vary depending on your location.

Multiple factors can contribute to the occurrence of a single-vehicle accident. Things such as negligence, recklessness, and distracted driving are in the driver’s control. Beyond the driver’s control are factors like weather and road conditions.

If factors beyond your control—like obstacles in the road—contribute to your accident, you might have legal recourse. To know for sure, consult a car accident lawyer Macon.


1. I was involved in a single-car accident as a passenger. Can I expect the driver to pay medical bills or other compensation like lost wages?

Typically, the driver in a single-vehicle crash is deemed at fault because they were the ablest to prevent the collision. Occasionally, extenuating circumstances such as vehicle malfunctions play a role in the accident. Consult a car accident lawyer Macon to discuss your situation. Your legal rights will depend upon the laws of your state.

Will my insurance rates be affected by my single-vehicle crash?

Unfortunately, car accidents can affect insurance rates. State laws can also affect insurance regulations. However, each insurance company abides by its own rules beyond standard standards across the industry. Speak with your insurance company to discuss how an accident will affect your particular policy.

3. My brakes failed, causing me to lose control of my car and have an accident. Can I sue the mechanic who recently replaced the brakes?

The laws of your state dictate whether a third party can be held liable in a single-vehicle accident. Some states allow for negligence claims against car manufacturers or professionals like mechanics. Communicate with a truck accident lawyer Macon to determine if negligence laws apply to your situation.