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blog Auto Accident A Guide for Dealing with Single Vehicle Accidents

A Guide for Dealing with Single Vehicle Accidents

By Car Accident Help on April 25, 2023 | Posted in: Auto Accident

In Oklahoma, there are nearly 200 automobile accidents every day. When you think of an accident, you probably think of two  or more vehicles colliding. However, single vehicle accidents are much more common than you

might assume. The team members at Car Accident Help are trusted experts in helping the victims of Oklahoma single vehicle car accidents. 

While single car accidents may not come to mind when you think of a car crash, it’s important to know what to do if you experience one. Our team has put together a guide to help you understand single vehicle accidents, what causes them, steps to take after one, compensation after an accident, and how to find an Oklahoma single car accident attorney.


What Is a Single Vehicle Car Accident? 

A single vehicle accident is a motor vehicle crash that only involves one vehicle. This type of accident could either be the fault of the vehicle’s driver or be caused by the actions or negligence of another party. Sometimes the term “single vehicle accident” is also used to describe accidents where a driver collides with a pedestrian or cyclist. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2020 58% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents were single vehicle crashes. Additionally, they said that about one-third of all injury accidents were also single car crashes. Those numbers are significant. 

Here are a couple of examples of single vehicle accidents to help illustrate. A drunk driver drives in the southbound lane of a two-lane highway. As another car approaches, the drunk driver swerves into the northbound lane causing the other driver to swerve into the shoulder defensively and hit a tree. This illustrates how another driver might be at fault, but because their vehicle was not damaged, it is still classified as a single car wreck. 

Some single car accidents are simply caused by distracted driving. For example, a driver could be talking on the phone while leaving a parallel parking spot. They switch to “Drive” instead of “Reverse” and drive into the tree near their parking spot. 

Common Causes of Single-Car Accidents 

Plenty of single vehicle accidents are caused by factors within the driver’s control. These factors typically result in liability being assigned to the vehicle’s driver. It is assumed that the driver could have taken action to avoid the accident. It is unlikely that compensation could be recovered for accidents caused by these factors. Some of these causes of single-car accidents include: 

  • Alcohol
  • Speeding 
  • Unfavorable weather conditions (heavy rain or ice, for example) 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Distracted driving
  • Wildlife on the road 
  • Sun glare 
  • Reckless driving 

However, some single car accidents are simply not the fault of the driver involved in the crash. Poor driving is often assumed as the reason individuals have a single vehicle crash, but that assumption is unfair to drivers who have been the victim of a single car accident caused by another person’s actions or negligence. 


There are many reasonable and common causes of accidents that are unavoidable by the driver. Some of these factors include: 

  • Unsafe road defects like potholes, steep shoulder drop-offs, or seams 
  • Hazardous and/or unlawful actions of another vehicle 
  • Vehicle manufacturing defects 
  • Objects in the road like construction debris, an object falling off another vehicle, or a herd of cattle  

Steps to Take After a One-Car Crash 

If you or a loved one are involved in a one car accident, it’s important to know what steps to take immediately following the wreck. Sometimes, in the moment, it is difficult to know with certainty if the accident was due to the actions of another party or a result of the actions of the driver. Therefore, it’s important to take these steps to preserve the necessary information about the accident in the event that a case needs to be presented. 


    1. Safety first – Immediately following your single car accident, pull over out of the roadway (if you are able) to prevent creating another hazardous situation. Call 911 to alert the authorities of the accident and inform them of any injuries or hazards at the scene. You will also need to be prepared to provide information about the accident to the police officer who responds to the accident.
    2. Do not leave the accident and assess damage – It’s important that you do not leave the scene of the accident. It can feel shocking, and sometimes embarrassing, to be involved in a single-vehicle accident, but if damages were caused, leaving the scene could lead to hit-and-run charges. If someone else was the cause of the accident, you will need to stay at the scene to provide that information to the responding police officer. 
    3. Collect witness information – If anyone was present and witnessed the accident, it’s important to collect their names and contact information. Often, witness testimony is essential for developing a case if you are seeking compensation following a single-car wreck. 
    4. Photograph the environment of the accident – You will also want to use your phone camera to take photos and videos of the area where the accident took place. If the road was hazardous because of a defect, if ground was especially icy, if a guardrail was obstructing part of the road, it’s important to capture photographic evidence. 
    5. Photograph damages – If your vehicle caused any damages during the accident it’s important to photograph those damages. For example, if you hit a mailbox or fence. Additionally, you will need to take photos of the vehicle itself as well. 
    6. Report the accident – You will need to report the accident to your insurance company in a timely manner. If the accident was not your fault, make sure you do not imply or state that you are responsible for the accident. A claim will be filed for repairs and expenses.     


  • Contact a trusted Oklahoma car accident attorney – For single-vehicle accidents that were caused by someone else (or if you are questioning responsibility), it is wise to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgable personal injury attorney can consult and help you understand the process of working with insurance companies, especially if they have denied your claim. 


Compensation After a Single Vehicle Accident 

If you were involved in a single vehicle accident caused by someone else, you may be able to obtain compensation. Sometimes, receiving compensation after a single car accident is straightforward, but other times it can become very complicated and involve multiple insurance companies, appealing denied claims, attempts at reaching a settlement, and sometimes it can result in bringing a case to trial.   

Working with a trusted personal injury attorney in Oklahoma is the best way to ensure you reach the best outcome following a single vehicle accident that was not your fault. The Car Accident Help team will work to prove you are not at fault and that your claims for compensation are valid. We understand the complexities of working with insurance companies and Oklahoma laws. 

Find an Oklahoma Attorney for a Single Vehicle Wreck 

Oklahoma’s Car Accident Help team is here to assist. For the last several decades, we have been working with Oklahomans after car accidents to ensure injured victims are protected and compensated for the harm they have experienced. Reach out for a free consultation today.

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About the Author

Attorney L. Ray Maples II wrote Don't Wreck Twice with the intent of offering guidance and information to vehicle wreck victims. The book provides answers to some of the most important and frequently asked questions following an Oklahoma vehicle collision, which will be an invaluable resource to those involved in auto accidents.