Car-to-car frontal collisions with a small overlap

Small-overlap frontal impacts involving passenger cars have again become a topic of discussion among specialists, and more recently among the public at large.

In Germany also, the question of how relevant small-overlap frontal impact collisions are, and what the consequences of this type of collision are, is currently being raised. In an attempt to clarify this, the UDV has carried out a comprehensive set of analyses using its accident database (UDB).

Frontal collisions with a small overlap account for around 15% of all car accidents and 25% of all car accidents involving a frontal collision. In accidents with a small overlap, the car collides with another car in 52% of the cases. Collisions with rigid obstacles (trees, posts) are very uncommon (1%). It thus emerges that car accidents involving a small overlap are at least as relevant as accidents involving a large overlap in the damage claims of insurers following car accidents. This relevance increases or decreases depending on the reference level selected: In terms of fatalities, the relevance of small-overlap car accidents is low. In terms of serious injuries (AIS 2+) to the lower extremities, the relevance of small-overlap car accidents is high.