Side impact car accidents can result in severe damage to the vehicle and also severe injuries to the occupants. Unlike front or rear-end impacts, side impact accidents do not offer as much protection from the colliding vehicle for the driver and passengers of the vehicle. You may hear side impact crashes referred to as t-bone or broadside accidents, and they most often take place in intersections. Because of the severity of side impact crashes, victims of these types of accidents can have serious, and even fatal, injuries that change their lives and the lives of their family members forever.
Side impact crashes are considered one of the most dangerous types of auto accidents that take place. These accidents are responsible for over 20% of all vehicle accident fatalities and 25% of non-fatal injury accidents. Although vehicle safety is improving with improvements in side-impact air bags, occupants can still be vulnerable, especially when higher speeds are involved.
Causes of Side Impact Crashes
Side impact crashes most often take place in intersections and are typically the result of a driver failing to yield. This can happen when a driver runs a red light or does not stop at a stop sign. While these can happen at low speeds they tend to be more dangerous when higher speeds are involved. For example, a driver speeding up to make it through an intersection before the light changes. Some common scenarios in which a side impact accident may take place include:
- Left hand turns – Vehicles that are in the process of turning left can be impacted from the side by oncoming vehicles that are required to yield. Alternatively, drivers that turn left can impact an oncoming vehicle if they fail to yield, for example, at an unprotected traffic light.
- Yellow and red traffic lights – Drivers that increase their speed to try and make a light that is turning from yellow to red can cause serious side impact accidents.
- Running a stop sign or stop light – Distracted drivers that do not stop at a traffic light controlled intersection can cause side impact crashes in vehicles crossing through the intersection at the same time.
- Uncontrolled intersections – Uncontrolled intersections are one of the most dangerous areas for side impact accidents and are typically the result of a driver who fails to slow or yield to crossing traffic.
- Highway accidents – Although most side impact accidents take place in intersections it is not uncommon for them to also happen on a highway. These accidents can be the result of another driver sideswiping your vehicle either by driving recklessly or losing control of their vehicle.
Side Impact Crash Injuries
Side impact crashes can cause serious injuries to the victims involved. Although those who are seated on the side of the vehicle that is struck are more vulnerable, all occupants can be in danger of injury in a side impact collision. These injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spine
- Head injuries
- Bone fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
Due to the serious nature of these injuries it is not uncommon for victims of side impact crashes to need extensive medical attention and care to recover. Additionally, some injuries may not be apparent right away or may become more severe than when they were first diagnosed after the accident.
Fresno Car Accident Attorney
Having an experienced car accident attorney can help ensure you are properly represented and that the victims of the accident are fully compensated for all aspects of their injuries, including future implications. Side impact accidents can have a significant toll on you and your family and working with a car accident lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected. If you have questions regarding side impact car accidents or would like to discuss your legal rights following a car accident, please contact us today.