Broadside collisions are also known as T-bone accidents because they involve one driver barreling into the side of another and forming the shape of a T in the process. These are exceptionally dangerous accidents, and most broadside collisions commonly occur in intersections – where things are about as dangerous as they can be to begin with. If you are injured when broadsided by a negligent driver, you need to consult with an experienced car accident attorney.
Vulnerability at the Car’s Side
Every car accident is dangerous, but when you are hit full-on from the side, the energy generated by the impact can cause serious injury to you and your loved ones. This is because the sides of our vehicles have no buffer zone, sometimes called crumple zone, such as that provided by the trunk at the rear of your car and the hood at the front. Further, while head-on and rear-end collisions are unlikely to flip the struck vehicle, broadside accidents are more likely to roll over.
A note about Intersections
Intersections – in and of themselves – are not dangerous places, but when you mix in traffic that is traveling in every conceivable direction and liberally sprinkle in turns, U-Turns, and wide-ranging driver negligence, you have a virtual recipe for dangerous accidents, including broadside accidents. When you break down what goes on in intersections into its basic parts, it is no wonder that they are hotspots for T-bone accidents. Consider the following:
- In intersections, drivers must pay adequate attention to where they are going in relation to all traffic signs, lights, and signals (or to navigate through without the aid of these safety devices).
- In intersections, drivers must gauge when and if it is safe to proceed, which can involve making snap decisions (and any form of negligence can render this decision-making flawed).
- In intersections, drivers must gauge the speed, distance, and intentions of other motorists, which makes the already complicated task of driving safely that much more so. It is worth noting that it is especially difficult to accurately gauge the speed and distance of oncoming motorcycles.
Suffice to say that there is a lot going on in intersections, and broadside accidents are not uncommon when drivers fail to proceed with the necessary caution.
Traveling forward through the Intersection
Many people believe that if you are traveling forward through an intersection on a green light, you are golden, but this is not how it works. While a green light does beckon you forward, it does not give you carte blanche to proceed without paying careful attention. Anything could happen in an intersection that can require a motorist to either slow or stop his or her vehicle, and not being prepared to do so can lead to dangerous broadside accidents. Common complications include,
- An accident that occurs in the intersection
- A motorist who, in his or her attempt to turn, gets stuck in the intersection after the light turns red
- A distracted or otherwise negligent motorist who does something that he or she shouldn’t and causes mayhem to ensue in the intersection
Drivers who are traveling forward on a green light can be partially or even fully at fault for a broadside accident.
Turning Left across the Intersection
Left turns in intersections are obviously one of the riskiest moves, which makes doing so with the appropriate level of caution paramount. When you make a left turn, you cross several lanes of traffic and travel in between vehicles moving in every direction. This leaves you vulnerable to being hit broadside by any motorist in your midst who is not paying adequate attention or who is driving unsafely in some other capacity.
It’s important to also point out that drivers making left turns when it isn’t safe (or even legal in some instances) to do so can cause broadside accidents – even when they are operating the vehicle that is broadsided. It is more typical, however, for the motorist who does the broadsiding to be at fault. Always put your turn signal on well in advance to warn other drivers.
Making a Right Turn
When you make a right turn, you prepare to leave the intersection, but you enter another lane of traffic, which comes with its own risks. While right turns aren’t closely associated with broadside accidents, they can certainly contribute to or cause such accidents when the conditions are right.
At the root of most broadside accidents is driver negligence, which comes in all the following dangerous varieties:
- Distraction: Distraction is a biggie when it comes to broadside accidents. When a driver doesn’t have his or her full attention trained on traveling through an intersection safely, it can lead to serious trouble, including broadside accidents.
- Impairment: When you add a drunk driver into the mix at a busy intersection, you set the stage for life-threatening accidents, and T-bone accidents are but one deadly example.
- Excess Speed: Motorists who plow through intersections at high speed ensure that they don’t have enough room on the road or time to react safely to whatever is happening in the intersection, making dangerous broadside accidents that much more likely.
- Exhaustion: The fact that too little sleep can leave motorists with some of the same physical and cognitive impairments experienced by drunk drivers should tell you everything you need to know about just how dangerous drowsy drives are.
- Aggression: Aggressive drivers tend to proceed as if the intersection ahead is theirs for the taking, and in so doing, they endanger everyone in their midst.
Where Do Broadside Collisions Most Commonly Occur
Statistics show that intersections are very common location for broadside collisions. Further, passengers sitting in smaller vehicles in side impact collisions sustained more serious injuries to include death.
Many serious injuries that take place at intersections do not have sufficient traffic lights or signals. Even when traffic control measures such as traffic lights are present drivers will ignore those lights or attempt to speed through a yellow light striking another vehicle broadside.
Broadside collisions can also occur frequently when a vehicle is attempted to cross lanes without keeping a proper outlook. These types of accidents are seen when a car or truck is making a left hand turn in front of other traffic. Parking lots can also be a location for broadside collisions or at private homes when a driver is backing out of a parking spot collides with the side of another car or truck at its rear.
It is very important that all occupants of a vehicle wear seat belts to avoid more serious injury in a broadside collision. Being hit from the side can also cause the vehicle to roll over. The seatbelt is very important to prevent death or catastrophic injury. If the impact is sever enough particularly with a larger vehicle hitting a smaller vehicle a seatbelt may not protect the occupant from serious injury or death. Children placed in appropriate car seats may also help to blunt the impact of a side collision with another vehicle.
Broadside collisions of all types are common and often result in more serious injury because of the location of the impact.
An Experienced Kentucky/Tennessee Car/Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers take calls 24/7 and travel to our injured clients throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. With over forty five years of experience in representing the injured, Flora Templeton Stuart provides personal representation for her clients to ensure that they receive maximum recovery.
This is because at our firm, you get representation by the top attorney who is part of your community with offices throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. If you have been injured in a broadside collision, call us today at (888) 782-9090, so we can help get you the damages you deserve.