If you’ve been in a car accident, you know it can be highly traumatic. However, some accidents are worse than others. One of the most dangerous types of accidents is a side impact collision.
If you’re involved in a side impact car accident, it’s essential to know what to do to keep yourself safe. Stay calm and don’t panic; then follow these steps to protect yourself and your passengers.
What Is a Side Impact?
A side impact accident, also called a T-bone collision, is a type of car accident that happens when the front of a car hits another car’s side. This type of crash is typically very violent, often resulting in serious injuries or even death.
Because of the high speed at which these accidents occur, there is often little time for either driver to react.
Causes of Drivers’ Side Impacts
Side impact accidents are some of the most dangerous types of crashes on the road, as we’ve learned from the side impact meaning. They often occur when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way or runs a red light, crashing into another vehicle’s side.
However, many other factors can contribute to a side impact collision. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs your judgment and reaction time, making it more difficult to avoid an accident.
Distracted driving is another common cause of side impact crashes; even a momentary lapse in focus can lead to a devastating crash.
Additionally, driving recklessly or aggressively increases your risk of being involved in an accident, as does driving over the speed limit or during inclement weather.
Understanding the common causes of side impact accidents can help keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Side Impact Collision: Who’s at Fault
In a side impact collision, it is not always immediately apparent who is at fault. Often, both drivers will claim that the other is guilty. Insurance companies will look at several factors to determine who is at fault, including:
- vehicle damage
- witness statements
- traffic laws
One of the most important factors is the point of impact. If the point of impact is on the driver’s side of the car, the other driver is likely at fault. However, if the point of impact is on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, the driver is probably guilty.
Another critical factor is who had the right of way. If the driver had the right of way, then it is likely that the other driver is at fault. Ultimately, determining who is at fault can be complicated. Insurance companies will carefully consider all the available evidence to decide.
Side Impact Collision Damage
In addition to the obvious danger to passengers, side impact collisions also tend to cause significant damage to the car itself. The engine and transmission are particularly vulnerable, and it is not unusual for an entire vehicle side to be caved in.
As a result, side impact collisions are often much more costly to repair than other types of accidents.
Injuries From Side Impact Collision
Due to the relative lack of protection on the sides of cars, occupants in a side-impact crash risk serious injuries. Shoulder and pelvic injuries are particularly common side impact collision injuries, as are chest injuries such as broken ribs and punctured lungs.
In some cases, the impact force can also cause broken bones or internal bleeding. Perhaps, most ominously, side-impact crashes are also a leading cause of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
Even after surviving physical injuries, many crash victims suffer long-term mental impacts such as PTSD or anxiety.
What to Do After a Side Impact Collision
If you’re unlucky enough to be in a lateral collision, there are specific steps you should take after the accident to ensure your safety and protect your rights. First, get out of the vehicle if it is safe.
Moving your vehicle out of the traffic flow will help prevent another collision and make it easier for emergency vehicles to reach you. If you are injured or trapped, wait for emergency responders to arrive.
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s crucial to have a professional check you out, so call 911. Once the police arrive, get a copy of the accident report. This will be important when filing an insurance claim and getting a side impact collision settlement.
Finally, contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will likely need some time to process your claim and may have additional instructions for you.
Then again, keep in mind that after an accident, insurance rates increase by 41%. So it’s also good to talk to a car accident lawyer after the accident and get legal advice.
People Also Ask
What happens in a side impact collision?
A side collision is a type of traffic accident that occurs when the front of a car hits another car’s side.
This type of crash can result in serious injuries, as the passengers in the struck vehicle are often unprotected from the force of impact.
Who is at fault in a side impact collision?
It depends on the situation. If one of the drivers ran a red light, that driver would be at fault. If both drivers were going at the same speed and one driver changed lanes without looking and hit the other car, that driver would be guilty.
Many factors can contribute to such a collision, so it’s impossible to say who is at fault without knowing all the details.
What is a side impact collision also known as?
A side impact collision is also called a T-bone. Yet another term for it can be a broadside collision.