What Passengers Need to Know About the Dangers of Side-Impact Collisions
Side-impact, T-bone, or broadside—whatever you call it, a collision where one car slams into the side of another can be devastating. Depending on which side of the car is hit, this type of crash can seriously endanger the driver and passengers.
Many of these crashes occur in busy intersections when drivers fail to stop at traffic lights or stop signs. When a driver blows through a stop sign or red light, everyone in the intersection is put at great risk for a side-impact collision.
The Seriousness of a Side-Impact Collision
Some of the injuries that occur in broadside collisions include neck and back injuries, herniated discs, nerve injuries, internal organ injuries, head injury, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis. The type of injury can be worse, of course, depending on the speed of the crash and the type of vehicles involved. For example, if a large truck or Sport Utility Vehicle smashes into the side of a small passenger car while traveling at a high speed, the results can be deadly.
Although side airbags and seat belts can help save lives and reduce the risk for injury in a T-bone crash, they don’t prevent all injuries from occurring. This is because the side of a car doesn’t absorb as much energy from a crash as the front of the vehicle does. The truth of the matter is that there is just more protection on the front and rear than on the side of cars.
Because there is a small amount of space between the side of the car and occupants, side-impact collisions continue to be looked at by engineers for a way to improve vehicle occupant safety. However, everyone in the auto industry knows that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) only tests the driver side for crashworthiness ratings. As a result, it appears that some automakers have tried to get away with only improving side crashworthiness by adding structural reinforcements on the driver side but not the passenger side. Now IIHS will begin randomly testing the crashworthiness on the passenger side to help keep occupants as safe as possible and keep automakers honest.
If you have been harmed in a side-impact crash due to someone else’s carelessness, you should speak with an accident attorney about your potential personal injury claim. You may have a claim against another driver or the automaker. To find out about your legal rights, call us at (301) 942-9118 for a free consultation.