T-bone crashes frequently occur at intersections controlled by traffic lights -- for instance, one vehicle tries to beat the red light and plows into another vehicle starting into the intersection on a green light. T-bone crashes involve the front of one vehicle striking the side of another vehicle at a near-perpendicular angle.
T-bones can be deadly even at low speeds. There is no crumple zone and the point of impact is mere inches away from the driver or passenger, with only a thin door and window in between. Many U.S. automakers offer side airbags on their vehicles, which offer at least some help; however, side airbags are not mandated by law.
It's been reported that 80% of serious personal injury accidents occur in intersections controlled by a traffic light.
So what can you do to protect yourself? You can minimize your risk if you follow the Four-Second Rule: if you're the first car stopped at the red light, count to 4 before going into the intersection.
The Four-Second Rule allows time for the last car on the cross street who may be trying to beat the light to clear the intersection before you start into it.
By counting to 4 before proceeding on the green, you can substantially reduce your risk of being seriously injured in a T-bone crash. And remember to look left, right and then left again during that 4 seconds, before proceeding into the intersection.
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