A common type of accident that happens across the United States is broadside collisions. These crashes create a high risk for severe injuries and even death when they happen. However, many broadside accidents result from driver inattention or negligence and are preventable with additional caution.
What is a broadside collision?
Broadside collision is the name of a particular type of car accident where the front of one vehicle hits the side of another car. Commonly known as a T-bone accident or side-impact crash, broadside collisions can be particularly dangerous.
The person sitting on the receiving side of the impact usually suffers serious injuries. Still, most people involved in a broadside collision will suffer some kind of injury due to the violent jerking motion of the crash.
Most broadside collisions happen at intersections
Broadside collisions most commonly occur at or in intersections. This is because the design of intersections creates the perfect environment for a broadside collision, especially when drivers are not paying attention.
When multiple vehicles cross paths at an intersection, it creates a high risk of a broadside crash. Although intersections are designed to create the safest environment possible for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and anyone else using the intersection, they are considered the most dangerous place on the road.
However, broadside crashes can also occur anywhere on the road and are especially common where an alleyway meets a road and inside parking lots.
Why Do Broadside Collisions Happen At Intersections?
Points of Conflict
Intersections are points of conflict, according to The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). With so many different kinds of traffic coming together at intersections, a point of conflict is created, which causes crashes. The FHWA says about 25 percent of traffic fatalities and 50 percent of all traffic injuries are associated with intersections each year in the United States.
Broadside collisions at intersections are often the result of the designed path and process for making left-hand turns. As a result, drivers making a left-hand turn put themselves into the course of oncoming traffic, making a broadside collision more likely to happen.
In some situations, drivers must yield to oncoming traffic before making their left-hand turn, putting the driver making the left-hand turn in a dangerous spot for a broadside collision. As a result, many cities are now considering moving toward U-turn measures to complete certain left-hand turns to reduce accidents.
Lack Of Adequate Signals
Many broadside accidents at intersections are the result of a lack of proper signs or signals. The FHWY reports that unsignalized intersections are the most common intersections. When drivers do not have the right signs or signals to tell them how to proceed through the intersection, broadside crashes can occur.
What Are The Causes Of A Broadside Collision?
Most broadside collisions result from driver negligence.
Some of the most common causes of broadside crashes include:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – When a driver enters oncoming traffic, they are responsible for making sure the area is clear and safe for them to join. If they do not take the time to yield the right-of-way, they could hit another car, causing a broadside crash.
- Running a red light – Sometimes, drivers see a yellow light and speed up to avoid missing the light. Sometimes, drivers deliberately do not stop at a red light for one reason or another. If a driver fails to stop at a red light, they are at an increased risk for a broadside accident.
- Not stopping at a four-way stop – Some drivers may not know what they need to do at a four-way stop, while other drivers simply disregard traffic rules and roll through a four-way without stopping. When this happens, it creates an ideal situation for this type of accident.
- Driving while intoxicated – Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs tend to disregard traffic signals and other rules of the road completely. Drivers who are intoxicated also experience reduced reaction time, which can lead to a broadside collision.
- Distracted driving – When drivers are distracted, they are not paying attention to the road and any possible changes or interferences in front of them. Distracted drivers can often miss important information, leading to an accident.
- Speeding – Sometimes, when drivers are going too fast, they cannot stop in time for a stop sign or changing light. When this happens, they increase the chance of entering into oncoming traffic and causing a broadside crash.
- Lack of visibility – Drivers who cannot clearly see through the conditions are at risk of making unsafe decisions. When visibility is reduced, all drivers are at risk of being in a broadside crash.
How can I prevent a broadside collision?
The best way to prevent a broadside collision is to use enhanced caution while driving, especially through an intersection.
Additionally, you can lower the likelihood of a broadside crash by:
- Stopping at all red lights and stop signs
- Obeying the speed limit
- Slowing down when weather conditions limit visibility
- Following all traffic signals
- Not counting on other drivers to follow traffic rules or stop signs
- Paying close attention to the road
Who Is At fault In A Broadside Accident?
The fault for a broadside collision depends on the specific circumstances of the crash. Generally, the driver who enters traffic without the right-of-way or breaks a traffic law will be at fault in a broadside crash.
Texas looks at negligence when deciding fault in a broadside accident. This means that the person who did not use a reasonable amount of care will usually be the person at fault. Texas CIV PRAC & REM § 33.001 applies a percentage of liability to both parties in a broadside crash.
Do I Need A Car Accident Lawyer If A Broadside Collision Hurts Me?
For divers in broadside crashes, injuries are often severe and leave long-lasting damage. After a broadside crash, drivers can work with a car accident lawyer to build a claim for compensation that includes all losses now and into the future. Contact a personal injury attorney today to learn more about how they can help.