What Makes Sideswipe Collisions So Dangerous?

Published on Jul 9, 2024 at 7:23 pm in Car Accidents.

What makes sideswipe collisions so dangerous?

There is no such thing as a “good” car accident. Whether it is a rear-end, head-on, or T-bone collision, these accidents cause severe injuries and costly damage.

Data collected by the National Safety Council (NSC) suggests that sideswipe collisions account for 8.2% of all car accident fatalities. Although not as common as the other types of wrecks, there are many reasons why sideswipe collisions are so dangerous. Let’s explore why that’s the case.

Understanding Why Sideswipe Accidents Occur

Sideswipe collisions are not the same as T-bone accidents. The former occurs when two cars traveling in the same or opposite direction graze each other along their sides. The most common cause of this type of crash is when one car drifts out of its lane and makes impact with another vehicle.

Here are some of the many reasons why a sideswipe collision can occur:

Lane Change Errors

Every motorist understands that they drive with a blind spot. The NSC defines blind spots as the following: “Blind spots are any areas around a vehicle that a driver cannot easily see. Typically, these are the edges just behind and to the side of the vehicle, but they can show up anywhere a driver’s vision is blocked.”

When a driver doesn’t check their blind spot or miscalculates how fast another car approaches while switching lanes, it can trigger a sideswipe collision. Utilizing turn signals for every lane change is one way to reduce the risk of a sideswipe.

Distracted Driving

The best way to describe distracted driving is any activity or distraction that causes you to take a hand off the wheel or your eyes off the road. How many of these common distractions are you guilty of?

  • Texting or using a cell phone
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting dashboard controls such as radio and climate
  • Using a mirror to apply make-up or comb hair

Any one of those distractions could cause you to drift into another lane accidentally. That is why you must proactively avoid becoming distracted, even when driving on an isolated highway.

Drowsy Driving

You don’t have to be driving at night to experience drowsy driving. It can happen at any time you are fatigued and get behind the wheel of your car. It is a condition that often manifests as microsleeps. That is where you fall asleep for a few seconds. That is all the time you need to swerve into a lane other than your own and become entangled in a collision.

Driving Under the Influence

Anyone who drives impaired because of drug or alcohol loses focus and has diminished reaction time, which can increase your risk of having a sideswipe accident.

Adverse Consequences Associated With Sideswipes

Sideswipe collisions can cause both property damage and physical harm to vehicle occupants and pedestrians and even cause wrongful deaths. Let’s delve a bit deeper into the potential adverse consequences associated with these preventable accidents:

Sideswipe Wrecks and Property Damage

A minor sideswipe collision can cause dents and scratches on a car that can be repaired. There can also be damage to side view mirrors and cracked windows. More severe sideswipes can result in a vehicle being declared a total loss. That happens when there is a misalignment of the axles. There can also be damage to the car’s suspension system and tires.

In collisions where speed is a factor, the sideswipe impact can lead to a rollover of one or both the cars. When there is a loss of control, the cars can collide with other cars in a chain reaction accident. Those could mean added sideswipe or T-Bone collisions.

Sideswipe Injuries

As for injuries, those can be either impact or penetrating injuries, the latter of which involves anything that enters the victim’s skin or soft tissue, such as broken glass or other sharp objects. An impact injury can result in a severed spinal cord, broken bones, whiplash, contusions, bruising, or internal organ damage. It can also cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can impact a victim’s quality of life.

Any one of those injuries can result in the need for ongoing physical therapy. Additionally, chronic pain issues might be a factor in determining noneconomic damages.

Determining Liability for Your Baltimore Auto Accident

As with any type of car accident, determining liability is vital for the victim to receive compensation. At Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, you can expect us to conduct a thorough investigation into the merits of your sideswipe collision with the goal of determining who breached the duty of care they were responsible for upholding.

The insight we glean from that investigation will help us build a strong case that aids us in recovering compensation on your behalf if you were seriously hurt in a Baltimore wreck. Call to discuss the specifics of your sideswipe collision today.






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