T-bone, or broadside, accidents occur when the front end of one car collides with the side of another, forming a T shape. These types of collisions are most common in intersections, but can occur in any situation where vehicles are traveling in different or changing directions.
The highest risk of injury is posed when the turning vehicle hits the driver’s-side door or passenger doors of the other car. Any wreck that involves these areas is particularly dangerous because of the reduced distance between the driver or passengers and the colliding car.
Situations that Commonly Cause T-Bone Accidents
Driving down a regular two-lane road or even on a highway wouldn’t necessarily open your car’s sides up to risk of impact unless something went very wrong. Intersections hold the highest risk for T-bone accidents because cars are traveling perpendicular to each other.
If a driver is distracted, incapacitated, or just doesn’t understand the rules of the road, things can get bad very quickly. Here are a few situations where these accidents are most common:
Unfortunately, you don’t always get a green arrow for every left turn you have to make. Whether you’re in an intersection or trying to pull into a side road or shopping center, left turns yield to oncoming traffic.
Understanding how much space you need to make your turn, and being aware of vehicles heading in opposite directions is incredibly important. Whether the turning vehicle hits the side of the oncoming vehicle or vice versa, these wrecks can be very dangerous for everyone involved.
Running Stop Signs or Red Lights
Not being aware of the changing lights or upcoming road signs can result in T-bone accidents, as well. Even if you’re simply a driver speeding up to make a yellow light, it is important to remember that not everyone is watching. One person’s reckless driving, combined with another person’s distraction can result in a horrible crash.
Right-of-way confusion comes into play in traffic circles (or roundabouts), and when a driver is attempting to make a left turn across an intersection while another vehicle is trying to make that same right turn. When a vehicle approaches an intersection to make a right turn on red, they must yield to any cars coming in the opposite direction presented with a green left turn arrow. They may turn on red if and when there is enough room for them to safely do so.
A similar rule stands for traffic circles. Any vehicle entering the traffic circle must yield to vehicles already within the traffic circle. Failure to follow these rules could result in severe injuries to all parties.
Unique Injury Risks of T-Bone Accidents
Because of the zone of impact in T-bone collisions, risk of severe injury is higher than it is in most other types of crashes. There is much more space between the driver and the front and back bumpers of the car than there is between them and the door.
T-bone accidents can result in such injuries as:
- Broken hip, leg, arm, and ribs along the side closest to the impact
- Severe head injuries
- Ear injuries
- Whiplash, broken, or sprained neck or back
The seatbelt does very little for someone involved in a T-bone accident because of the direction of impact. The oncoming vehicle, plus the window glass, and the deploying airbags all have the potential to cause significant injury.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a T-bone or broadside accident and has sustained injuries of any sort, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Cohen & Sinowski, P.C. today.