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Broadside Collision


Research shows that around 8,000 – 10,000 people die in broadside collisions every year, which is way more than the number of casualties involved in head-on and rear-end collisions combined.

Modern automobiles have safety features like seatbelts, bumpers, and airbags to protect passengers from rear and front-end collisions. However, not much is done to provide safety to the passengers and drivers from the sides. Some vehicles do have side curtain airbags, but most of them lack these safety features. Broadside accidents can take place even at low speeds. Such accidents generally occur at intersections where the drivers do not follow stop signs or run red lights.

St. Louis broadside collision

Common Causes of Broadside Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

One of the most common causes of broadside accidents is running red lights and stop signs. When drivers fail to obey traffic signals, they risk colliding with other vehicles that have the right of way. In most cases, the driver who ran the red light or stop sign will be found at fault for the accident.

To avoid this type of accident, it is important to always obey traffic signals and stop signs. Be sure to come to a complete stop at stop signs and wait for the signal to turn green before proceeding. If you are approaching a yellow light, slow down and prepare to stop rather than trying to beat the light.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another common cause of broadside accidents. When drivers are distracted, they may not notice other vehicles on the road or may fail to see a red light or stop sign. Common distractions include texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, and adjusting the radio or GPS.

To avoid distracted driving, it is essential to eliminate any distractions before getting behind the wheel. Put your phone on silent and out of reach, and avoid eating or drinking while driving. If you need to make a call or adjust your GPS, pull over to a safe location.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a major cause of accidents, including broadside collisions. When drivers speed, weave in and out of traffic, or engage in other reckless behavior, they put themselves and others at risk.

To avoid this type of accident, it is important to drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Stay within the speed limit and avoid weaving in and out of traffic. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, and be prepared to react if another driver does something reckless.

Failure to Yield

Drivers who fail to yield the right of way can cause broadside accidents. For example, if a driver fails to yield at a stop sign or yield sign, they may collide with another vehicle that has the right of way. Similarly, if a driver fails to yield when making a left turn, they may hit another vehicle traveling straight through the intersection.

It is important to always yield the right of way when necessary to avoid this type of accident. Be sure to come to a complete stop at stop signs and yield signs, and wait for oncoming traffic to pass before making a left turn. If you are uncertain who has the right of way, wait for the other driver to proceed before making your move.

Poor Weather Conditions

Finally, poor weather conditions can also contribute to broadside accidents. Rain, snow, ice, and fog can all make it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles on the road or to stop in time to avoid a collision.

To avoid accidents in poor weather conditions, it is essential to adjust your driving habits accordingly. Slow down and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Use your headlights to increase visibility and avoid sudden movements that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Serious injuries from broadside collisions

A side collision can cause severe injuries. The occupants may injure their heads or ears when the airbags deploy and the glass breaks. They may be seriously hit, and their neck, back, rib, shoulder, arm, hip, or leg can be injured. The passengers on the side of the car that is impacted can suffer neck, head, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and leg injuries. The riders, on the other side, are more likely to sustain head and chest injuries.

Spinal injuries are also common in these accidents. The impact of the crash causes whiplash, due to which the discs and nerve roots in the spine get injured. It also causes concussions.

Where do broadside collisions most commonly occur?

Broadside collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, most commonly occur at intersections. These accidents occur when drivers fail to adhere to stop signs or traffic lights, causing one vehicle to impact the side of another.

Who is At Fault in a Broadside Collision?

Determining fault in a broadside collision primarily involves identifying which driver failed to adhere to road safety rules. Typically, these accidents occur at intersections and are often the result of one driver’s failure to yield the right of way. Here are some common scenarios where fault is generally determined:

  1. Running Red Lights or Stop Signs: The driver who disregards traffic signals or stop signs and proceeds into an intersection illegally is usually at fault. Evidence from traffic cameras or eyewitness testimonies can be crucial in these situations.
  2. Failure to Yield: When making turns, especially left turns, drivers must yield to oncoming traffic. If a collision occurs because a driver turned without yielding, they will likely be deemed at fault.
  3. Distracted or Reckless Driving: If a driver is found to have been distracted (e.g., using a phone) or driving recklessly (e.g., speeding, aggressive driving), they can be held responsible for causing the accident.
  4. Poor Road Conditions or Signage: Occasionally, factors like obscured traffic signs, poorly maintained roads, or malfunctioning traffic lights can contribute to an accident. In such cases, a municipality or road service might be partly at fault.

In any broadside collision, it is essential to gather all possible evidence and witness accounts. An experienced car accident attorney can help analyze the circumstances of the crash to establish fault and navigate the complexities of car accident claims. This ensures that victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and damages.

Concussions are common in Broadside Collisions

A concussion is a blow to the head that changes the normal functioning of the brain. It does not always make a person unconscious, but it can cause paralysis as the brain swells or starts bleeding externally. Concussions can have different degrees of severity.

A mild concussion typically only causes confusion, and the person is unable to think in a clear manner for less than 15 minutes. A moderate concussion brings about a loss of memory along with confusion for more than 15 minutes. A severe concussion generally leaves a person unconscious. After he regains consciousness, he cannot remember things and has trouble thinking or moving.

Concussions take place when the brain hits the interior of the skull rapidly or it is twisted and rotated due to blows or blunt trauma. A side impact collision often causes such concussions.

Due to such brain injuries, the axons may swell or stretch, which can destroy their capacity to send or receive signals and communicate with the other parts of the body. If medical attention is not given, it may cause chronic pain, headaches, loss of coordination, fatigue, depression, vertigo, anxiety, epilepsy, dizziness, eye pain, blurred vision, comprehension and reading problems, memory loss, and attention disorders.

To get relief, a person should seek medical attention immediately. If a brain injury is not treated immediately, it may damage the brain permanently.

St. Louis Broadside Accident Lawyer

Broadside accidents can be dangerous and even deadly. However, by understanding the common causes and taking steps to avoid them, you can reduce your risk of being involved in this type of accident. Remember to obey traffic signals and stop signs, eliminate distractions while driving, drive defensively, yield the right of way when necessary, and adjust your driving habits in poor weather conditions.

If you have been involved in a broadside accident, it is important to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. They can also help you recover compensation for your injuries and damages.

Additionally, it is important to seek medical attention after a broadside accident. Even if you do not feel injured, getting checked out by a medical professional is a good idea to ensure that you have not sustained any internal injuries or other hidden injuries.

Injured in a Broadside Collision?

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Updated: May 14, 2024