Side Impact Collisions


“Side-impact crashes can be particularly deadly because a vehicle’s flanks have minimal material to absorb crash energy and protect occupants.”

Take a look at your vehicle and think about it. If someone hits from the back or the front, there is a great deal of car between you and the other vehicle. However, there isn’t that much metal between you and the other car on the sides. If you are the victim in a side impact collision, the likelihood of severe injury is much higher.

In fact, the numbers of fatalities from side impact collisions make up more than 25% of the total number of fatalities in the United States. In other words, one in four car accident fatalities in the US occurs during side impact collisions.

The Collisions

Most of the side impact collisions that do occur happen at intersections and in parking lots. However, they can also occur when two vehicles come too close to each other on a multi-lane highway.

By far, the most common side impact collision is one that most people call “T-Bone”. This is when the front end of a car hits the side of another car. These are also the most dangerous of the types of side impact collisions because the car is coming in direct contact with the door where a driver or passenger could be sitting.

Side impact collisions occur for a number of different reasons. One of the most common is running red lights. If a vehicle doesn’t stop at a red light and a vehicle is traveling through a green light at the same time, a collision is imminent. Often, drivers that cause these types of accidents are:

  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Texting or talking on the cell phone while driving
  • Trying to race through a yellow light before it turns red, and
  • Negligent of traffic signs and regulations.

There are a number of common injuries related to side impact collisions, including:

  • Spinal Cord Trauma
  • Head Injuries
  • Damage to Internal Organs
  • Contusions
  • Burns
  • Neck Injuries
  • Back Injuries
  • Brain Injuries
  • Death

As you can see, the injuries caused by side impact collisions can be extreme and can even lead to lifelong problems.

The Solutions

Most people think that airbags will protect them from side impact collisions. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Airbags cannot control how far the offending vehicle intrudes on the car. In other words, airbags will not help much if the vehicle hits at a high rate of speed.

Airbags do help, but vehicles with higher side impact crash test ratings will be safer. That’s because these vehicles are sturdier on the side and can withstand harder collisions.

Even if better solutions are available, side impact collisions can still result in injury and thousands of dollars’ worth of expenses. It seems there will always be negligent and distracted drivers. That problem is becoming worse since more and more people have cell phones that can be very distracting when driving. This means there will always be the problem of side impact collisions.

If you have been in a side impact collision in San Diego or you have a loved one who has been, then you may be entitled to compensation. Someone is at fault for your injuries and vehicle damage. You need to make sure they are held responsible for their actions. The only way to do this is to choose an experienced accident lawyer who will know how to fight for your rights.

Call the attorneys at Thompson | Wedeking to discuss your case and to determine if you should take legal action.