Car accidents can range from relatively minor to severe. Sometimes, vehicles crash into each other head-on or from the side, and other times, they hardly touch. Every accident situation is different, depending on the level of damage, injuries, and potential risks involved.
Rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, and T-bone accidents are some of the most common accidents that can be extremely serious. However, that does not mean these are the only crashes you should worry about.
Less common types of collisions, such as sideswipe accidents, can be equally dangerous. While a sideswipe collision does not result in a high impact between two vehicles, as in most common accidents, the aftermath can be catastrophic.
Sideswipe collisions occur when two cars moving in the same or opposite directions hit each other along their sides. These accidents typically occur when vehicles are traveling parallel to each other, and one or both cars drift into the adjacent lane.
Statistically, sideswipe collisions account for approximately 5% of the about six million motor vehicle accidents that occur every year in the United States. According to the National Safety Commission, nearly 27,000 injuries and over 2,500 fatalities are reported each year due to sideswipes.
Several things can make a vehicle drift into the wrong lane while traveling in the opposite direction with another vehicle. The most common factors include the following:
It is crucial to practice safe lane switch techniques such as checking blind spots, using turn signals correctly, and carefully judging the distance and speed of their vehicles before switching lanes to avoid sideswipe accidents.
You can also avoid a sideswipe collision by following all the traffic rules when changing lanes. If you are on a multi-lane road, pay attention to any vehicles you think might drift into your lane.
When drivers are distracted by any of these activities, they may drift into the wrong lane and sideswipe the vehicle next to them. To avoid distracted driving, practice safer driving habits like putting your phone away or on silent mode before driving.
Before hitting the road, take care of any necessary tasks, such as selecting music and setting up temperature controls. You should also avoid multitasking or doing any activity that may divert your attention from driving. It is also advisable to take breaks and limit passenger distractions.
Drowsy driving can significantly impair a driver’s ability to focus and make sound decisions, increasing the risk of a sideswipe accident. A tired driver may experience the following:
To prevent driver fatigue, getting enough sleep before operating a vehicle and taking frequent breaks during long trips is vital. Avoiding driving during times when you would normally be sleeping would also help.
It is also advisable to avoid consuming alcohol or medications that may cause tiredness when driving. If you experience fatigue while driving, finding a safe place to rest or take a break is highly recommended.
Sideswipe collisions can have various consequences, depending on the circumstances of the incident. The biggest risk of this accident is that you or the other driver can lose control of the vehicle, potentially veering off the road and hitting pedestrians, objects, or other hazards.
Sideswipe collisions can also result in damage to the vehicles involved, such as scratches, dents, and shattered windows or mirrors. While sideswipes generally have a lower risk of causing severe injuries than T-bones or head-on collisions, they can still cause significant injuries. Common injuries from this type of accident include bruises, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and broken bones.
Sideswipe accidents can have various effects, including minor to severe injuries that can result in pain, discomfort, and the need for medical treatment. They can also lead to emotional and psychological distress and disruption to an individual’s daily life.
These accidents can result in significant financial burdens. Medical expenses such as medications, hospital stays, rehabilitation costs, and emergency treatments can quickly pile up. A car accident attorney can investigate your accident, provide reliable legal guidance, and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a Knoxville car accident due to another person’s negligence, The Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III can help you pursue the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. Call us at (865) 558-8030 for a free consultation with our lead attorney, G. Turner Howard III, to get a case evaluation. You can also contact us online to learn more about our legal services.