Broadside collisions, also called T-bone crashes or side-impact crashes, are almost always the result of negligence. Unfortunately, broadside crashes are one of the most dangers types of motor vehicle crashes that can occur because the side of the vehicle lacks the protection of the crumple zones contained in the front and rear-end of the vehicle. Because the side of the vehicle is unable to absorb much energy from the impact of the oncoming vehicle, occupants can receive a significant portion of that impact causing serious injuries and fatalities.
What are some of the causes of broadside crashes?
Broadside crashes occur when the front end of one vehicle collided with the side of another vehicle. Broadside crashes can sometimes happen when the striking vehicle is moving fast, possibly after having run a red light. Here are a few examples of the circumstances that can lead to T-bone crashes:
- Drunk, drugged or drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Running a red light or blowing past a stop sign
- Reckless driving
- Poor weather conditions with limited visibility
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that about 25% of traffic fatalities were caused by T-bone crashes.
Intersections are where broadside wrecks often occur
Intersections are where many side-impact crashes occur, but they can happen anywhere when one driver fails to yield the right of way to another driver, or when a driver enters an intersection when it is not their turn to do so. Running a red light or stop sign might be one of the biggest contributors to broadside crashes.
How modified comparative negligence works in Tennessee
Because many broadside crashes may be the result of negligence on the part of both drivers, the principle of comparative negligence comes into play in T-bone crashes. Tennessee uses modified comparative negligence, which means that the damages will be awarded based on each party’s degree of fault in causing the car accident.
For example, vehicle A was caught in an intersection because of slow moving traffic ahead. While they were stuck in traffic and unable to move, the driver of vehicle A grabbed their cell phone and notices a new text message. They clicked to open the message when vehicle B slammed into the side of vehicle A because the driver did not notice that the traffic ahead had begun to move while they were reading text messages on their phone. In this case, the court would assign a percentage of fault to vehicle A, for using a hand-held mobile device while driving, and because they were distracted, failed to notice that a space had opened ahead to allow them to move out of the intersection before the light changes. Vehicle B would be assigned the remaining percentage of fault for crashing into Vehicle A.
T-bone crashes are dangerous for drivers when the oncoming car crashes into the driver’s side of the vehicle. Car doors provide so little protection for the tremendous g-forces in a crash. Depending on the speed that the striking vehicle was traveling, and the angle of impact, even with driver’s side airbags, drivers can be severely injured and require extensive medical attention if they survive the crash.
A broadside crash is nearly impossible to avoid. The best any driver can do is to drive with caution, be vigilant when moving through intersections, and always yield the right of way when appropriate.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our experienced Chattanooga car accident injury lawyers diligently fight to secure compensation for clients injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of another driver. If you have suffered a serious injury in a car crash, call our office today at 423-799-3532 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all the surrounding counties.