Some of the most serious and deadly automobile accident cases that we handle in the Miami-Dade area and beyond are broadside crash cases. A broadside accident, also referred to as a T-bone or side impact crash, typically occurs at intersections where one car will hit the other “broad side,” or at a right angle. This potentially fatal scenario can happen anywhere however, are often more serious when they occur at four-way intersections. Oftentimes, side impact crashes – due to a combination of speed, severity and the directness of impact – seriously injure and sometimes kill the driver and/or the passengers in the victim’s vehicle.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), our car accident attorneys in Miami find that more than 30,000 people in the United States were killed and over 2 million injured in traffic accidents – many of which involved broadside crashes. Of those injured, many suffered from serious back, neck and head trauma as a result of their accident. With this in mind, why do broadside impacts result in such severe and potentially fatal injuries? Specifically, when a side impact crash occurs, a vehicle is often knocked off course and typically becomes the subject of another, more severe collision. To illustrate, the broadsided vehicle is often pushed to the side, either towards the side of a road (potentially striking guardrails, telephone poles, and parked vehicles) or in the direct line of oncoming traffic (where head on collisions are likely).
An additional factor that increases the likelihood of severe injuries is the proximity between the specific point of impact and the driver or passenger of a vehicle. Meaning, there is much more distance between a driver/passenger and the front or back of a vehicle than there is between a person and a car door. This translates into a very minute amount of protection that is afforded to victims. Keep in mind that even though some vehicles are equipped with side impact air bags and crumple zones to absorb some of the force of the impact, it could still result in serious harm, especially when high speeds are involved.
In light of the above, what are the most common causes of side impact collisions? They are as follows:
1. Failure to yield. Sometimes, motorists fail to yield at intersections, resulting in devastating broadside crashes. Perhaps the yield sign is not placed in a way that makes it clear to drivers. Or, the driver or drivers were not paying attention, leading to a broadside crash. Sometimes driver’s believe that there is no one coming and are just plain wrong.
2. Distracted driving. In many states, including Florida, it is illegal to text and drive however, it continues to cause serious side impact and other types of dangerous accidents. Keep in mind that although text messaging can cause a driver to become distracted, there are a litany of other distraction-related accidents that can occur, such as from eating, talking to passengers, talking on a cell phone, fidgeting with a car radio, or attempting to pick something up that was dropped.
3. Impaired driving. Drunk and impaired driving increases the likelihood of a driver failing to see an oncoming vehicle, potentially resulting in a serious broadside crash. Whether due to alcohol or drugs, impaired driving is extremely hazardous and often has fatal consequences for all drivers and passengers involved.
4. Poor road visibility. At intersections, people are often coming and going in several different directions, both during the day and at night. Poor visibility, whether due to blocked signage, bad weather or overgrown shrubbery, can lead to side impact and other severe types of accidents. So if faced with impaired vision at an intersection, pull up slowly until you have a clear, unobstructed view.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a broadside collision in Florida, please contact our Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-888-499-9700 or 305-595-2400 for a FREE Consultation. We are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service Let the highly seasoned legal professionals at Greenberg Stone and Urbano ease your burdens and fight for the money you deserve. We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.