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Where Do Broadside Collisions Most Commonly Occur & Why They Happen?

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Broadside accidents, also called T-bone accidents, are some of the most dangerous car crashes. Broadside collision happens when one car hits the side of another vehicle, so they resemble a T-shape.

These accidents are among the most dangerous because there’s less protection on the side of the vehicle. 

Schmidt & Clark lawyers have dealt with numerous broadside collisions over two decades. Our lawyers will explain where broadside collisions often occur and what causes them.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Broadside accidents are considered the most dangerous, especially for the smaller vehicle involved in the crash.
  • The most common place where broadside collisions take place is at an intersection.
  • Several factors cause broadside crashes, such as human error, faulty traffic control devices, and more.

Where Do Broadside Collisions Most Commonly Occur?

A collision between two cars on road Broadside collisions most commonly occur at intersections. Vehicles move in different directions and cross paths at one point.

According to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 million accidents happened at intersections in 2008 [1].

These accidents often result in severe injuries because the at-fault driver hits the vehicle in an area with few safety features. It is also very dangerous for passengers, especially in smaller vehicles, as they can get hurt or die due to the severity of the impact.

The Federal Highway Administration calls intersections “planned points of contact” [2]. As there is a perpendicular flow of vehicles, there’s an increased risk that one car will crash into another and cause a car accident.  

Engineers and architects are extra careful when planning intersections, but T-bone accidents happen even with the strictest traffic control devices and traffic signals. 

Other common places where broadside collisions can happen include:

  • Highway on-ramps
  • Multi-lane roadways
  • Parking lots
  • Private homes when one driver backs out
  • Rural intersections where one traffic direction yields

Related Articles: Major Causes of Collisions

Why Broadside Collisions Occur

There are many reasons why broadside collisions happen. These are the most common ones.

1. Faulty Traffic Lights

A traffic light with stop signEngineers sometimes get it wrong, and intersections lack necessary traffic lights and signals, or those happen to be faulty. 

Also, as the community changes over time, the traffic measures in place may not meet its needs. Because of this, broadside accidents can happen.

Another common issue is that the yellow light is too short, and the driver accidentally runs a red light and hits the oncoming traffic. Or the light isn’t clearly visible.

Because of many issues with intersection signals, many municipalities have started installing additional traffic control measures or are increasing the number of lanes if possible.

2. Speeding

When approaching an intersection, drivers need to slow down and look at the traffic light. If a driver speeds, they don’t have adequate time to check the traffic conditions and signals. 

“The chances of dying in a crash doubles for every 10 miles per hour (mph) a car travels above 50 mph. Speeding reduces the time a driver has to react to a dangerous situation and increases the impact energy and risk of death in the event of a crash.” Florida Department of Transportation

A speeder can run a red light or a stop sign and crash into someone or lose control of the vehicle.

Speeding drivers put themselves and the drivers around them at risk of serious injuries.

Related Article: Snapchat Speed Filter Litigation

3. Impaired Driving

A person drinking while driving Impaired driving includes driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. As impaired drivers have a slower reaction time, the risk of a broadside accident is increased.

They tend to drive erratically, don’t stop at an intersection or speed through them, or don’t see the oncoming vehicles in time. 

These drivers are considered negligent drivers. Because they cause injuries and property damage, they can be prosecuted and have to pay high fines.


4. Distracted Driving

Driver using his cellphone while looking at the road in his car Another common factor that causes vehicle crashes is distracted drivers.

There are three kinds of motor vehicle driver distractions:

  • Cognitive distractions — Everything that draws the driver’s attention from driving.
  • Visual distractions — Everything that takes the driver's eyes from the road.
  • Manual distractions — Everything that causes the driver to take their hands off the wheel.

A negligent driver isn’t focused on driving and will have reduced ability to process the traffic conditions, stop signs and follow traffic laws.

Using a cellphone or another device is the most common sort of driver’s negligence, but other vehicle occupants can also be at fault for a car accident.

Related Article: Fatal Texting While Driving Accident Settlement

5. Left-Hand Turns

A hand using the switch sign in carLeft-hand turns cause most broadside collisions. According to The National Highway Transportation Safety Association, these accidents are called “crossing paths” and account for 53% of all broadside collisions [3].

When a driver makes turns, they have to check if there are no other vehicles they might hit. If a driver doesn’t check their surroundings, they can hit one vehicle.

If the force of impact is strong, this vehicle can be forced onto other traffic, which will cause injuries and damage to other drivers as well.


What is a broadside collision?

A broadside collision is a kind of car accident where the front of one car hits the side of another. 

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a broadside collision, you need lawyers who specialize in handling car accidents. An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather all the necessary evidence and deal with the insurance company for you.

Schmidt & Clark personal injury lawyers have decades of experience dealing with such accidents. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you get compensation for medical bills and other damages you have.





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