The traffic light turns green, and you step on the gas pedal. As you get in the median, a car from another direction comes out of nowhere and hits your car right on the driver’s side. This type of collision is known as a side-impact or T-bone accident.
A side-impact collision is a serious accident and accounts for over one-quarter of vehicle deaths for passengers in the U.S., according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). One reason they are serious is because there is less machinery between the other vehicle and the person to absorb the impact. To prevent this type of collision, follow the following tips.
Make sure you look for traffic to your right and left before you pull out into traffic. You may even want to delay your start for a second or two to make sure the vehicles in the other directions will stop. If they are distracted or impaired, they may not realize the light is red, or there is a stop sign. Pay attention to other drivers even as you are driving down the road. Sometimes, drivers can fail to pay attention and pull out into traffic from a side road. While most of these accidents happen at a traffic light or stop sign intersections, they can also occur at other types of intersections where cross traffic doesn’t stop.
You don’t want to be the cause of a side-impact accident, so make sure you have plenty of time to drive through the light before it changes or stop. It’s all too common to see drivers speed up when the light turns yellow instead of stopping. This is a dangerous situation if the light turns red before they make it through.
More manufacturers are adding airbags to the sides of the vehicle, which deploy on impact. They may also have reinforced side beams or other designs that help reduce injury in a side-impact crash. Do some research and see which vehicles fared better in this type of crash. You can check out the IIHS website or read vehicle reviews from sites like KBB.com or Edmunds.com. This will help you determine which models are best for crashes.
A side-impact car crash can cause serious injury. While you may not be able to predict or prevent another person’s actions, being aware can help you avoid a crash in many cases.