Side impact car accidents, also known as T-bone or broadside accidents, can cause serious and even fatal injuries. Side impact accidents occur when one car strikes the side door of another vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 25% of car accident fatalities were caused by side impact accidents. This means that of the 99 Philadelphia car accident fatalities in 2017, approximately 25 of those fatalities were a result of side impact collisions.
Common scenarios leading to side impact collisions include the following:
Failing to yield - Side impact collisions often occur when one vehicle is turning across traffic and fails to yield to oncoming traffic.
Not following traffic signs and signals – When a vehicle runs a red light or a stop sign, often t-bone collisions occur.
Entering a street from a private drive – Pulling out of a driveway or parking lot into a public road is another common scenario in side-impact accidents.
Injuries can be serious because a car door is the material between the car and its passengers so there is not there to absorb the impact. Side airbags can help, but not all motor vehicles are equipped with side airbags. Some common injuries resulting from a side impact collision include:
Traumatic brain injury – vehicle occupants are three times more likely to suffer a traumatic injury in a side impact collision than other types of collisions.
Broken bones – Broken bone injuries in side impact car accidents are common, especially when the impact occurs at the occupant's car door.
Paralysis – Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord, and neck injuries from a T-bone accident can result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
Loss of limbs – Severed limbs during the accident or post accident amputations can be the result of side T-bone accidents.
Spinal injuries – Spinal injuries to the back and neck occur especially in harder impact accidents.
Internal organ damage – High impact broadside collisions can cause damage to internal organs resulting in internal bleeding or organ failure.