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Side Impact Collisions

Side impact collisions

Side impact collisions

A side impact collision is where a car hits another car at an angle of ninety degrees (90°). Side impact collisions are also called roadside or T-bone collisions. Side impact collisions are number two (2) after head-on collisions on the serious injuries and deaths caused by accidents yearly.


Side impact collisions: Causes

There are a number of causes of side impact collisions, such as:

  • Failing to come to a complete stop at a four way intersection.
    Side impact collisions

    Side impact collisions

  • Failure to yield – at a four way intersection, one driver must yield to another driver as required by the traffic code. In some states, a driver to the left has the right of way if two drivers arrive at the intersection at the same time.
  • Running a red light – these are the most dangerous as a driver picks up speed to try and beat the traffic light turning red, so the force of the impact can be deadly.
  • Turning across traffic lanes – when a driver in the turning lane does not wait to turn when it is safe. The same is true when a driver fails to gauge the speed at which oncoming traffic is traveling at on an intersection.
  • Reckless and aggressive driving – where a driver deliberately ignores drivers who are legally in an intersection. Also a reckless driver uses their reckless and aggressive behaviour to intimidate other drivers.
  • Talking and texting on cellphones
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired
  • Equipment failure – this includes failing of brakes and steering wheel.
  • Weather conditions


Side impact collisions: Common injuries

Some injuries associated with side impact collisions are:

  • Disc herniation and spinal compression – the force of the impact can shatter discs in and around the spinal cord and may result in herniated disc(s)
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Tearing of internal organs
  • Fractured legs, arms, wrists and/or hands
  • Punctured eardrums – these occur as a result of not having side airbags, so because of the force of impact this pushes the person’s ear and face against the window.
  • Tinnitus – is the painful ringing of the ears; it is caused by the deploying of the side airbag.
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