A sideswipe accident happens when two motor vehicles are moving next to each other in the same direction and their sides contact one another. Sideswipe accidents can be both “same direction” or “opposite direction” sideswipe collisions and according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (I.I.H.S.) there are four times more opposite-direction sideswipe accidents than same-direction crashes.
These accidents typically occur when one of the drivers tries to change lanes no realizing that there is a car next to his in the lane he or she is trying to move into. On other occasions, this type of accident happens because a driver is not paying attention to his or her surroundings.
Common causes of sideswipe accidents these days include:
- Talking on the phone or with a passenger,
- Changing radio stations,
- Playing with electronic devices like an iPod,
- Fatigue or falling asleep,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Aggressive driving, including improper or frequent lane changes,
- Speeding or driving too fast for traffic conditions and/or racing.
Where Do Sideswipe Accidents Occur?
Sideswipe crashes may occur anywhere, but they often happen where two lanes merge, such as the ramps to get on to expressways, turnpikes or freeways. When the driver of a vehicle that is trying to merge onto the highway does not make sure that there is enough space to do so, or when the driver of another vehicle suddenly speeds up and eliminates that extra space that the other driver was counting on to merge safely, a sideswipe accident may be the result.
Injuries Caused By Sideswipe Accidents
Those that think that sideswipe crashes typically only cause damages to the vehicles involved are gravely mistaken. These accidents also cause severe injuries because cars usually are designed to withstand harder front and rear collisions and thus, offer more protection to its occupants in those crashes. Vehicles have, for example, front and rear bumpers to help absorb the force of impacts in those places. However, cars do not have bumpers on their sides and only the thickness of a door stands between the impacting car and the passengers inside of the impacted vehicle. Additionally, these sideswipe accidents typically cause the drivers to lose control of their vehicles and hit other vehicles or objects such as guardrails, concrete barriers, trees, light posts, road signs or even cause rollover crashes.
According to statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), 242,000 sideswipe crashes occur every year in the United States. Those accidents cause approximately 27,000 injuries and more than 2,500 fatalities.
People involved in sideswipe car accidents may suffer any of the following injuries and others:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Broken bones
- Neck Injury
- Loss of limbs
- Cuts and Bruises
- Nerve damage
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Shoulder impingement
- Knee injuries
- Rotator cuff damage
- Hip damage
Of course, victims also die as a result of injuries sustained in sideswipe accidents.
Florida Law On Sideswipe Accidents
Under Florida Law every driver has to keep a lookout for all vehicles around his or her own car or truck in order to avoid this type of collision. Similarly, Florida law establishes that there can only be one vehicle occupying space in a given lane at one time. Moreover, it is illegal for a driver to merge into another lane without first checking that it is safe to do so. The lawyers of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano. P.A., have successfully represented thousands of victims of car accidents, including sideswipe collisions. Our firm has successfully pursued claims against trucking companies and tour bus companies, as well as private car drivers. Our lawyers have successfully handled sideswipe cases on city streets and expressways.
Please note that some insurance companies may try to pressure you into settling your case without seeking the advise of your own attorney. These quick settlements benefit only the insurance company, they never benefit you. Our lawyers are familiar with these tricks and we will make sure your rights and interests are properly protected.
Contact us today or call us at 305-595-2400. We have more than 100 years of combined experience handling all types of car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that we will not charge any fees unless we win a compensation for you.