A sideswipe accident occurs when two cars are riding next to one another in the same direction and their sides collide. As with any type of auto accident, a sideswipe-related crash can result in severe injury to all parties involved, especially passengers. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there are more than 240,000 sideswipe crashes that occur in the U.S. each year. Of these numbers, over 25,000 involve injuries with roughly 2,500 resulting in death.
Undoubtedly, our Miami car accident attorneys know injuries that result from sideswipe collisions - commonly those affecting the neck, back, spine and brain - are often more severe than other types of accidents given that protective devices such as air bags are normally designed for front and rear-end collisions. Additionally, sideswipe accidents can also cause severe damage to your vehicle, which can be both time consuming and extremely costly to repair.
What then, specifically causes sideswipe accidents? Usually, these types of collisions occur when drivers change lanes without looking or carelessly weave in and out of lanes. Oftentimes, impaired or distracted drivers are to blame for causing sideswipe accidents due to the fact that they are not focused on the road. For instance, if someone is sending text messages while driving, they can veer into other lanes without even realizing it, increasing the likelihood of sideswipe collisions to occur.
While it may seem rather straightforward, determining who is at fault and proving injuries caused by a sideswipe collision can sometimes be a daunting task. That is why it is important to take proactive measures to prevent these accidents from occurring. Although not every accident can be avoided, you should certainly consider the following tips in maximizing your safety on the road:
1. Be sure to look carefully before changing lanes. Your car's blind spots can hide other vehicles, making sideswipe collisions much more likely should you change lanes. Taking the time to look carefully can end up being a life-saving decision.
2. Be patient - it can wait. Even if your phone is ringing off the hook or you keep receiving text message alerts, ignore them. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents these days, especially side-impact collisions.
3. Do not drink and drive. Impaired driving, whether due to drugs and/or alcohol, can easily cause a driver to veer off into other lanes, potentially causing a sideswipe accident.
4. If you are too tired to drive, then don't. However, if you are already behind the wheel and start to become fatigued to the point where it would be dangerous to continue on your journey, pull over and take a break. Perhaps refueling and taking a quick nap may help give the second wind necessary to arrive to your destination safely.
5. If you see another person swerving or driving recklessly/carelessly, call the police. There is nothing wrong with alerting police officers that there is a dangerous driver on the loose. If possible, write down the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle so that it can be properly identified.
If you have been injured in a sideswipe-related accident, contact our Miami Car Accident Attorneys today to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation. Our car accident attorneys in Miami will take the time necessary to review the facts of your case and advise you of all your legal options - regardless of the complexity of your case. Our attorneys are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service. Call us at either (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400, or feel free to contact us online to find out how our client-oriented and individualized approach can work for you. Let the seasoned Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.