A broadside collision occurs when the front end of one vehicle impacts the side of another vehicle. These accidents are also referred to as T-bone collisions, because of the “T” shape created by the vehicles when they collide. Broadside collisions have the potential to cause catastrophic harm to drivers and passengers because of the positioning of the vehicles. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), broadside accidents account for 18% of fatal crashes in the United States each year.
But where are broadside collisions more likely to occur, and why? Let’s take a deeper look.
Intersections: The Most Common Locations for Broadside Collisions
A broadside collision can occur almost anywhere, but they are most common in intersections. These include any locations where two or more roads intersect. Intersections are an integral part of our country’s entire roadway system, but they pose serious hazards simply because they force drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to interact with one another. Even with traffic signals or stop signs, traveling through an intersection is inherently more dangerous than traveling on an open road.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), about half of all traffic-related injuries in the U.S. occur in intersections. Intersections account for approximately one-fourth of all traffic fatalities each year. Intersections also present the greatest risk of a broadside collision because vehicles are more likely to be traveling perpendicular to one another.
Driveways, parking lots, and entrance ramps are other potential locations for broadside collisions. In a parking lot or driveway, for example, a driver may be struck in the side by another car while backing out. On an entrance ramp, a car attempting to merge into traffic may cause a broadside collision, either by striking or being struck by another vehicle.
Pennsylvania Broadside Accident Statistics
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, about 1 in 4 traffic accidents in the commonwealth in 2020 were classified as “angle” accidents, which involved 2 vehicles that collided at a “point of junction” like an intersection or driveway.
There were 28,644 angle accidents in 2020 that claimed 269 lives, making broadside collisions the second-highest cause of Pennsylvania traffic accident fatalities that year.
Why Do Broadside Collisions Happen?
Like other traffic accidents, most broadside collisions can be linked to driver carelessness, negligence, or wrongdoing. If a driver is distracted, drunk, or simply careless, he or she may blow right through a red light and run into another vehicle. The same thing can happen if a driver backs out of a parking space or driveway without checking for cross-traffic. These and other similar situations can lead to a broadside collision that causes serious injuries.
There is another factor to consider with broadside collisions, however, and that is the design of the intersection or roadway. A busy intersection with limited visibility that does not have a signal, stop sign, or yield sign could greatly increase the chances of a collision. A faulty traffic light or missing stop sign could lead to a serious broadside collision. So, in investigating the cause of a broadside accident, it is important to consider such external factors.
Helping Victims of Broadside Collisions in Pennsylvania Since 1922
Broadside accidents are one of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle crashes, specifically to the occupants of the vehicle that is struck on the side. The person or persons sitting on the side of the vehicle that is hit may experience catastrophic injuries, particularly if it is not equipped with side-impact airbags.
Broadside accident injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Severe cuts and bruises
At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, we are passionate about helping people who have been seriously injured in any type of car accident. We’re here for you if you’ve been injured or have lost someone you love, and we have the experience and resources to seek the type of settlement or award that can help you start to rebuild. We’ve fought for Pennsylvania’s injured since 1922.
Call (888) 498-3023 today or contact us online for a free, private review of your case.