Side Impact or T-Bone Collisions in Nashville
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “side [impact] crashes account for about a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States.” It’s easy to understand why side-impact or T-bone collisions are so dangerous. “The sides of vehicles have relatively little space to absorb energy and shield occupants,” notes the IIHS, especially as compared to the front and rear of vehicles, which have substantial crumple zones.
The good news is that since the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and vehicle manufacturers “have worked hard to reduce fatality risk in side impacts, especially for the most vulnerable occupant, the ‘nearside’ occupant. [That is], the driver in a left-side impact and the right-front passenger in a right-side impact.”
Safety initiatives have included:
- Strengthening the side structures of passenger cars to “reduce the extent of door intrusion into the passenger compartment after a side impact.”
- The addition of torso air bags and side curtain air bags, which provide an energy-absorbing cushion between occupants and the sides of vehicles.
The bad news is that side impact and T-bone collisions can be very difficult to avoid. As the NHTSA puts it: “Even the most prudent driving on our part cannot eliminate the risk that another vehicle will fail to yield, run a red light or turn without warning across our path.”
Where Do Side-Impact and T-Bone Collisions Occur?
Most commonly, side-impact collisions occur at intersections when a driver:
- Runs a red light
- Fails to stop at a stop sign
- Makes a left turn in front of another vehicle
Of course, every driver has a responsibility to stop for stop signs, with a violation being a Class C misdemeanor (Tennessee Code Annotated sec. 55-8-149).
Tennessee law also provides that vehicles turning left at an intersection “shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard” (Tennessee Code Annotated sec. 55-8-129).
In other words, a driver who causes a car accident by making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic when it is unsafe to do so may be held responsible for the crash.
Why it’s Important to Contact an Experienced Attorney Immediately
Evidence like police reports, witness testimony and vehicle damage can be crucial in a side-impact or T-bone collision case. As one might expect, when impacted vehicles are knocked off course, they are oftentimes impacted again—by other vehicles—or they subsequently strike guardrails, telephone poles, roll over, or make a “roadway departure.”
It’s important to contact us as soon as possible so we can consider and preserve all evidence in these sometimes complicated cases, which often result in serious injuries and death.
Injuries Common in Side-Impact and T-Bone Crashes Include:
Changes Coming to Davidson County’s Most Dangerous Intersections
Fortunately, our great city is making an effort to address the problems at Davidson County’s busiest and most dangerous intersections, including those in Madison, Antioch, and Estes Road in Green Hills.
And you probably don’t need to be reminded that you can minimize your risk of serious injury or death in an accident by wearing your seat belt. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, “for those passenger vehicle occupants who survived fatal crashes in 2015, only 14 percent were unrestrained.”
In other words, 86 percent of the survivors were wearing their seat belts.
However, if you or a loved one has the misfortune of being seriously injured in a side-impact or T-bone collision in the Nashville area or anywhere else in Tennessee, contact us, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Raybin & Weissman for a free consultation.