Often, sideswipe accidents occur when one driver is attempting to change lanes, but they can occur for other reasons as well. When someone is driving under the influence or texting while driving, they often lose focus on the road and this results in sideswipe accidents. Most of the time, these accidents do not result in serious personal injuries, but they can.
What is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe occurs when two vehicles either traveling in the same or opposite direct brush past one another. The side of one car hits the side of another car and this results mostly in property damage. Sometimes, however, when these accidents occur at high speeds, they can result in one or both drivers losing control of the car. When that happens, it causes a major accident that involves multiple cars.
How are Sideswipe Accidents Caused?
These accidents are often referred to as blind-spot accidents due to how often they occur when a car is attempting to merge lanes. In the event that a driver attempts to merge without checking their blind spots and sideswipes another car or, worse still, a motorcycle, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Although the majority of sideswipe accidents involve lane changes, there are a number of other reasons sideswipe accidents occur. These include instances in which the driver is distracted with their phone, texting, or playing with their onboard infotainment system. Sometimes, drivers cause accidents because they’re overly tired, taking a new medication, or completely drunk.
Occasionally, the accidents occur when very large vehicles, like commercial trucks, fail to see a much smaller vehicle when they are attempting to merge onto a highway.
Sometimes, a driver who is having a fit of road rage intentionally sideswipes another vehicle.
While the majority of sideswipe accidents cause property damage, sideswipe accidents are occasionally deadly or can cause catastrophic injury to one or both drivers.
Sideswipe Accidents are Easily Avoided
The vast majority of sideswipe accidents can easily be avoided. In most cases, the driver did not thoroughly check their blind spots before attempting to change lanes. In other cases, the driver was distracted and took their eyes off the road which caused them to leave their lane. While new technologies exist to help drivers become aware when they’re leaving their lane, it is still the responsibility of the driver to yield the right of way. When they don’t, particularly on highways, the results can be devastating.
According to the Institute of Highway Safety, about 2,500 people are killed each year in sideswipe accidents. Most of these occur on highways traveling at high speeds. When a driver is hit from the side, their natural instinct is to turn toward the vehicle that hit them, which can cause the car to roll over. Sideswipes may seem like trivial accidents, but they can also be deadly.
Talk to a Yakima Car Accident Attorney
Kapuza Lighty PLLC can help you negotiate a fair claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance company. We have helped many clients recover damages lost in various traffic accidents. Give us a call or contact us online and we will begin discussing your case today.