Intersection collisions, together with rear end collisions, probably represent the bulk of car accidents. These two types of car wrecks account for the majority of auto accident cases we see at Flick Law Firm.
Some of the most common types of intersection collisions occur when a driver does not stop or yield the right-of-way in response to a traffic control device like a stop sign or traffic light. Running a red light or stop sign are two examples. These wrecks commonly occur when you have the right-of-way, are legally within the intersection, the other car or vehicle enters the intersection violating your right-of-way and causing a car accident. The point of impact is frequently on the side of your car, causing these crashes often to be referred to as broadside, T-bone or side-impact crashes. The front of your car may also be the point of impact in some of these wrecks.
Collisions occurring during left turns are another common type of intersection collision. In this type of wreck the at-fault driver does not yield the right-of-way to a car or other vehicle coming from the opposite direction which is close enough to create a hazard, turns left in front of that vehicle, obstructing its path and causing the wreck. In these car accidents, the front of your car may crash into the front or side of the other vehicle which has violated your right-of-way.
While the focus of this article is on car accidents, intersection collisions can involve trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, pedestrians and really any vehicle or person on the road. For example, a pedestrian accident may result if a driver runs a red light, enters the intersection and strikes a pedestrian who is crossing with the signal in a crosswalk. Tragically, these types of pedestrian accidents often cause fatalities or severe injuries.
Potential Causes and Prevention
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, some of the most frequent causes of intersection collisions are what NHTSA described as “inadequate surveillance” or basically not paying enough attention to what was going on in the intersection, making false assumptions about other drivers actions, illegal actions for example, running a light or stop sign, making an illegal U-turn, speeding, turning from the incorrect lane, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some other causes include driver distraction and not properly judging the speed of other vehicles or space from them.
Drivers responsible for causing intersection collisions may be ticketed for violations like running a stop sign or red light, failure to yield the right-of-way or inattentive driving.
Prevention of intersection collisions often focuses on safe driving basics. Common sense, easy ways to avoid intersection accidents include paying full attention to everything going on ahead of the driver in the road environment, obeying stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals and avoiding distracted driving or driving under the influence
Compared to some other kinds of car accidents, from experience as an auto accident lawyer, intersection collisions appear to have a higher serious injury potential than some other kinds of collisions like, for example, a rear end collision. In a rear end collision basic car structure, safety systems and possible occupant reaction in anticipation of a wreck create the potential for reduced injury compared to an intersection collision. In rear end collision the point of impact is at the back end of the car. When struck in the rear, the back bumper and trunk, assuming the car has one, can crush, potentially reducing the direct impact on people in the car. Additionally, seatbelts and head restraints can help reduce injury to vehicle occupants by limiting bodily motion in response to force from the wreck.
In an intersection collision, for example, broadside or T-bone crash collision forces may be focused much closer to people in the car, or even expose them to direct impact as the body of the car crushes in on them due to collision forces. Seatbelts and head restraints are likely to be less effective in reducing injuries in these side-impact crashes. While side-curtain airbags can help reduce injuries in these types of wrecks, many vehicles are still not equipped with them.
In a left turn collision, vehicle occupants can be exposed to forces similar to a head-on collision as the front of the car they are in crashes directly into the vehicle turning left in front of them. Airbags may deploy with sufficient force to, in some cases, cause secondary injuries. Some injuries typical of intersection collisions include head and brain injury, often as a result of the head hitting a car window, joint injuries, broken bones, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and paralysis.
As bad as injuries in an intersection collision involving two cars can be, a factor which can significantly increase injury potential in intersection collisions is when the size and weights of the vehicles involved vary greatly. For example, a truck accident where an 18 wheeler runs a red light and broadsides a car in the intersection, due to the size, weight and mass of the semi has dramatically greater potential for death and serious injury than a crash involving two cars, all other things being equal. Similarly, the potential for severe injury is higher in a bicycle accident where a car violates a bicyclists right-of-way and turns left in front of the bicycle causing a bicycle accident, than a similar crash involving two automobiles.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured, disabled, or killed in an intersection collision or any other form of auto accident, consult with Flick Law Firm right away. We have successfully been handling car accident cases such as yours since 1993, and we will work to get you monetary compensation for your accident-related damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.