A sideswipe accident is one where the side of one vehicle collides with (or “swipes”) the side of another. These collisions are also sometimes is called a “lane change accident”, a “blind spot accident” or a “glancing blow” because of how the crash typically occurs.
Sideswipe crashes are fairly common, but this doesn’t mean that they can be taken lightly. These accidents cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths in a year. And when a sideswipe accident involves a large truck, the dangers are even greater.
Causes of Truck Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe collisions usually occur when:
- A vehicle makes an unsafe lane change, bumping into another vehicle in the lane it enters
- A driver overreacts to a road hazard or tries to avoid a crash, and instead collides with an adjacent vehicle
- A vehicle is going too fast for the road conditions, causing the driver to lose control
Large trucks such as 18-wheelers, tankers, and tractor-trailers may be more likely to sideswipe because they have considerable blind spots. This means a driver of such a truck cannot always see the vehicles in adjacent lanes. This makes it riskier for the truck to switch lanes or make a turn.
A truck driver’s behavior can add to the risk. Common driving behaviors that lead to truck sideswipes are:
- Distracted driving (especially using cellphones while driving)
- Unsafe lane changing (not checking mirrors, not using signals, etc.)
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Reckless driving
Trucking companies have to train their drivers to avoid risky driving behavior. However, truck drivers involved in thse accidents may be lacking training, and others were simply negligent.
Prevalence of Sideswipe Crashes
Hundreds of thousands of sideswipe accidents occur in the US each year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2013 alone, there were a total of 629,000 sideswipe crashes, accounting for 11.1% of all the vehicle crashes in the country. Of these sideswipe collisions, 89,000 caused injuries and 757 led to fatalities.
Claiming Compensation for Truck Sideswipe Injuries
Even though sideswipe accidents lead to a significant number of injuries, insurance companies may dispute injury claims from these crashes. There is a notion that a glancing blow does not cause as severe damage as those from more direct impacts. However, numerous sideswipe accident victims have sustained serious injuries such as whiplash, head trauma, neck and spine injuries. In many cases, sideswipe injuries also lead to deaths.
Further, it can be difficult to establish who was at fault in a sideswipe collision. Trucking companies may also get involved, making the case more complicated.
This is why when claiming compensation for truck sideswipe injuries, you need a highly competent lawyer to help you. Flick Law Firm can provide the legal service you need. For over two decades now, we have been successfully serving clients in Missouri and Kansas helping them get recoveries for accidents like yours. Contact Flick Law Firm today for your free consultation.