Sideswipe or Blind Spot Collisions | WV Injury Lawyer

Have you Been Injured in a Sideswipe Accident?

When people commonly think of car accidents, they think of two cars crashing into each other head on, or one car running into the back of the other, but sideswipe collisions are often caused when one driver remains in the blind spot of another vehicle.

sideswipe or blind spot accident occur frequently between cars and large trucks or SUVs

Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two vehicles collide. The two vehicles are typically passing or merging in some way and get too close until they crash. This type of crash can be very dangerous, but usually is also avoidable. Below, we will see common causes of sideswipe accidents and ways to avoid these crashes.

Blind spots

Blind spots are the places outside a vehicle that the driver cannot see because a part of the vehicle is in the way or the area is behind the driver. Side- and rear-view mirrors are designed to minimize blind spots, but usually, there are still places that are impossible for the driver to see while facing forward. Many sideswipe collisions occur when a vehicle is trying to merge into another lane. The driver may not see a vehicle in the other lane due to a blind spot and run into the side of the vehicle.

There are actions that can be taken to avoid crashes due to blind spots. Be sure that all mirrors are properly adjusted. This will help to make the blind spots as small as possible. Take a quick glance over your shoulder toward where you are preparing to merge. You will be able to see what your mirrors cannot allow you to see. Also, be sure to use your turn signal before merging into another lane. It will not help with blind spots, but it will warn other drivers that you are going to merge and they can react accordingly.

Speeding or Aggressive Driving

Excessive speeding always increases the risk of all types of accidents on the road. Loss of control is much more likely when speeding and this can quickly lead to sideswipe collisions. Aggressive driving is especially a threat though when considering sideswipe collisions. When two vehicles are trying to merge into the same spot, it can be a perilous situation, but aggressive behavior can turn it into a more dangerous competition.

The solution is simple for this cause of sideswipe collisions. Slow down and be patient. It depends on everyone every day. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, and don't engage in aggressive driving. Remember that the goal of driving is to reach your destination safely. It is not to be the best, most aggressive driver on the road. Also, crashes often affect more people on the road than the ones who were behaving irresponsibly. There are often passengers in the vehicles, and, especially in busy areas, other vehicles can be involved. Help everyone be safe by calmly and responsibly following the rules of the road.

Compromised Driving

Another common cause of sideswipe collisions is compromised driving. This occurs when the driver is not in the best condition to drive. This could be due to a health problem, fatigue, or intoxication among other conditions. These problems often impair the driver's judgment which can cause sideswipe collisions in situations such as merging at an inappropriate time or driving too closely to another vehicle on a two-lane road.

These problems can best be avoided by not driving when compromised in some way. Driving while in poor health, fatigued, or intoxicated can have deadly consequences. Instead, wait until your health is restored, get some rest, or wait until sober to drive. If waiting is not an option, find another way to reach your destination, such as using public transportation or calling a relative or friend to drive you. Driving while compromised can not only be dangerous to you and your passengers, but it is also dangerous to others on the roads.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a popular topic when discussing the dangers of the road, and for good reason. Distracted driving is responsible for many of the incidents that happen on the road, including sideswipe collisions. People often think of distracted driving as using the phone while driving, but there are many other forms of distraction in many vehicles.

There are three types of distracted driving. They are cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive distraction occurs when the driver's mind is focused on something other than driving, such as the radio or talking to another passenger. Visual distraction occurs when the driver is looking at something besides the road, such as a billboard or the kids in the back seat. Manual distraction is what most people think of as distracted driving. This occurs when the driver's hands are occupied with something other than driving, such as using a phone or GPS, eating, or drinking.

The problem is that with all these potential distractions, drivers cannot give enough attention to their actions while driving. For instance, when merging, the driver may completely depend on the mirrors to see if the lane is clear, and not bother to look back and check. This could be the difference between safety or a collision. The simplest solution to this problem is to eliminate all distractions in the vehicle as much as possible.

Conclusion

While sideswipe collisions are not the most commonly thought of type of accident, they are a real threat. The good news is that many of these accidents can be prevented with good driving habits. Minimizing blind spots, being prepared to drive, and driving patiently and lawfully will make these collisions much less likely. Remember that not everyone on the road will practice safe driving habits, so watch out for the mistakes and inattention of other drivers, especially when lanes are merging. Be the driver that avoids accidents and helps others avoid accidents. It will keep you, your family, and everyone on the road safer.

Sources

Esurance https://www.esurance.com/info/car/3-types-of-distracted-driving

Greenberg, Stone, and Urbano https://www.sgglaw.com/sideswipe-accidents.html

HG Experts https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=34802

State Farm http://teendriving.statefarm.com/road-to-safety/safe-driving/managing-blind-spots