What can I do to reduce my risk of being involved in a side-impact car crash?

A side-impact crash, or T-bone accident, occurs when the front of one vehicle hits the side of another. These types of accidents often cause severe injuries—mainly because the sides of a vehicle offer little protection in a crash. While automakers have spent a great deal of time and money, researching ways to better protect car occupants in front and rear-impact crashes, more needs to be done to protect those involved in side-impact wrecks. The good news is that we are beginning to see side-impact air bags offered on many more new vehicle models.

When a car is struck broadside, the driver and passengers often suffer severe injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, or broken bones. These injuries are painful and may leave the victims with life-changing injuries.

As a driver, you can do three things to lower your risk of being involved in a side-impact crash:

  • Cross an intersection with caution. The majority of side-impact collisions takes place at an intersection, so be sure to check both directions twice before crossing.
  • Look for trucks. Heavy trucks, especially those pulling trailers, take much longer than the average vehicle to stop. They may not stop in time, causing a severe T-bone crash. If you see a truck approaching an intersection, wait an extra moment to be sure it is going to stop.
  • Be aware. Being aware of your surroundings when you drive will help you to prevent another vehicle from T-boning you. It will also help ensure that you are not the cause of a side-impact collision.

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