The Baltimore car accident injury lawyers here at The Law Offices of Butschky, Ehlers & Butschky assist victims and their families when a motor vehicle crash with injury or death occurs in Maryland. One of the more severe types of car, truck, and SUV accident cases we handle are what's known as side-impact crashes.
Also called broadside accidents or T-bone crashes (in reference to the hard right angle at which one of the cars involved in the accident is hit), these serious, and sometimes deadly traffic accidents often occur at intersections.
Imagine you're driving along, minding your own business, obeying Maryland traffic laws. You stop at an intersection in Baltimore City, and wait for your red light to turn green. The light turns green, you start across the intersection, and out of nowhere -- another driver runs his or her red light and hits your vehicle, broadside. We know from experience that these types of auto accidents often cause very serious injury, including brain, spine, and neck injuries.
Some causes and characteristics of side impact collisions in Baltimore County, Maryland include the following:
- A driver runs a red light or stop sign at a four-way intersection and crashes into another vehicle broadside.
- Drunk driving may be a factor, as can be distracted driving, such as someone texting while driving, even though that is illegal in Maryland.
- Speeding can be a factor, making the impact of the broadside crash that much more severe.
- Intersections on high-speed roadways, including secondary roadways and Maryland back roads, are particularly dangerous. A driver going 40 or 45 mph on a back road who fails to stop for a STOP sign and tears through an intersection can cause a deadly broadside accident.
- Drivers stopped in the roadway, attempting to make a left-hand turn may get rear-ended AND broadsided. Say a driver is stopped in the middle of an intersection with his or her directional on, waiting to make a left turn down a side street. Another driver rear-ends that car, pushing the turning vehicle into oncoming traffic, where it gets broadsided.
- Side impact crashes tend to happen at city and suburban intersections, but they can happen on highways such as the Baltimore Beltway. Every driver has a blind spot. You could get sideswiped on a Maryland highway by a lane changer whom you didn't see or who didn't see you as they cut in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed.
- A head-on collision is also very serious and sometimes fatal. However modern vehicles come with driver and passenger airbags now, offering some protection in head-on crashes. In addition, the vehicle engine is a several-hundred pound block against the perpetrator's oncoming vehicle. However cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs tend to offer less standard protection for side-impact crashes. Side air bags may be optional, as are door reinforcements. However the car door is a relatively thin piece of metal compared to a car, truck, or SUV coming at you broadside.
NOTE: We've seen reckless speeding and driving to endanger firsthand, going to and from our suburban Baltimore County headquarters in Sparks, Maryland. Newcomers to Maryland who think they are safe driving around the suburbs, don't be fooled! It's amazing how fast Maryland drivers tear around these back roads, which were not designed to handle today's volume of commuter traffic heading in and out of Baltimore City. The best defense against a broadside accident is to drive defensively, and look both ways before proceeding through an intersection -- even if you have the right of way.