Handling everything that follows being involved in a car accident is equal parts confusing and difficult. There is a multitude of legal complications that can take place and establishing exactly who was at fault for the collision, especially without a qualified car accident lawyer by your side, can turn out to be incredibly challenging. It makes far more sense to simply bypass the entire unpleasant mess by making the prevention of these accidents your absolute number one priority while you are out on the road.
A sideswipe collision is when two vehicles, who are positioned next to one another and moving in the same direction, make either accidental or deliberate contact. This type of collision is the most dangerous and, unfortunately, the most common type of vehicle impact. These sideswipe collisions not only tend to occur at a higher rate of speed but can also cause far more serious injuries than your average collision that involves turning across traffic or being rear-ended.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a sideswipe collision, it is going to be in your best interest to seek out qualified legal representation. An experienced car accident injury lawyer will be able to advise you on your rights and help you recover any financial losses to which you might be legally entitled.
How Dangerous are Sideswipe Car Accidents in Utah

Sideswipe Collisions

The rate of vehicle collisions has steadily increased over the past few years. This doesn’t come as any great surprise when you factor in the increased instances of distracted driving that gets worse with every technological advancement, and because of the ever-increasing number of drivers on the road. Sideswipe collisions account for the highest percentage of car accidents, due in part to complicated street layouts as well as driver inattention. They take place most frequently in the outer lanes of highways and can happen at any moment.
The reason that traveling in the outer lanes of the highway raises the probability of danger is almost entirely due to the difference in speeds at which the vehicles travel. Usually, drivers who travel in the outer lane are traveling at a higher rate of speed in an attempt to pass another vehicle. If they don’t follow common sense and basic defensive driving tactics, or if they decide to drive carelessly, the resulting sideswipe collision will occur before they even realize what has happened. An ill-timed choice to pull out into traffic and speed up can quickly spell trouble because other drivers may suddenly need to slam on their brakes and/or turn sharply in order to circumvent a rear-end collision in the outer lane.
There are also those drivers who are impatient enough to jeopardize their personal safety, the safety of those riding in their vehicle, and the safety of those around them, just to be able to to make it to their destination a couple of seconds faster. These types of drivers have been known to slam on their brakes and then force their way over into their chosen lane with little to no warning to other drivers. This reckless behavior can very easily result in a sideswipe collision or they may end up running another driver off of the road altogether.
Other forms of driver error may also result in sideswipe accidents, such as:

  • Distracted Driving – These accidents occur because the driver was talking on the phone, texting, fiddling with the stereo or any other behavior that caused their eyes and mind to not be focused on the road 100%
  • Speeding – These accidents can occur if a motorist who is traveling above the legal posted speed limit suddenly loses control of their vehicle, or if they come upon something that requires them to break and they realize they do not have enough braking distance left because they were not paying attention when they should have been
  • Overcorrection – A sudden hazard in the road or perhaps another driver veering into their lane could cause a vehicle to suddenly swerve out of their own lane in an attempt to avoid an obvious accident only to end up sideswiping another vehicle they didn’t even realize was there

Injuries Resulting From Sideswipe Collisions

By their very nature, sideswipe accidents can be challenging to both anticipate and avoid. They are exceptionally serious because both drivers are usually traveling at very high rates of speed when these collisions take place.
In addition to the frequency of their occurrence and their already high likelihood for injuries, sideswipe crashes mainly put the impact on the side of the vehicle, where there is substantially less protection than there is at the rear or front of the vehicle. Due to these manufacturer design flaws, victims usually endure more severe injuries. The severity of the injuries that a sideswipe accident victim sustains and their level of severity will also depend on various other factors, like the size of the vehicles that were involved, and the speed at which the vehicles were traveling.
Some of the more common injuries that result from these sideswipe collisions are cuts and bruises, knee injuries, damage to internal organs, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, hip injuries, and bone breaks and fractures.

Tactical Prevention

The best way to prevent sideswipe collisions is to always drive defensively. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and always indicate your intentions with your fellow drivers by using your turn signals when you’re driving. Try to avoid changing lanes if you can by sticking with your current lane, especially if the only reason for the lane change is to strip a few seconds off of your drive. Arriving at your destination in one piece is far more important.
Maintaining a consistent speed as you drive can help eliminate unexpected braking for the drivers around you. The majority of cars on the market today have cruise control. Making use of this feature anytime that you have the chance, especially if you are aware that you have a heavy foot, can reduce not only your likelihood for being involved in a sideswipe collision but of getting a traffic ticket as well. It is also important that it is no substitute for your own best judgment and for you keeping your eyes and your mind on the road at all times. to remember that, while cruise control can be helpful in some situations,
If you or someone that you love has been injured in a sideswipe collision or any other type of automobile accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you possibly can. The personal injury attorneys here at Siegfried & Jensen have over three decades worth of experience in helping people recover from devastating auto accidents and making sure that they collect the maximum amount of financial compensation for their losses. Our clients are our family and we always do our best to get what is best for you. If you would be interested in a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys regarding your case, then please reach out to us by calling 801-845-9000 today.

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.