What is a Sideswipe Accident?

As the name suggests, sideswipe accidents happen when one vehicle strikes, scrapes, or otherwise makes contact with the side of another vehicle. Sideswipe accidents typically are not as serious as T-bone incidents (another type of side-impact collision), but they can lead to major injuries and property damage, given the right circumstances. These incidents can happen between two vehicles in motion or between one vehicle that is moving and one that is not. Here, we want to review common causes of sideswipe accidents, injuries that can occur in these incidents, and potential liability issues.

Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents can occur in various ways around our area, including the following:

  • Lane changing without checking blind spots – Drivers may change lanes without properly checking their blind spots, leading to collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes.
  • Distracted driving – Engaging in activities like texting, using a phone, or adjusting the radio can divert a driver’s attention, causing them to drift into neighboring lanes.
  • Fatigue – Drowsy drivers are more likely to unintentionally drift out of their lane and into another vehicle.
  • Impaired driving – Alcohol or drug impairment can impair a driver’s ability to maintain their lane and avoid sideswipe accidents.
  • Aggressive driving – Aggressive behaviors like tailgating or weaving between lanes increase the risk of sideswipes.
  • Inadequate use of turn signals – Failing to signal lane changes or turns can lead to unexpected movements and sideswipes.
  • Poor weather conditions – Reduced visibility and slippery roads in adverse weather make it easier for vehicles to inadvertently collide.
  • Inadequate road markings – Missing or unclear lane markings can confuse drivers, leading to sideswipe accidents.
  • Inexperienced drivers – Novice drivers may struggle to maintain their lane or properly judge distances between vehicles.
  • Mechanical failures – Vehicle issues like tire blowouts, brake failure, and steering problems can cause a driver to lose control and sideswipe other vehicles.
  • Medical conditions – Drivers with medical conditions that affect their control or awareness can unintentionally drift into adjacent lanes.

Sideswipe Accident Injuries

Sideswipe accidents could lead to a range of injuries for those inside the vehicles involved. The severity of the injuries will vary depending on the overall nature of the accident. For example, incidents that occur at higher speeds or those that lead to a vehicle slamming into other objects or going off the road may lead to worse injuries. 

Some of the most common injuries associated with sideswipe accidents include:

  • Whiplash
  • Other neck or back injury
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Severe bruising or contusions 
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Burn injuries from airbag deployment
  • Fractured or dislocated bones
  • Sprains or strains

Liability for a Sideswipe Accident

Sideswipe accident liability can be challenging to determine. We encourage you to reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can help you investigate this incident and determine liability. An attorney assist in handling every aspect of your claim, including negotiations with insurance carriers.

Determining liability for a sideswipe accident involves gathering evidence at the scene of the incident, examining vehicle damage, and possibly even obtaining vehicle black box data. Some of the evidence that can help pinpoint exactly who caused the incident includes the location of the damage on the vehicles, photographs taken at the scene of the crash, and video surveillance footage from nearby cameras if footage is available.