Why Are T-Bone Accidents So Dangerous?

t-bone accident, car accident attorneys

T-bone accidents are among the most dangerous types of automobile collisions. Often occurring at intersections or within parking lots, the force of the impact frequently causes severe injuries to vehicle occupants. These types of accidents cause between 8,000 and 10,000 car crash fatalities every year. This rate is higher than the combined fatality rates for head-on and rear-end collisions.

Impact on the Body

Side-impact collisions can cause serious personal injuries even at low speeds. The force of the impact can cause head injuries including traumatic brain injury, lacerations caused by glass shards and other debris, as well as whiplash and other damage to the spine and neck. The impact can also cause severe trauma to the ribs, shoulders, arms, and legs. The higher the speed of the accident, the greater the incidence and severity of injuries as the force of the impact radiates through the body.

Non-fatal spinal cord injuries are among the most common types of injuries in T-Bone crashes. In these accidents, the head is typically static at the moment of impact. This causes the force of the impact to be absorbed by the muscles and ligaments within the neck. Eventually, this force is transmitted which causes the head to move back and forth rapidly which results in damage to the cervical spine.

Those who are on the side of the crash are more likely to be seriously injured than those on the opposite side of the vehicle. In all cases, drivers and occupants wearing seat belts are less likely to suffer fatal injuries than those who are not.

Side Airbags, Crumple Zones, and Kinetic Energy

Side-curtain airbags can provide some protection against flying debris and the force of impact. In most cases, the majority of the kinetic injury generate in the crash is absorbed by the crumple zones of the impacting vehicle. Typically, the doors of passenger vehicles are thin and can only absorb a small percentage of this energy. The energy that is not absorbed by the vehicle is often significant and is transmitted to occupants of the vehicle which can cause serious personal injuries or wrongful deaths.

In addition to the initial impact, side-impact collisions often lead to secondary impacts as the vehicle is spun around or pushed into other vehicles or objects. This can cause complex injuries to muscles, bones, and organs which can complicate treatment and slow the recovery process.