Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles are driving next to each other going the same direction and the side of one vehicle makes contact with the other. According to data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 629,000 sideswipe accidents in 2013, as compared to 1.8 million rear-end collisions and 136,000 head-on collisions. There were 89,000 sideswipe injuries reported and 757 fatalities, which accounted for 2.5 percent of all fatal crashes during that year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that in 2010, there were 9,144 injuries from sideswipe accidents and 98 fatalities in Florida. Englander Peebles, a South Florida Personal Injury Law Firm, can provide you with experienced representation to obtain compensation for your injuries if you have been involved in a sideswipe car accident in Florida.Lane Change Accidents
The most common way a sideswipe accident occurs is during a lane change. This crash occurs when one vehicle enters into the lane of another vehicle that was traveling in the same direction but in a different lane. Florida law requires that drivers be alert for any approaching vehicles on either side before attempting to change lanes. Additionally, Florida law requires drivers to switch their turn signals on for at least 100 feet before changing lanes. The failure to do so may result in tragic consequences.
The NHTSA reported that impairment due to alcohol or drugs was the most dominant contributing factor for lane change crashes. The next was distracted driving, either caused by mobile device use while driving or with other passengers. Other factors included poor driver vision caused by weather-related events, sunlight reflected on the highway, or a curve on a roadway or hill. Speeding was also identified as a possible cause, as well as failure to follow traffic signs such as stop signs.
There are many times when the individual who caused the sideswipe accident deny that it was their fault. Rather, they try and point the finger at the innocent driver. When this occurs, it is very important that an accident reconstruction expert be retained to prove what truly happened.
All drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicle in a safe manner and to make sure that they change lanes only when it is safe to do so. Drivers who make unsafe lane changes may be held liable for damages caused by their negligence. These damages may include payment of medical bills, lost wages, and for the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Sideswipe accidents can cause severe injuries because of the minimal protection afforded by impact on the side, as opposed to the front or the rear, of a vehicle. Additionally, sideswipe accidents often lead to a second collision with another car, a barrier, trees, or road signs. Englander Peebles is an experienced personal injury law firm with experience in handling car accidents in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and throughout different counties in Florida. If you have been injured in a sideswipe accident, please contact our Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 500-4878 for a free initial consultation.