How to Avoid a Sideswipe Accident
Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two vehicles come into contact or collide. This type of crash typically involves drivers traveling in the same direction. Sideswipes are common when distracted or drowsy drivers drift into another lane, when drivers switch lanes without performing a head check and hit vehicles in their blind spots, and when drivers fail to yield when merging into oncoming traffic.
Ways to Avoid a Sideswipe Accident
Although you can’t predict the actions of other drivers, you can take precautions to avoid a sideswipe collision:
- Always check your blind spot before changing lanes. Also check your mirrors to keep track of other drivers when a lane change is coming up.
- Take care when you merge. Make sure you have plenty of room to pull your vehicle into traffic. When other drivers are merging, speed up or slow down as appropriate to let them in.
- Watch other drivers closely. Stay out of the way of anyone who is distracted or driving aggressively or erratically. Pull over if necessary to avoid the risk of a crash with a dangerous driver.
- Keep out of truck no zones. Semi-truck drivers have large blind spots all around their vehicles. These areas are known as no zones. Increase or decrease your speed as necessary to get out of a large truck’s no zone and into a safer location. If a truck is signaling a lane change into the lane occupied by your vehicle, tap your horn and get out of the way as quickly and safely as possible.
- Do not drive distracted, drowsy, or impaired. In today’s traffic situations, operating a motor vehicle requires all your attention and skills. Concentrate on the task at hand – you can check your text messages or return phone calls after you arrive. Find alternative transportation if you are impaired by alcohol, medications, or recreational drugs. If you are sleep deprived, get some rest before you get behind the wheel of a car.
- Report dangerous drivers to the police. If you see someone speeding excessively, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers, driving erratically, or wandering out of a driving lane dangerously, pull over and call the police to report it. This action could help prevent others from being seriously injured by an impaired or erratic driver.
- Stay clear of road rage. If you encounter a driver displaying signs of road rage, do not engage – just get out of the way. Keep your cool and refrain from responding with yelling or hand gestures. Calm behavior can reduce the risk of becoming a road rage victim.
Types of Injuries Caused by Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe collisions can cause serious injuries, particularly to vehicle occupants on the side that is hit. Common injuries in serious sideswipe accidents include:
- Amputation: A victim on the side of a vehicle that is hit can have a limb ripped off or crushed so severely it cannot be repaired.
- Fractures: Broken bones are common in sideswipe accidents. There may be multiple fractures on the same side of the body, making mobility a problem.
- Traumatic brain injury: This can occur with the force of a sideswipe collision or any trauma to the head. Brain injury can have life-altering consequences for victims and their families.
- Spinal cord injury: Damage to the spine in a sideswipe crash can lead to paralysis. Depending on the site of the injury, a victim could be facing living life with the significant challenges of paraplegia or quadriplegia.
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a sideswipe accident, your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer handling your case. At Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, LLC, we have more than 35 years of combined experience. Contact us at (317) 969-8000 to find out how we can help.