There are about six million car crashes in the U.S. each year. Of those, about 75% result in serious injuries or worse. Not all car crashes are equal; some are significantly more dangerous than others and should be avoided at all costs. To help you identify the risks and prevent these crashes, we need to examine a few of the most dangerous kinds of car crashes and their causes.
Crash With a Fixed Object
This type of crash refers to those where someone hits a solid object. These crashes might include a signpost, a telephone pole, or even a wall. Whatever the case, the front of the car will crumple and collapse.
Believe it or not, a car crumpling is actually a good thing (at least in terms of preventing injuries). It’s part of a safety design called “the crumple zone” that helps reduce the amount of energy transferred to the passengers.
A properly designed crumple zone, combined with airbag protection, can effectively reduce injuries from an accident that otherwise totals the car. However, if the crumple zone is poorly designed or the airbags malfunction, it could mean catastrophic injuries or worse for the driver and their passenger(s).
T-bone collisions, also called “side-impact collisions”, are especially dangerous because most cars do not have a crumple zone on their sides. On average, the vehicle frame will absorb just 5% of the force from the crash. Without side airbags, the rest of that force is expended in bending the frame and knocking the car off the road.
This means that t-bone accidents tend to cause much more serious injuries from both the force of the car hitting the passenger and from the spray of broken glass. In fact, side-impact accidents make up about 10% of all car crashes, but 20% of all car crash fatalities.
Remember that most t-bones occur at unprotected left turns. Make sure you’re especially cautious and that you’ve looked in every direction before pulling into the intersection. It just might save your life.
Some t-bone crashes, especially those involving cars of very different weights, are so severe that the victim’s car is knocked onto its side and begins to roll. In other cases, a rollover can occur when a large vehicle (like an SUV) slams its brakes. This causes the vehicle’s center of gravity to shift and can lead to a car to sliding and tipping over onto its side.
Rollovers are extremely dangerous because the passengers’ bodies bounce around the inside of the cabin. In most cases, car crash injuries aren’t caused by the initial impact of the crash but the response of the body hitting the inside of the car at high speeds. In a rollover crash, that phenomenon is multiplied many times over, typically resulting in severe injuries.
Head-on collisions with another vehicle are one of the worst things that can happen on the road. When a car hits a fixed object, like a solid wall, all the energy in the crash is concentrated in one place; the wall doesn’t push back. In a head-on collision, both cars exchange their combined kinetic energy, causing a force multiplier effect.
All that extra force from the crash is often too much for even the best-designed crumple zone to handle. Sadly, more than half of all head-on collisions end with at least one fatality. Worst of all, many of these crashes involve DUIs or speeding, which makes the crashes even deadlier.
Talking to an Attorney After a Crash
Anyone who has been seriously injured or lost a loved one in one of these car crashes should contact an attorney immediately. When dealing with a difficult and stressful recovery, worrying about medical expenses and insurance should be the last thing on your mind. An experienced car accident attorney can handle all the paperwork and negotiate on your behalf so you can focus on rest and recovery.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we’re ready to be the experience on your side. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton car accident attorney from The Attkisson Law Firm, please send us an email or call (937) 276-9700.