Different types of motor vehicle collisions present different kinds of risks to occupants. While head-on accidents are dangerous because the force of the two cars combine to create more momentum, T-Bone accidents a dangerous type of car accident because the side of a car offers almost no shield. When a vehicle is hit from the side at a perpendicular angle, the striking auto can significantly intrude on the passenger compartment, even in a relatively minor accident. The side of the car is too thin to absorb any force from the impact.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows there are certain safety features designed to diffuse force and protect the body when a car is struck from the side. Side airbags are one of the most basic and important protections in place to prevent injury or death in T-Bone accidents. Head and torso protection are also common in many vehicles as a side-impact or T-Bone collision frequently cause severe injuries to the head, shoulders, and chest.
When choosing a vehicle, consider looking for cars with a positive rating on crash tests and with advanced side-impact protection systems. You cannot control if another driver is going to speed through an intersection and hit the side of your car, even if you try to be careful, yield, and look around before entering the intersection. While you can hold the driver accountable if he negligently hit the side of your vehicle, you cannot undo the damage. Cars with good crash testing ratings minimize the damage.
Crash Test Ratings Impact Likelihood of Serious T-Bone Accident Injuries
T-Bone or side impact collisions accounted for 27 percent of fatalities in traffic accidents in 2009. These collisions get their name because the cars form a “T” in the collision.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs testing to determine how well different cars protect occupants in a T-Bone accident. Cars are tested only if they have side airbags, torso, and head protection. Different size crash dummies are used in testing to reflect men, women, and children inside the vehicle. The car being tested is hit by a barrier designed to resemble a sport utility vehicle (SUV) or pickup truck in weight and character.
IIHS measures different injury categories, including injuries to head and neck, injuries to the torso, injuries to the pelvis, and injuries to the legs. A rating is given to the vehicle based on extent of injuries suffered as well as the level of intrusion of the barrier into passenger compartments. Ratings include good, acceptable, marginal, and poor.
A person in a poorly-rated vehicle has a 64 percent greater chance of dying in a T-Bone accident than someone in a vehicle rated acceptable. A driver in a “poor” vehicle has a 70 percent greater chance of dying when hit from the side compared with someone in a vehicle rated “good.”
It is important to consider IIHS assessments of any car you wish to buy if you are serious about reducing the chances of a deadly crash.