Side-Impact Car Accidents: How Serious are They?

Side-impact car accidents happen when the front of a car collides into the side of another car. This type of accident is also called T-bone or lateral impact which usually leads to catastrophic injuries or death. These accidents usually happen at intersections when drivers encounter traffic signals and stop or yield signs. Injuries that victims may sustain include spinal injuries, upper arm or shoulder injuries, abdominal or chest injuries, and injuries to the hip, pelvis, or femur. Victims should get in touch with an auto accident lawyer in Pueblo CO to get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and property damage. 

The Danger of Side-Impacts

The side portions of a car have less mass to protect the inside compared to the front or rear portions. There is not much material to absorb impact and space at the point of impact for occupants on the side where the collision starts. These days, cars are made with more materials that can absorb force applied to the door panels, rails of the sub-frame, and roof pillars. Also, side-impact airbags are a good safety feature. 

Improvements in Vehicles to Reduce Impact During Accidents

The severity of a side-impact accident is influenced by the speed of travel when the crash happens and the size of the vehicle. Carmakers today are working to advance their side-impact safety standards and use materials that can be used to better absorb energy. For instance, doors and beams come with better-reinforced hinges and latches. Also, carmakers have upgraded the seats and backrests to give car occupants better protection.

Another helpful addition is side airbags which tend to inflate with air upon impact to protect an occupant’s head and shoulder regions. Some airbags may stay inflated for protection in case of a subsequent roll-over. Side airbags have been found to reduce the fatality rate for most vehicles, saving thousands of lives and preventing a lot of serious injuries. 

Airbags for side-impact protection are categorized into torso airbags and curtain airbags. Torso airbags are placed in the side of the seats and often limited to the front passenger seats. Curtain airbags are housed near a vehicle’s interior ceiling. They are designed to protect the occupants’ heads. A lot of vehicles with third-row seating are made with bags placed in a position to protect occupants. Front-center airbags may also be used to protect occupants in the front seats and those in the rear from colliding with one another after an accident.