Sideswipe collisions are the most common types of automobile accidents in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that in 2012, 68% of injury crashes and 73% of fatal crashes came from two cars colliding side to side. Drivers are often surprised to learn that their insurance company will not cover the cost of these accidents. If it ever happens to you, here are some common reasons for sideswipe collisions and what, if anything, you can do about them
1. You didn’t see a car coming up behind you.
In a truly legal sideswipe collision, both vehicles are doing the same thing at the same time. This means that you need to see the other car coming up behind you. The easiest way to do this is by using your mirrors. It’s also possible if one car is stopped in traffic, backed up or pulled over.
2. You didn’t reduce speed when you saw the car coming up on your left.
In an at-fault sideswipe accident, this is another problem that can lead to an accident: you don’t slow down when you see the car coming up on your left. It’s very easy to get caught in a state of panic and be unable to avoid a sideswipe collision.
3. You forgot to signal.
It’s also possible that you sideswiped a car because you forgot to signal while driving. I think it’s easy to get so used to which side of the road we drive on that we don’t bother signaling anymore. Since no other countries drive on the left-hand side of the road, we must remind ourselves from time to time that we are not in the U.S. again!
4. You were speeding and tried to switch lanes.
One of the most common causes of a sideswipe collision happens when we are in such a hurry, we forget to check our blind spots. It’s easy to get stuck in an at-fault accident if you are speeding and trying to switch lanes – or turn – at the same time.
5. You hit another car while driving on the left side of the road.
This is another reason that insurance companies consider sideswipes to be at-fault accidents. Many times, people will be driving on their left side of the road and accidentally collide with a car that is passing them on the right. It’s also possible that you will hit a car post-collision when your front end is still in the wrong lane.
6. You’re drunk or texting while driving and hit another car.
When you’re driving under the influence or texting and you collide with another car, your first step should be to consult with a sideswipe collision lawyer before you reach out to your insurance company. This is because this is one of the reasons that insurance companies may consider sideswipe accidents to be at-fault accidents. I could tell you all day about how much I hate texting while driving and watching my phone fly from my hands when it falls off my lap, but since we’re talking about sideswipe accidents, let’s just say there are a lot of these types of collisions in which both drivers are drunk.
7. You ran a red light or stop sign and crashed.
In this case, you ran a red light or stop sign and collided with another car. This kind of accident is always at-fault on the part of the driver that ran the red light or stops sign, which still doesn’t make it an accident – it’s just an error in judgment.
Almost every accident has a cause. Sometimes the cause is not clear, but other times it’s pretty obvious. I think it’s helpful to understand why car accidents happen because then you’ll be able to prevent them in the future. You can also help your insurance company determine liability if you know what led up to the accident in the first place.