Sideswipe car accidents are among the most common traffic accidents. The National Safety Commission defines a sideswipe accident as a collision taking place when two vehicles traveling in a parallel manner meet. Each year, more than 242,000 sideswipe accidents occur in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The following are the most common reasons why sideswipe crashes happen:
- Distracted driving: texting, talking on the phone, or changing the radio station.
- Impaired driving: driving while impaired from alcohol, drugs, or lack of sleep.
- Inattentive driving: running a red light, making a turn against traffic without waiting until it is safe to do so, failing to yield or come to a complete stop at a four-way intersection, or failing to look both ways before turning right at an intersection.
- Reckless driving: defined as driving a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the rights and safety of others. In New Jersey, this violation is usually charged along with excessive speeding and drunk driving
The resulting crash from sideswipe accidents may cause serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries. The Insurance of Highway Safety reports that sideswipe accidents cause 27,000 injuries and over 2,500 fatalities each year. Car design may play an important role in the severity of these crashes as front and rear bumpers absorb some of the force of impact, whereas the car’s side panel provides little protection for passengers. The Department of Motor Vehicles provides some tips for reducing your risk of being involved in a sideswipe accident:
- Pay attention: do not eat, apply makeup, use your cell phone, or engage in any activities that will cause you to take your eyes off the road.
- Obey the law: do not drive while intoxicated, speed, or drive aggressively. Use turn signals, heed stop signs, and keep a safe driving distance between vehicles.
- Drive defensively: be aware of blind spots, keep a wide berth from aggressive or distracted drivers, and look for sudden breaking ahead of the car immediately in front of you.
- Maintain your vehicle: make sure that your tires and breaks are in good condition and know the limitations of your vehicle in adverse conditions, such as heavy rain or snow.
Even though drivers pay attention, obey the law, drive defensively, and maintain their vehicles, they may still be involved in a sideswipe accident due to someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior. If you sustained injuries from such an accident, you may be entitled to recover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury, so it is important to contact skilled legal counsel promptly about your case.
New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Sideswipe Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a sideswipe accident, contact an experienced New Brunswick car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. For over 40 years, our firm has exclusively focused on the needs of people who have suffered personal injuries. We understand that your situation is unique and we will work hard to accomplish the personal goals and objectives you have for your case. From our offices conveniently located in Highland Park, we represent clients in Highland Park, Somerset, New Brunswick, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy and Colonia, New Jersey. Contact us online or call us at 732-537-8570 to schedule a free consultation.