Reckless driving can cause a side-impact accident in some circumstances. Various factors determine whether a side-impact accident occurs. For example, both the direction of the vehicles involved in the accident and the actions of the drivers can affect the impact point of an accident. Also, the type of reckless driving involved can affect whether a side-impact accident results.
Defining Reckless Driving
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a study in 2016 in which researchers found that 87% of all drivers had engaged in at least one risky driving behavior within the past 30 days. Many of the risky driving behaviors are ones that fall within the general definition of reckless driving, and they included:
- Excessively speeding
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Swerving between lanes or failing to maintain a lane
Many forms of reckless driving involve a major traffic violation, depending on the laws of the state in which the driving takes place. Reckless driving likely would not include driving five miles over the speed limit, but it could involve driving 30 miles over the speed limit. If you’re a victim of reckless driving, a car accident lawyer from our firm can help you.
Examples of Reckless Driving Leading to a Side-Impact Accident
Reckless driving can lead to a side-impact accident in various ways. For example, a reckless driver who fails to stop at a red light or stop sign could strike the side of another vehicle that is already traveling in a perpendicular direction through the intersection. This type of crash is known as a “T-bone” crash because the two vehicles form a “T” shape as the front of one vehicle strikes the side of the other.
Reckless driving also can lead to sideswipe accidents which involve a side impact. In some cases, a reckless driver may fail to maintain the lane and swerve into a vehicle in the next lane, usually striking the side of the vehicle. In other cases, a driver may be recklessly swerving in and out of traffic in different lanes and, eventually, the driver may swerve and strike the side of another vehicle traveling in the same direction.
Other forms of reckless driving also can lead to side-impact accidents. Excessive speeding or driving too fast for weather conditions can lead to loss of control or swerving that causes a side-impact collision. Failing to yield when merging onto a highway can also cause a side-impact crash.
Reckless Driving Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2.3 million crashes that occurred in the United States in 2019 involved a side impact in which one driver sideswiped or struck another vehicle at an angle. Over 668,000 of these side-impact crashes resulted in bodily injuries, and almost 7,000 of those accidents were fatal.
What Injuries Can Occur During a Side-Impact Collision?
Side-impact accidents can cause horrific injuries, especially if an SUV, truck, or big rig collides with the side of a passenger car. Injuries in side-impact collisions can include, among others:
- Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injury
- Herniated discs
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crushing injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Some injuries can be permanent and disabling, changing a victim’s entire life. An individual hurt in a side-impact accident may never be able to return to their job or live an independent life.
Can You Suffer Whiplash in a Side-Impact?
Whiplash is one of the neck injuries you could suffer in a side-impact accident. The symptoms of whiplash and certain other injuries can take some time to show themselves, so you may have one of these injuries and not know it. You should seek medical attention if you haven’t done so already.
Can Aggressive Driving Cause a Side-Impact Accident?
Aggressive driving is a form of especially reckless driving that can cause side-impact accidents and other types of accidents. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), aggressive driving is a major factor in car crashes and plays a role in many fatal highway collisions each year.
Victims of aggressive driving can potentially hold a reckless and aggressive driver to account for their damages and recover compensation from them.
Examples of Aggressive Driving in Florida
Aggressive driving can encompass a range of driver actions and behaviors. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), aggressive driving includes any unsafe driving behaviors that drivers perform deliberately and without regard for safety. Examples of such behaviors can be:
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Cutting off other drivers
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
- Weaving in and out of traffic aggressively
- Passing another car in a no-passing zone
- Racing other cars
- Illegally driving on a road shoulder or sidewalk
- Failing to use signals
- Blocking other cars from passing or changing lanes
There can be other examples of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can cause devastating side-impact accidents with injury and even fatality. Turning aggressively, blocking cars from turning or changing lanes, or disregarding traffic signals can lead to especially devastating sideswipe and side-impact accidents.
Our Florida Car Accident Firm Can Help
If you are the victim of any kind of reckless driving, you can consult with our Florida car accident law firm to find out whether you have legal recourse. If you do, one of our car accident lawyers in Florida can help you find that recourse.
Your attorney will file a claim or lawsuit and, if necessary, represent you in the courtroom. Your lawyer will be determined to hold the other driver to account and to recover damages from them, such as pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, and the cost of the damage to your vehicle.
One of our lawyers can also help if you lost a family member in an accident. Your lawyer will fight for wrongful death damages, such as mental anguish and loss of companionship.
We Stand Ready to Assist You With Your Legal Claim
As a victim of a side-impact accident that a reckless driver caused, you may have legal recourse. You can contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to get more information about what we can do to help. We’ll be able to speak and consult with you for free and help you draw up a plan for legal action.
Per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) there is a time limit of four years from the time of the accident or discovery of the injuries to pursue legal action. Our lawyers will help you navigate the legal waters in a timely and manageable way. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for your free consultation.
We Can Help.