T-bone accidents—also known as side impact and broadside accidents—occur when one vehicle slams into the side of another one. T-bone wrecks can be dangerous when two passenger vehicles are involved because only a door and vehicle window protects the victim from the vehicle smashing into him. This danger is magnified when an automobile or truck hits a motorcycle in a side-impact crash. The damage can be catastrophic due to the smaller size and weight of the motorcycle and the lack of any protection between the motorcyclist and the vehicle hitting him.
Common Causes of T-Bone Motorcycle Wrecks
Side impact motorcycle accidents most commonly occur at Atlanta area intersections, in parking lots, or near driveways. They are often caused when motorists fail to exercise ordinary care in their driving and in obeying safety traffic rules. Common reasons motorists negligently cause these crashes include:
- Failing to yield. When a driver fails to yield at a stoplight or stop sign, he can easily broadside a motorcyclist who has the right of way. These crashes can also happen when the driver rolls through a four-way stop or fails to follow the rules of who has the right of way to proceed through this type of intersection.
- Low visibility. Motorcycles are so much smaller than other vehicles—especially SUVs, vans, pick-up trucks, and big-rig trucks—that they are difficult for even attentive drivers to see. This can be especially dangerous in parking lots and driveways where shrubbery can hide the motorcyclist even more.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving always increases the risk of an accident. When drivers have their eyes and minds on their cell phone, food or drinks, or their radio or other instrument controls, they could miss a motorcyclist legally entering an intersection.
- Impaired driving. Impaired driving reduces a driver’s general driving abilities, his judgment, and his reaction time. He could misjudge that he has time to make a light or turn left, with the result being that he causes a T-bone crash with a motorcycle.
- Running a red light. A driver speeding to try to get through a light before it turns red can cause a dangerous side-impact wreck with a motorcyclist who has the right of way.
- Unsafe lane changes. When a driver makes an abrupt, unsafe lane change, he can cause a T-bone accident with an unsuspecting motorcycle rider.
- Blind spots. A driver who does not realize a motorcycle is in his blind spot can easily cause a broadside accident if he tries to move into the other lane. This can be especially dangerous if the driver is driving a truck.
Factors That Could Affect the Severity of the Crash
Many factors can influence how serious the injuries will be to the motorcycle rider. Some of these include:
- How fast were the vehicles going?
- What was the difference in size between the motorcycle and the vehicle that hit it?
- Was the driver who caused the crash braking or going at full speed?
What Types of Injuries Do Motorcycle Riders Suffer in T-Bone Collisions?
Despite the fact that most side-impact accidents happen at lower speeds than other types of wrecks, they can still cause devastating injuries to motorcyclists. This is because the rider does not have the protection of bumpers, doors, airbags, or seat belts that other motorists have. Only clothing and a motorcycle helmet—if the rider is wearing one—gives any protection from the force of the crash or the hard pavement. Motorcycle riders may suffer these injuries:
- Leg and pelvic fractures and broken bones
- Hip dislocations
- Shoulder and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries—including paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Permanent scarring
Were you injured in a motorcycle T-bone crash? Was a family member killed? David Brauns understands the emotional and financial toll these accidents can take on the victims and is here to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Fill out our firm’s online form to schedule a free case evaluation with David.