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How to Avoid Ohio Sideswipe Collisions

Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles that are traveling close to one another in the same direction collide at their sides. Like other types of motor vehicle accidents, sideswipe collisions can result in serious injuries for all of the parties involved.

Based on statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, approximately 240,000 sideswipe accidents occur each year in the United States. Approximately 25,000 of these accidents involve injuries and 2,500 result in fatalities. Additional statistics compiled by the Ohio Department of Transportation reveal that from 2010 to 2014, sideswipe accidents represented approximately 11% of motor vehicle collisions in Ohio.

In most cases, these accidents occur when motor vehicle drivers switch lanes without looking or weave between lanes while distracted. Even though it might seem obvious, deciding fault in sideswipe accidents is often challenging. This is why it is important to take adequate measures to prevent these accidents. The purpose of this article is to review some helpful steps that can be followed to avoid ending up in a sideswipe accident.

Learn How Sideswipe Accidents Occur

By learning how sideswipe accidents occur, you can then take steps to avoid these accidents. Some of the most common factors behind sideswipe accidents include:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Drivers who sideswipe other vehicles while attempting to navigate turns
  • Drivers who use alcohol or drugs
  • Drivers who are fatigued
  • Failure by the driver to look in front of the vehicle, in the rearview mirror, or to compensate for a blind spot
  • Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions

While these are the most common causes of sideswipe accidents, there are several additional factors that can make sideswipe accidents more deadly. For example, when a larger vehicle sideswipes a smaller one, much more substantial damage is likely.

Look Carefully Before Switching Lanes

Several factors can distract a driver’s attention from conditions on the road. Unfortunately, your vehicle’s blind spots can hide other cars on the road, which can make sideswipe collisions much more likely. Taking a few moments to cautiously switch lanes can ultimately save you from ending up in a sideswipe accident.

Remain Patient and Pay Attention

Many motorists are in a hurry to get to their next destination. It is critical, however, to remain patient and not to speed. Even if there are distractions in your car, it is imperative that you ignore them. Pay attention to the speed limit, road and weather conditions, and to the behavior of other drivers around you. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of sideswipe collisions.

Avoid Drinking and Driving

Driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs can cause a motor vehicle driver to weave in and out of lanes unexpectedly, which greatly increases the chances that a sideswipe accident will occur.

Never Drive While Fatigued

If you are too fatigued to drive, you should refrain from getting into a motor vehicle. If you become fatigued while behind the wheel, pull over and take a break. Most times, recharging by taking a quick nap will give you enough energy to safely reach your destination.

Call Law Enforcement if You Spot Someone Swerving

If you spot a driver who is dangerously swerving between lanes, contact law enforcement. If you can provide details about the driver’s vehicle and license plate number, this can greatly help law enforcement identify and stop the dangerous driver.

Do Not Rely Solely on Lane Assist Technology

Recent advancements in vehicle technology have the potential to make driving safer for anyone. As these features become more common, they will likely help to reduce the large number of sideswipe accidents that occur due to human error. Lane assist technology is designed to prevent drivers from dangerously entering other lanes, which potentially reduces the risk of sideswipe accidents. This technology, however, will never be capable of eliminating the risk of these accidents. If your vehicle is equipped with this feature, you should realize that it helps reduce accidents but is not capable of avoiding all of them.

Speak With an Experienced Accident Attorney

It is an unfortunate truth that no matter what safety precautions you follow, sideswipe accidents will still occur. Sideswipe accidents commonly result in serious injuries. No matter if it is severe head trauma, paralysis, broken bones, or other physical impairment, the aftermath of these accidents can leave victims facing large medical bills as well as other costs. If you or a loved one has been injured in a sideswipe accident, a dedicated accident attorney will help fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.

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