What Is a T-Bone Car Accident?

The common name for a traffic collision where the vehicles strike at 90 degrees, as one vehicle smashes head-on into the side of the other, is T-bone. Also known as broadsides, these crashes are generally not as violent as head-on collisions but can still deliver enough force to destroy the vehicles and severely injure or kill the occupants. T-bone crashes commonly occur at intersections when:

  • A vehicle ignores a stop sign or red traffic signal and enters the intersection while another vehicle is crossing.
  • Vehicles at a four-way-stop intersection ignore right-of-way rules.
  • A vehicle makes an illegal or careless left turn or U-turn.
  • A dangerous intersection does not provide enough forward visibility for oncoming drivers to see and react to cross traffic.

When a T-bone car crash occurs in your local neighborhood with drivers observing a 25-mph speed limit, the result is usually moderate-to-extensive vehicle damage and minor injuries. But T-bone collisions are especially deadly on highways when fast-moving vehicles, including commercial trucks, crash into the sides of slower-moving cars or trucks.

Recently, a Long Island limousine driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide for making an ill-advised U-turn that exposed the broad side of his stretch limo to the fury of an oncoming commercial truck. Four women in their early 20s were killed in the 2015 crash. Although the truck driver was charged with DWI (his blood alcohol content was 0.06, within the legal range for most drivers but above the legal limit for a commercial driver), authorities believe he could not have avoided the crash. The truck was traveling at a legal speed limit of 55 miles per hour and was only 200 feet away when the limo became visible above the crest in the roadway. There was not sufficient distance to stop in time.

The Long Island crash is a grim reminder of the danger drivers create by making a left turn or a U-turn when they do not have a clear, extended view of the opposite lanes of traffic.

To speak with an accident attorney experienced in broadside crashes, call Seigel Law at 201.444.4000 or contact us online. We offer free consultations for injured clients in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey.

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