There are many ways a crash can occur, but there are several factors that can increase the likelihood of a crash resulting in severe or fatal injuries. Every day, we hear about motorists who are seriously injured or killed on Massachusetts roads. The crashes we hear about in the news can happen to anyone at any time. Below, the car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone outline the leading factors in catastrophic collisions that result in severe injuries or death.
Speed is a leading factor in catastrophic collisions
Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit or travel at a speed that isn't safe or prudent generally have less control of their cars. They also have less time and distance to react to obstacles in the road. The faster they travel, the more catastrophic the damage and injuries will be if they cause a crash. Here are some examples of how speed leads to serious injuries and fatalities:
- Highway collisions. Many serious and fatal collisions occur on major highways and interstates throughout Massachusetts. Recently, one person was killed in a collision with a wrong-way driver on Interstate 195 in Somerset. The speed limit on Massachusetts interstates is 65 mph and 55 mph on urban freeways. That, alone, is fast enough to cause a catastrophe. Far too often, however, drivers barrel down the highway at speeds much greater than the posted speed limit.
- High-speed rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident and often result in whiplash. High-speed rear-end collisions are much worse. Crash victims can sustain serious spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and paralysis. There have been some cases where drivers have died after their cars caught fire or were crushed by larger vehicles. High-speed rear-end collisions are often the result of distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel and driving at a speed this isn't safe or prudent.
- Head-on collisions. Head-on collisions are typically rare, but they are one of the most catastrophic types of crashes. What makes head-on collisions so dangerous is the combined speed of two cars traveling in opposite directions. For example, if car A (traveling westbound) and car B (traveling eastbound) are each traveling at 50 mph, then the impact of a crash would be 100 mph when they collide.
Why the point of impact matters
Drivers are often protected by durable front ends that are designed to absorb much of the impact of a collision. In addition, seatbelts and airbags offer some protection in a frontal collision. But the side of a car doesn't provide much protection unless the car comes equipped with side airbags. This makes T-bone and side-impact crashes the most catastrophic types of crashes. T-bone crashes usually occur at intersections when one driver runs through a red light or stop sign. The at-fault driver either hits another car or is broadsided.
Getting hit on the front corner of your car also increases the likelihood of sustaining severe or fatal injuries. In 2012, several new car models failed corner crash tests, according to an ABC News video. Corner crashes occur when one car hits another car, pole or roadside structure. The front end of a car doesn't absorb the impact of a collision because the point of contact occurs on the driver or passenger's side. The crash tests revealed that more protection is needed on the front end.
Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explains:
"That side of the vehicle that's struck is pushed in towards the occupant and your restraints tend to move out of the way."
Car accident attorneys serving Massachusetts
If you or a loved one was severely injured in a crash, it's important that you get an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. Every moment following your crash, the other driver's insurance company will look for ways to pay you as little as possible. They may attempt to call you and ask for a recorded statement or they may offer you a quick settlement without factoring in all of your current and future damages.
Meanwhile, the medical bills are piling up and you're unable to work while you spend several months in physical therapy. A lowball settlement simply won't cut it. You deserve to recover every dollar in damages. The Massachusetts car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone will not settle for anything less. We'll fight every step of the way to maximize your compensation and we won't charge you for our legal services until your case is resolved. We have offices conveniently located across Massachusetts. Contact us online or call us to set up a free case evaluation.