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Where Do Broadside Collisions Most Commonly Occur in Boston?

Broadside collisions, often called T-bone collisions, can cause immense danger for occupants of the vehicle struck directly by another driver’s dangerous or negligent actions behind the wheel. Most often, broadside collisions occur because of a serious act of negligence on the part of a driver.

In a broadside collision, one vehicle strikes another directly in the side. Passengers on that side of the vehicle may sustain severe injuries, especially if in a smaller vehicle or one that offers little protection. In some cases, even the occupants of large, safe vehicles can sustain severe injuries in these types of accidents.

Intersections: The Most Common Sites of Broadside Collisions

Most often, broadside collisions occur at an intersection, including one of the most dangerous intersections in Boston.

The most dangerous intersections in the Boston area include:

  • Middlesex Turnpike at Route 128
  • VFW Highway at Bridge Street
  • Appleton Street at Central Street
  • Granite Avenue and the Expressway
  • Morton Street at Harvard Street
  • Saint James Avenue at Saint James Boulevard
  • Route 128 and Interstate 93
  • North Washington Street and the Central Artery in Boston

These intersections, however, do not offer the only opportunities in Boston for broadside collisions to occur. Broadside collisions can occur anywhere on the streets of Boston, particularly in dangerous intersections.

Failure to Yield and How It Can Lead to Broadside Collisions

In addition to intersections, where broadside collisions commonly occur because drivers fail to allow adequate time for another vehicle to pass through the intersection, major interstates and highways, including Route 128 and Interstate 93, may see a large number of broadside collisions, as drivers attempt to merge using unsafe practices.

Some drivers may simply fail to yield as they try to pull onto those busy roads. With the heavy amount of traffic that occurs throughout the Boston area, many drivers try to force their way onto interstates and highways instead of waiting for an opening. As a result, those drivers may plow straight into the side of another vehicle, or another vehicle may cause a collision while trying to pull out into traffic without adequate room. These collisions often occur at higher speeds than those at intersections and can cause considerably more damage to the passengers in both vehicles.

Failure to yield can also occur on smaller roads, as Boston drivers attempt to pull out of shopping centers and even fast-food restaurants. Drivers may try to pull out into traffic without adequate room, driving straight into the side of another vehicle or pulling out in front of another vehicle, which may then strike the offending vehicle before the driver has a chance to react.

Multi-Lane Roads: A Common Site of Boston Broadside Collisions

Multi-lane roads require drivers to merge seamlessly into traffic as they change lanes. Often, drivers need to change lanes quickly, whether they need to pay a toll as they move past Ted Williams Tunnel or realize that they have reached their exit. Those busy roads often have drivers traveling at high rates of speed, especially around Boston’s rush hour, which can last from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On those multi-lane roads, drivers may have a hard time keeping up with the movement of other drivers around them. As a result, drivers may try to change lanes, only to discover that another vehicle has already moved into that lane. Sometimes, drivers may attempt to change lanes without checking to make sure that they have adequate room, which can result in a broadside collision.

Why Do Broadside Collisions Commonly Occur in Boston?

Broadside collisions can happen for many reasons. Generally, these accidents occur because one driver has proceeded straight through an intersection without pausing to yield to other traffic. Drivers may engage in that dangerous behavior for many reasons.

Distraction

It only takes a moment’s distraction for conditions on the road to change. A light that previously held green for a long time may turn red while a driver’s attention remains off the road, or a driver might look down at just the wrong moment and fail to notice a stop sign. Distracted drivers may have no idea that they have sailed into an intersection occupied by another vehicle until the moment of the collision.

While most people think of driving while texting when they consider frequent distractions on the road, drivers may also engage in other distractions behind the wheel that can increase the risk of accidents, including broadside collisions.

For example, a driver who looks down to grab a drink or has his vision obscured for too long while drinking out of a cup without a straw may mistakenly drive straight into an intersection, resulting in a broadside collision. Likewise, a driver who pays more attention to his GPS than to the road, or a driver who attempts to deal with children in the back seat of a vehicle, may have a hard time keeping focused on the road, which could raise the risk of a broadside collision.

Inebriation

Often, a driver under the influence will suffer from tunnel vision, poor judgment, and poor motor control—a dangerous mix that can make it extremely difficult for that driver to navigate safely through an intersection. Drunk drivers may have a hard time reacting appropriately to the circumstances around them.

Slowed reaction times, for example, could cause a driver to fail to slow down in time as a light in the intersection turns yellow, then red. The driver might then drive through the intersection as traffic starts to move on the other side.

Likewise, an inebriated driver might never even see a stop sign or another vehicle in the intersection, resulting in a broadside collision as the driver moves through the intersection. Inebriated drivers may also struggle with the correct reaction when they see another vehicle in an intersection. The driver may not realize that he or she needs to stop as that vehicle moves through the intersection, especially in an intersection where only one side of traffic has to stop.

Sometimes, inebriated drivers may accidentally slam on the gas instead of the brake, which can cause them to plow through the intersection at an even higher rate of speed and, in many cases, cause more severe injury to the passengers in the other vehicle.

Excess Speed

Driving at a high rate of speed can cause many problems on the streets of Boston. Speeding substantially increases accident risk and often leads to more severe injuries in an accident. In a broadside collision, speed can kill, particularly as one vehicle plows into the side of another.

At a high rate of speed, drivers naturally need more room to slow down or complete a maneuver safely—including safely stopping as they reach an intersection.

On the crooked streets of Boston, intersections sometimes come up unexpectedly. A driver speeding through the streets might not even realize that he has reached an intersection in time to react effectively. Even if the driver attempts to stop, he might move through the intersection and hit another vehicle in the side before he has a chance to react.

The higher the driver’s speed, the greater the likelihood of a serious accident at an intersection, and the greater the chance that a severe injury will result. That high rate of speed substantially increases the force associated with the accident, which may mean much more severe injury, including more broken bones and a higher risk of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or amputation.

Sometimes, a driver may increase his rate of speed due to the policies of his employer. For example, a pizza delivery driver attempting to meet tight delivery deadlines might push to a higher rate of speed than he would on his own.

Since he may also have a hard time paying attention to the road around him, as he may need to watch his GPS and keep up with directions to his destination in addition to trying to maneuver his vehicle, that driver might have a higher overall risk of causing a serious broadside collision.

When an employer’s policies cause a driver to drive unsafely, including driving at high rates of speed, that employer may share liability for the driver’s injuries.

Wide Truck Turns

Big trucks require adequate room to complete a full turn. On the narrow streets of Boston, however, those big trucks may not have adequate room to maneuver safely. Some truck drivers may attempt to execute wide turns, especially wide right turns.

Often, however, other drivers do not allow those drivers adequate room to complete the turn. Some drivers of smaller passenger vehicles will pull up into the space vacated by the truck as the driver tries to make enough room for the turn. Since truck drivers also have large blind spots on that side of the vehicle, the truck driver may never realize that the other vehicle has moved into that space, and severe injury may result.

Reversing Unsafely in a Parking Lot

Finding parking in Boston, as in many big cities, can prove incredibly challenging. Many drivers have a hard time finding adequate parking spaces. Once they do find a parking space, they may pull into it abruptly. A driver who sees another vehicle pulling out may tuck in behind it without thinking about the potential consequences. The driver pulling out of the parking space may pull out abruptly, striking the side of the vehicle. Parking lot accidents may occur at a lower rate of speed than other types of broadside collisions, but parking lot accidents can still severely damage both vehicles and passengers.

Road Rage

Angry drivers on the road can cause serious hazards for everyone else in the vicinity. A raging driver may choose to deliberately strike another vehicle, including striking that vehicle in the side, which can pose immense injury potential for everyone in the other driver’s vehicle. Avoiding road rage can prove critical to maintaining overall safety on the road.

The Danger of Broadside Collisions in Boston

Broadside collisions throughout the Boston area can pose a high risk to the victims of those accidents. Broadside collisions often strike the most vulnerable point on the vehicle. While the front and rear of most vehicles have extra metal that can crumple in an accident, reducing a great deal of the force that goes into the accident, the sides do not have as much room to crumple.

Thus, a broadside collision can cause severe injury to the passengers in the vehicle, especially those on the side where the collision takes place. Even vehicles with high safety ratings may not have the same standard of protection in a broadside collision that they would have in a collision from the front or the rear.

Broadside collisions can lead to severe injuries that may create an impact on the rest of the victim’s life, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and amputations. Broadside collisions may also result in severe crushing damage to limbs, which can cause permanent disability or result in the need for amputation due to limb damage.

Victims in smaller vehicles often sustain much more severe injuries in broadside collisions than those in larger vehicles. Those smaller vehicles may also have lower overall safety ratings than larger vehicles.

Do You Need an Attorney After a Broadside Collision?

Any time you sustain serious injuries in a broadside collision, an attorney can help you learn more about your rights, including who bears liability for the accident and how much compensation you can ultimately recover. Do not wait to contact Boston car accident lawyer, since an insurance company may provide you with an unfairly low offer or try to push you to accept a settlement amount that doesn’t reflect the true value of your claim.

Instead, get in touch with an attorney as soon after your accident as you can to learn more about the compensation you should expect for your injuries.