T-Bone Crashes in Middle Georgia
November 30, 2020
As of the end of March 2019, all school bus drivers in Georgia may need to be vetted twice per year by public safety officials. Georgia lawmakers recently passed a bus driver safety bill in the state Senate and House. The Georgia Senate passed the bill unanimously on March 26. The bill would... continue reading
With an annual average of 1,100 vehicle fatalities and over 114,000 injuries in Georgia, understanding the types and causes of vehicle collisions is a critical component of driver preparedness.
T-bone accidents, also referred to as “side collisions” or “broadside crashes,” can be complex accident scenes and result in more severe injuries than other types of crashes. Getting free information during a consultation with Attorney David Mann can help determine if you have a legal claim and how much that claim may be worth. It is beneficial for you to have all the information before speaking with an insurance representative. While residents in Middle Georgia might believe the risk for vehicle crashes is significantly lower here than in more populous areas of the state, the accident fatality rate based on population is almost the same. Overall, the counties in Central Georgia surrounding Macon had a total of 59 crash fatalities and 4,386 accident injuries from a total of 12,043 vehicle wrecks (most recent data).
- Bibb County (pop. 154,721): 31 fatalities / 2,014 injuries / 5,605 accidents
- Houston County (pop. 147,658): 9 fatalities / 1,353 injuries / 3,071 accidents
- Twiggs County (pop. 8,481): 1 fatality / 137 injuries / 288 accidents
- Jones County (pop. 28,569): 3 fatalities / 157 injuries / 654 accidents
- Monroe County (pop. 26,984): 11 fatalities / 299 injuries / 1,143 accidents
- Crawford County (pop. 12,504): 1 fatality / 96 injuries / 283 accidents
- Peach County (pop. 227,014): 3 fatalities / 330 injuries / 999 accidents
How Common are T-Bone Accidents?T-bone accidents are sometimes abbreviated by the police or insurance companies as “AABS” for “auto accident, broadside.” How common are “AABS” wrecks? Data estimates that 25 to 30 percent of car accidents are side impact / t-bone collisions. For the above counties in Middle Georgia (e.g., Bibb County, Houston County, Twiggs County, Jones County, Monroe County, Crawford County and Peach County) this indicates that up to 18 accident fatalities and 1,315 injuries annually may be attributed to t-bone crashes.
Causes of T-Bone Crashes vs. Other Vehicle Accidents?T-Bone collisions, or side-impact crashes, are most often caused by inattentive drivers. T-bone accidents usually occur in intersections where a driver has failed to yield and, consequently, collides into another vehicle in its path. T-bone accident investigation can be a complicated process as an accident attorney works to piece together what caused the initial impact. There are many possible scenarios that can cause the side impact crash:
- Was the at-fault driver distracted by their cell phone, or other device, at the time they failed to stop?
- Was there an environmental factor (e.g., sun glare or heavy rain) that contributed to the events leading to the crash?
- Were the traffic signals working properly or did they contribute to the accident?
- Did other drivers react appropriately or was there negligence from others in secondary collisions?
Where Do T-Bone Collisions Occur Most Often?Side impact crashes occur most frequently in areas where there are more cars and cross-current traffic patterns. As you might expect, downtown areas are ground zero for t-bone wrecks because of the increased volume of vehicles and intersections. Parking lots are another common scene of side impact collisions. Designed to move a high volume of cars in the most expedient manner possible, parking lots are designed with numerous intersections and crossing patterns. Add to this the hurried and distracted drivers, a lack of signaling, and, oftentimes, poor line of sight and it is easy to see why parking lots have a lot of auto accidents. While the injuries from parking lot collisions are less severe than if the cars had been traveling at a higher speed, they can still result in fractures, head / brain injury, damage to the spine, etc. Even our neighborhoods can be prime areas for t-bone accidents. With suburbs today designed on grid patterns, it creates an intersecting set of streets that easily lead to side impact wrecks. Many are inattentive drivers as they leave home – distracted by children or other occupants, adjusting seat belts, arranging food or drink, checking phones – and insurance company data indicates that driver awareness is lower as we feel more relaxed in our neighborhoods. These factors can contribute to broadside crashes in neighborhoods, including Macon’s largest (Terra Cotta, Avondale, Upper Red River, Lizella, Wesleyan, Franklinton, Cherokee and Sherwood Forest).
Injuries are More Severe in T-Bone WrecksT-bone crashes can be complex accident scenes. Not only are broadside crashes more likely to involve multiple vehicles, because the initial impact can often push the original vehicle into oncoming traffic, but they also can also cause more serious injury. Side impact crashes are more likely to cause severe injuries because the crash impact is in closer proximity to the driver or passenger. In t-bone accidents, neither driver senses the impending crash and, because there is limited braking, the collision occurs at a higher rate of speed. Additionally, because the initial impact can propel the vehicle(s) into oncoming traffic there is significant risk for injuries from secondary collisions.
These secondary collisions can have even more devastating effects as the car’s air bags usually deploy during the initial crash – not secondary impacts.Securing experienced, aggressive legal help is critical for those who have been injured in t-bone accidents. Because of the complexity of the accident scene, there are many questions that need to be sorted out prior to negotiations with the insurance company:
- Did the traffic signals work correctly?
- Were multiple vehicles involved?
- Did the air bags deploy properly?
- Were multiple parties “at fault”?