Side Impact Injuries, Leading Cause Of Passengers’ Death. About 10,000 passenger vehicle passengers die each year in side impacts, and head injuries are a leading cause. Side airbags designed specifically to protect the head can reduce such deaths and the even more numerous nonfatal head injuries that occur in side impacts.
A side impact or T-bone as some people call them, most often happens at intersections when one car turns into the lane of another. When another vehicle comes barreling into you from the side, it is the deadliest place you can be in a car. Unlike a head-on crash, where you are protected by several feet of steel, engine and bumper, if you’re hit from the side, all you’ve got between you and the other guy is a few inches of door and some window glass.
All vehicles on the road today have to pass the government’s side impact standard, but many people feel these standards are outdated. The government uses a dummy representing an average size male that doesn’t register head injuries and it’s test only looks at what happens when similar size vehicles collide.
Manufacturers need to start making these side impact airbags that protect the head standard equipment. And in some cases, they also need to beef up their side structure to resist intrusion in these kinds of crashes.
Car makers have announced new “voluntary” side impact protection guidelines to go into effect by September 2007. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it is working on a tougher standard for side impact crashes. But that standard will not require side airbags, even though studies show hundreds of lives could be saved each year with those devices.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Side Impact Injuries
If you or a loved one was injured in a side impact vehicle accident, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified product liability attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).