Personal Injury

Sideswipe Car Accidents: Deceptively Dangerous

Have you ever been involved in a sideswipe accident? If so, you understand how complicated and serious these accidents can be. Like all the other crashes, sideswipes are abrupt and will most likely take you by surprise. But it’s essential to take the necessary precautions and stay safe on the road.

Sideswipe accidents are particularly damaging when they involve a smaller and bigger car with a relatively heavy, protruding bumper.

The resulting injuries and damages can be extensive. In addition, the accident can lead to further complications, such as losing control of the car and ending up in an even bigger crash.

Typically, the swiping vehicle’s size, speed, and overall impact determine the extent of damage to the struck car.

The severity of injuries and damage to the car increases significantly when the striking vehicle is larger, and the speed at which it collides with the other car is higher.

This blog post discusses everything you need to know about sideswipe accidents and how deceptively dangerous they can be. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

Sideswipe accidents occur when two cars traveling in the same direction collide. Generally, the striking car hits the side of another vehicle, and its rear end or front end may also get damaged due to impact.

The point of contact is usually at the corner of both vehicles just before they pass each other. These accidents are pretty common and usually occur when drivers don’t pay enough attention to their surroundings or fail to maintain a safe distance from the other vehicle.

Sideswipe Accident Causes

Sideswipes can happen for many reasons, including improper lane changes, driving too fast, failing to check blindspots, distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving, talking on the phone, etc.), and drowsy driving.

Other common causes of sideswipe accidents include poor vehicle maintenance (which affects braking systems), faulty brakes, an incorrectly adjusted side mirror or blindspot mirror that makes it difficult to spot other vehicles when changing lanes, and drivers turning their steering wheel too sharply.

There are two types of sideswipe accidents: those that involve a head-on collision in the same lane and those involving side-by-side collisions on different lanes.

The former occurs when two cars moving in the same direction suddenly turn their steering wheel sharply and cause a head-on collision.

The latter occurs when one car moves into the lane of another vehicle while changing lanes, resulting in sideswiping each other’s side panels.

Effects of Sideswipe Accidents

The effects of these accidents can be severe and even life-threatening, depending on the speed and size of the vehicles involved.

Common injuries caused by sideswipe accidents include whiplash, fractures, scrapes, contusions, lacerations, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and even death in some cases.

The car may also be damaged significantly due to the impact. The side panel may crumple, the doors may be forced out of place, and the windows may shatter. The car’s electrical wiring system can also get damaged, leading to further complications.

Car Safety Enhancements May Fail to Prevent Serious Injuries

When sideswipes started becoming too common, car manufacturers began designing their vehicles with features designed to keep drivers safe even in the event of a crash.

These include lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, and automatic emergency braking systems. However, these safety enhancements can only do so much to reduce the risk of injury during a sideswipe accident.

For instance, most lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras are designed to detect cars in the lane ahead of you and behind you, but they can’t detect a vehicle passing alongside.

This means that if the passing car suddenly turns its steering wheel sharply, your vehicle won’t be warned of an impending collision, so you may not have enough time to react.

Additionally, automatic emergency braking systems may or may not be able to stop the car in time, depending on the speed and size of the vehicle involved in a sideswipe accident.

What Types of Injuries Do Sideswipe Accidents Cause to Drivers?

The severity of the injuries suffered in a sideswipe accident depends on the speed and size of the vehicles involved and how they were struck.

Common types of injuries include whiplash, fractures, concussions, scrapes and bruises, lacerations, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and even death in some cases.

In addition to the physical injuries, sideswipe accident victims may also suffer emotional and psychological trauma due to the sudden shock of being involved in a crash.


Sideswipe accidents are deceptively dangerous and can have life-altering consequences. To stay safe on the road, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and always practice defensive driving.

You should also ensure that your car’s systems are functioning properly before hitting the road. If you find yourself in the unfortunate event of a sideswipe accident, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately for legal advice and assistance.