If you have been involved in a T-bone collision, which may also be known as a side-impact or broadside crash, then you know that the danger in that collision was very real. In these crashes, there is not much in the way of protection against the other vehicle. A door may be the only thing between your body and the other vehicle’s front end, so there isn’t a crumple zone or region that absorbs the shock and impact.
People involved in T-bone crashes are at risk of serious injuries. In 2018, side-impact crashes were responsible for around 23% of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths. Why? There just isn’t the protection that is available when you’re hit from behind or from the front.
With a small crumple zone, side-impact crashes are more likely to cause injuries
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognizes that side-impact crashes are often more severe in reality than they are in safety test scenarios. That’s why the agency has worked to change its tests and increase their impact speeds. Doing this allows the engineers and researchers to see how vehicles might crush inward in real-world collisions.
With this information, it’s possible for engineers to work with new honeycomb designs that mimic the damage caused by SUVs, for example, in a 37 mph collision. Studying the real changes to the vehicle’s B-pillar in a higher speed crash will, hopefully, help engineers design vehicles that absorb impact better and reduce the danger to the passengers or drivers in these collisions.
Getting a better understanding of how typical SUVs and other vehicles collide and the damage that is likely in those crashes makes it easier for engineers to develop vehicles with crumple areas that protect the occupants.
Unfortunately, until those alterations can be studied, side-impact crashes still have the potential to lead to serious injuries like whiplash, direct impacts to occupants, crushing injuries and broken bones. Those who are involved in side-impact crashes need to seek emergency medical care and to take steps to seek compensation so that they can continue to focus on their recoveries after they’re injured.