New Standards to Reduce the Risks of Side Impact Accidents

T-bone or side impact crashes are among the most dangerous types of crashes that occur. T-bone accident attorneys in Phoenix understand that the sides of a vehicle do not have the same protection and capability to absorb the impact of a crash as does the front of a vehicle. As a result, side impact accidents are likely to cause very serious injuries.

motorway-1198014-mThe extent of damage is largely determined by the level of intrusion from the force of the collision, and while advancements in safety have been made, such as side airbags designed to reduce the risk of serious injury, there is still a long way to go in developing car safety features that will more adequately protect the victims of side impact collisions.

Protections Against Side Impact Crash Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that side impact crashes account for approximately 30 percent of all car accident impacts worldwide and account for 35 percent of deaths from collisions. As a result, the NHTSA report suggests that “it is essential for vehicle manufacturers to provide adequate protection in order to minimize the potential negative effects of such impacts.”

As NHTSA explains, the key to side impact crash protection is ensuring that intruding velocities are kept to a minimum. This can be accomplished by the deployment of an appropriate restraint system that dampens the impact of the intrusion as well as by designing the vehicle to contain a suitable structure to minimize impact.

Vehicle manufacturers have developed new side impact safety features within the last 10 years, and most cars now have interior padding, an optimized structure and head air bags that help to protect victims of T-bone crashes. Worldwide efforts to reduce the risks of side impact crashes date back as far as the 1980s, and more recent developments include a 2003 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study focusing on the issue of heavy SUVs in side impact accidents.

Recently, the United Nations World Forum of Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (“UNWFHVR”) has also adopted a new standard designed to reduce the risk of death and injuries in side impact wrecks. The World Forum of Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations is affiliated with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Its goal is to create a uniform system of regulations that facilitate international trade involving motor vehicles.

The UNWFHVR is the first vehicle regulation that makes use of the most advanced side-impact crash dummy in the world. The dummy closely emulates the behavior of the human body, which makes it possible to more accurately test the effectiveness of safety measures designed to reduce side impact injuries and deaths.

While the United States and Canada are among the few countries that do not recognize the UN Standards, developments as a result of the use of the new crash dummy could result in important changes to technologies including curtain side air bags, thorax airbags and crash sensors. If new technological developments from international car makers prove effective at reducing the risk of death and injury, these new technologies are likely to find their way into vehicles sold in the U.S. as well. This could help to reduce the overall dangers associated with T-bone crashes resulting in fewer people dying from these deadly accidents.

 Contact the Law Offices of Jeffery J. Hernandez in Phoenix at (480) 624-2765 to schedule a free consultation.


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