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Side-impact crashes linked to 1 in 5 fatal Fort Lauderdale car accidents

A fatal Florida car accident killed a 79-year-old Central Florida woman last Sunday and sent three other people – a two-year-old among them – to the hospital, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The mid-morning crash occurred when a 1995 Mercury Topaz drove through a stop-sign intersection and struck the right-front side of a 2006 Volvo XC90. The crash happened in heavy fog.

Our Palm Beach personal injury lawyers know that side-impact crashes were responsible for nearly 1-in-3 car accident fatalities in the U.S. in 2009. In Florida alone, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports, drivers were involved in 679 fatal side-impact Florida car accidents that injured 62,140. Side-impact crashes were responsible for 22 percent of fatal Florida crashes and almost a quarter of injury accidents in 2009.

With that in mind, a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicated that thanks to contemporary vehicle design and air-bag and safety restraint technology, drivers in a vehicle where driver-side impact protection is rated “good” are 70 percent less likely to die in a side-impact crash than a driver in a vehicle rated “poor”.

The IIHS rating system is calibrated by measuring a number of crash factors – impact and injury data collected from test dummies, vehicle intrusion (crumpling or caving) at impact and after, and head protection. To establish the rating, a vehicle is struck on the left side by an object roughly the size, weight and shape of a SUV traveling at 31 m.p.h.

According to Automobile, while having side airbags is important, it is really the structural integrity of the vehicle that absorbs the energy generated by a driver-side impact car accident. The reason side-impact crashes are so deadly is because the side of most vehicles are panels of little substance, so when intrusion happens there is little to pad impact to the pelvis, torso and head of the driver.

Both the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conduct rigorous crash testing each year upon a host of passenger vehicles, from small SUVs to minivans to large cars. Both publish ratings for consumer reference that include side- and head-on impact, rollover and rear-impact crash data along with evaluations of crash aversion, safety restraint and air bag technology common in newer vehicles.

The Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Margate, Miami and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Email us or call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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