A blue car damaged after a car accident on a highway.
Sideswipe car accidents: do you know what they are and how they can occur? A sideswipe accident can, in some cases, cause devastating injury, including long-term limitations. If you have suffered injuries in a sideswipe collision, working with a lawyer can help give you a better idea of who may bear liability and what compensation you might deserve for those injuries.

What is a Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe collision occurs when the sides of two vehicles collide. Sideswipe collisions generally occur from vehicles traveling the same direction or opposite directions to one another, rather than vehicles traveling perpendicular to one another.

Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents frequently occur because one vehicle drifts out of its assigned lane. The reason for that drift can vary depending on the driver’s actions and the traffic at the time of the incident.

Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers may take their attention off the road, making it difficult for them to keep their vehicle in its assigned lane. As a result, the car may collide with another car, either in a lane of traffic traveling in the same direction or in the lane of traffic traveling the other way.

Merging Accidents

Sometimes, sideswipe collisions occur because a driver struggles to merge correctly into traffic, especially when entering a highway or interstate. Often, merging accidents occur because the other driver does a bad job of matching speeds or does not look carefully before moving into traffic. Other times, merging accidents can occur because the driver already in that lane of traffic speeds up instead of slowing down to give the other driver adequate room to merge in. In the tight traffic often moving through Atlanta, merging accidents occur all too frequently.

Weather Conditions

In slick conditions, on icy or wet roads, keeping the car in its proper lane may become more difficult. Sometimes, a driver may hit a patch of ice or water that sends the car sliding out of his control, often directly into the side of another vehicle.


Sideswipe collisions may occur as a direct result of driver inebriation. Inebriated drivers may have a hard time controlling their vehicles, especially in the tight traffic conditions often present on the streets of Atlanta. As a result, an inebriated driver may end up inadvertently colliding with another vehicle as he slips out of his lane of traffic.

Changing Lanes

Like merging into traffic, changing lanes can prove difficult, especially in the heavy traffic often present on the streets of Atlanta. In order to change lanes safely, drivers must have adequate room to fit into the lane. Unfortunately, some drivers do not look as carefully as they should before changing lanes, which can raise the risk of a sideswipe collision.

Oversize Loads

Big trucks with oversized loads often take up more than their fair share of room on the road. Most of those vehicles have chase cars assigned that can help prevent other vehicles from trying to pass them with inadequate room. However, oversized loads can substantially raise the risk of a sideswipe collision, since vehicles carrying those loads usually infringe on the lanes around them.

Common Injuries from Sideswipe Collisions

Injuries from sideswipe collisions may be more severe on the side of the vehicle where the accident took place. However, even passengers on the opposite side of the vehicle may suffer severe injuries, especially in high-speed accidents. Furthermore, sideswipe collisions may push one vehicle into a retaining wall, barrier, or other lane of traffic, which could cause more serious injuries.

Broken Bones

Frequently, passengers in the side of the vehicle where a sideswipe collision occurred will suffer broken bones on the side where the collision took place. Broken bones may also occur when the driver tries to brace on the steering wheel or tenses in anticipation of a collision.


Sideswipe collisions can cause the vehicle to jolt and apply a great deal of force. Often, this leads to whiplash injuries for everyone in the vehicle.

Head Trauma

Sometimes, the force of a sideswipe collision can lead to head trauma and even brain injury. Often, traumatic brain injury results in substantial, long-term limitations for the victim, including loss of short-term memory or ability focus on a task.

Back and Neck Injuries

The force of a sideswipe collision can quickly result in back and neck injuries, from herniated discs to serious muscular damage. Back and neck injuries can cause ongoing pain and limitations for the victim, and so should receive prompt medical attention.

Cuts and Lacerations

Sometimes, sideswipe collisions can break glass and twist the metal frame of the vehicle, which may result in significant cuts and lacerations.

Who Bears Liability for Sideswipe Car Accidents in Atlanta?

Typically, the driver that drifts out of their assigned lane will bear liability for a sideswipe collision. However, in some cases, as with oversized loads, a driver in their assigned lane who does not take adequate precautions when passing another vehicle may bear liability for the incident.

Can a driver’s employer share liability for Atlanta sideswipe accidents?

Sometimes, a driver’s employer may share liability for a sideswipe collision. A lawyer can help investigate whether an employer of a driver on the clock at the time of a sideswipe collision has dangerous regulations that may have increased the risk of that collision and led to an accident.

Who bears liability when a mechanical failure leads to an accident?

Often, you will need to pursue compensation from the liable driver’s car insurance, even when a mechanical failure contributed to an accident. However, in cases when that mechanical failure occurred due to manufacturing defect, the manufacturer may share liability for the accident, and you may have the right to pursue compensation accordingly.

Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer After Your Sideswipe Collision

Following any type of car accident in Atlanta that results in injuries, working with a car accident lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you may deserve. Contact Cambre and Associates today to learn more about the compensation you should expect after your sideswipe accident.