Alabama Teenager Killed at Intersection in Atlanta

Intersections in Atlanta are very dangerous. Just driving home today from work I noticed 50 percent of the drivers looking down at their cell phone – the other 20 percent of drivers were talking on their cell phone. The remaining 30 percent were looking straight ahead at the road. As an Atlantan, I wish the 70 percent were more like the 30 percent. The real danger is when the 70 percent are passing through intersections at relatively high speeds as any collision can be life altering or life ending. As most Americans own cell phones, I would be willing to bet that these percentages apply in most major cities to a greater or lesser degree, which is absolutely worrisome.

Although it really did not make the headline news in Atlanta, a teenage motorist from Alabama was killed when a motorist hit her vehicle in a side impact collision in Atlanta. By all accounts, this teenager was accomplished for her age as she was a nationally ranked equestrian and according to her friends and a family, a daughter, sister, niece and best friend.

In mid July of this year, Claire Briggs, 16-years-old, was in Fairburn, Georgia attending a team equestrian event. As she left the event to drive back to her home in Alabama, she traveled near or through an intersection and was immediately T-boned/broadsided by another vehicle. She was immediately taken to the hospital and her extended family flew in to be by her side. The article states that Ms. Briggs’ organs were severely damaged as a result of the collision.

Folks do not realize that even in low speed rear end collisions, the force of the impact literally travels from the rear of the vehicle to the front and through everything inside, including human bodies and objects. It was clear from this article that the same principle applied to Claire – more so – due to the strength of this impact as it was centered on her side of the car.

As stated on the practice area of side impact collisions on my website, in the typical rear end collision, the motorist has several feet of metal, engine parties and glass or plastic to help absorb the impact of the wreck. However, in T-bone crashes, only inches separate the motorist from the crash impact and really no way for the vehicle to absorb the impact. What happens is that the impact is concentrated on the motorist’s body or in Claire’s case, her internal organs. Consequently, broadside or side impact wrecks involved the highest rate of fatal injuries.

Typically, the cause of T-bone collisions is that the at-fault driver fails to maintain a proper lookout (whether due to distraction, cell phone or otherwise) and fails to yield to a traffic control device or sign. Nowadays, I always feel on edge while traveling through an intersection. I feel somewhat better knowing that I drive a heavy vehicle with a good safety rating. A retired Georgia State Patrol trooper in Savannah once advised me to drive the heaviest vehicle I could afford to drive inasmuch as the heavy vehicles absorb and disperse an impact much better than lighter vehicles.

The article is silent as to which motorist was at fault for this collision. From the way it is written, it appears that Claire was an innocent victim. Remarkably, her family does not place blame on any motorist and is in the process of grieving and healing. Our thoughts go out to Claire’s family and her friends at school.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a T-Bone or broadside crash and has sustained bodily injuries and damages, then you may have a right to be compensated for your pain and suffering and damages. It is particularly important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with side-impact collisions to document and preserve evidence and present your claim to the at-fault insurer in a competent and timely fashion.

The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting car and motorcycle wreck and collision cases caused by T-bone, side impact or broadside car accidents throughout Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence of a negligent driver, then please contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. We have over 20 years experience and practice throughout the State of Georgia and can come to you. Please call 404-869-6969 or use our toll free number (855) LAW-FORD to secure your rights today!

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