A sideswipe accident occurs when one vehicle driving next to another vehicle in the same direction bumps or crashes into the other vehicle. Sideswipes can also happen when a vehicle is trying to enter a highway via an on-ramp and doesn’t see another vehicle approaching. In many cases, a driver sideswipes another vehicle because the driver wasn’t paying attention to their surroundings.
When two regular cars are traveling side by side, a sideswipe doesn’t always result in a serious crash.
However, a semi that sideswipes a standard car or SUV can cause a major crash. This is because the accident usually doesn’t end with a sideswipe. Instead, the massive size and weight of the semi has the capability to push the car off the road or into a concrete barrier. On busy multi-lane highways, a semi might even sideswipe a car and force it into the next lane, causing a chain reaction crash involving several vehicles.
If a semi sideswipes a vehicle hard enough, it can even force the car off the road, causing it to roll.