Car Accident Terms to be Familiar With

If you are involved in a car accident, chances are you know what happened and can give a good description, but knowing car terminology will eliminate the need for you to go into details when discussing the incident.  Such terminology will help you understand conversations in court proceedings, should a resolve require a decision of the court.  Some car accident terms that are heard frequently are T-bone, brake slam, swoop and stop, and dual turn sideswipe.


A T-bone car accident occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the center side of another vehicle.  This type accident usually occurs when the driver of one car, runs through a red light or fails to stop at a stop sign.  It is called a T-bone because of the how the vehicles collide with each other, in a "t" shape. 


When you are trying to get into another lane, oftentimes a driver will let you in by slowing down, moving forward quickly, or by giving you a wave signal.  Sometimes an accident may occur that was an accident at all.  Intentionally, a driver will wave you in and quickly drive forth so that you can hit them.  The ultimate goal of the driver is to cause an accident and file a fraudulent claim with claims you caused the accident by denying they never waved you to enter their lane.

Brake Slam

One of the first things we do when we panic, while driving a car or truck, is slam on the brakes.  As a rule, drivers should drive at least two car lengths when behind another driver.  This length should give you adequate time to make a decision.  Rear ends occur when you do not have enough time to stop your vehicle from hitting the vehicle in front of you, or when you slam on your brakes and another vehicle hits you from behind.  Instead of slamming on your brakes to avoid rear-ending another vehicle, you can avoid the car by swerving your car away from the car in front of you.  Of course, you will need to be aware of your surroundings to avoid hitting something else.

Swoop and Stop

Swoop and stop, also referred to as swoop and squat, involves co-conspirators, who seek targets on isolated roads to run an insurance fraud.  With one driver in each car, they will try to block you in so that you can cause an accident.  Driving junk vehicles, one driver will quickly pull in front of you, causing you to hit them in the back, while the other driver pulls up on your side so that you cannot swerve around to miss the first car.  Since it usually happens in a nearly isolated area, the only witnesses to the accident are the co-conspirators.

Dual Turn Sideswipe

Another attempt for insurance fraud involves a driver who tries to sideswipe you as the two of you are making a left or right turn, involving dual turning lanes.  The driver will drive over into your lane, causing  you to hit them, or they may intentionally hit you and blame the accident on you.  In many cases, the other driver will have a witness with them to substantiate their claim. 

As a driver, you must be alert and pay attention to the drivers around you and your surroundings.  If you are in an accident, be sure to record as much as you remember as quickly as possible.  Take pictures of both vehicles and call the police to have an officer make a record of the accident.  Additionally, do not move your car until the investigating officer arrives.  If you find you need help legally, consider calling a an auto accident attorney to discuss your concerns.