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Axle broken in car accident

Looking for information…
I owned a 2014 Ford Fiesta. My niece was involved in an accident and part of the damage was the passenger rear tire was broken off the axle. She ticketed for the accident for failure to yield the right of way. We go to court on 2/18 and I’m looking to see if anyone can tell me how fast a 2014 Dodge Journey would need to be going to cause that much damage.

Specifics of accident - Niece turning left …Journey going straight. Impact point was rear passenger door. All airbags deployed. THANK GOD no one was hurt other that scrapes and bruises. Impact for Journey was front passenger bumper. When niece was hit her car spun 360 hitting a 3rd vehicle. There were no skid marks from Journey trying to slow down. No horns blown. Accident happened in school zone with speed limit of 35. Neice was not going 35 since she was turning.

Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated.

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No one is going to be able to give you any help on this . She got the ticket - vehicle damage - modern brake systems usually don’t leave skid marks - different contact points cause different damage .

She turned left if front of traffic . No injuries so just move on and hope she learned to pay more attention.


No way to calculate that based on just a description… but… excessive speed of the other car won’t be a defense since she was ticketed for failure to yield. As @VOLVO-V70 pointed out, the lack of skid marks means nothing. ABS brakes prevent skids so the tires generally leave no marks.


I think a car going 35 MPH could do this, but as others have said our opinions are meaningless here.

Can you post a picture or two of the damage?

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Damage could easily result from other car doing the speed limit.


Why are you going to court?
IMHO, your niece should just pay the ticket.
Let the insurance handle the rest.
But that is just my opinion.
Then, if eligible your niece can go to traffic safety school to reduce increase in future insurance costs.

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We are going to court because there are several discrepancies in the accident report. Report shows she was hit in the front…she wasn’t. Report states she was only one in the vehicle. She wasn’t. Report says other driver was only one in car…she wasn’t. Report states there was a third vehicle involved. We knew nothing about this other vehicle. I’ve tried several times to reach the responding officer and he has not returned any of my calls.

If she has to pay the fine then she does. This is more to teach her a lesson as to what happens when you are ticketed for an accident.

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You can post all the pictures you want but nothing will change the fact that your niece was found at fault . Unless you want to spend a couple of thousand dollars for an accident specialist ( which will be an opinion and still not erase that fact that she turned left in front of traffic ).


Please refrain from getting testy with us when you didn’t share the whole story.

It looks like the hit was primarily in the LR wheel. A 35 mph hit could tear the tire away pretty easily, especially with the described situation.

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No lesson here. This is more about you then her. She made a mistake , we all do . Why have court costs because nothing will change . Who is going to pay those costs , her or you. The advice about just pay the fine and let the insurance company handle the rest is the best advice you will get .


I apologize if I sounded testy. I wasn’t trying to be. She is going to pay the fine and any costs that go along with it.

I thank you for your advise.

Can the OP think of the last time that she heard a screeching sound from someone’s tires when they did a panic stop? The reason why you haven’t heard that type of sound for at least a decade is the same reason why there were no skid marks. (ABS)

If someone here stated his opinion that the other vehicle had to be going at least… 40… or 50… or 60 mph, what would the OP do with that opinion? Telling a judge that this opinion was provided by an anonymous person in an internet forum, who was not a witness to the accident and is not qualified as an expert, would not produce any positive effect.

Again, +1

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She is going to court for the ticket for failure to yield, nothing else is relevant. If you can just pay the fine and not go to court, that would be in your nieces best interest, she will save court costs that way. If she has a clean record, the court may offer to drop the ticket if she attends driving safety school but she will have to show up on the court date for that.

All the other stuff will only become relevant IF the other driver chooses to sue your niece in court instead of settling for the insurance payout. I can only guess based on the pictures that the other driver did try to avoid the accident and swerved as well as braked. It appears that the tire could have been broken off at a relatively low speed due to a shearing action. A direct hit at 35 mph with no attempt to avoid the accident would have penetrated the body a lot further than the pictures indicate.

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@jljones11065_173772 out of curiosity, what does your insurance company say about all of this?

Seems to me that they would be very interested in how many people were in each car, and how fast the other car was going- to the point that they would want to get their expert investigators involved to limit their liability in this. (and their experts- that can actually interview those involved, see police reports, and inspect the scene and vehicles would give much better input that a bunch of uninformed rando’s on the internet, plus it would benefit you significantly better in court.)


The police officer is not going to talk to you out of court. Show up for court and politely bring up those inconsistencies. It’s possible the judge could toss that ticket very quickly based on that although it appears your niece was at fault and deserved the ticket. Forget the speed although a 35 MPH or even less impact could certainly cause that kind of damage.

Now the question for me here is this. Is your name on the title to this car? If so, there is the potential issue of being sued at some point in the future. Some people will play nice until fault is assigned due to a guilty traffic ticket. Then the whiplash and headaches begin…
Statutes of limitations vary by state but until that statute in your state runs out a suit is certainly possible.

When you go to court in a few weeks, if some of the other parties to this show up to make sure the ticket sticks you can assume that they are at least considering a suit.

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Your first post says there was a 3rd car.


From the pictures, my wild guess is that the other car was reasonably close to the limit. The impact area isn’t very wide, so the amount of damage to the door and wheel area seems reasonable.

Also, keep in mind that the school speed limit might be in effect only if school is “in session”, which of course is not the case for many school districts right now.

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