Check out the below multi-car pile up video. This recording was taken in Wisconsin during a snowstorm in 2013 and involved more than 60 vehicles. You would think drivers from Wisconsin have a pretty good idea about how to drive safely in snowy conditions, but as this video proves, drivers get forgetful…
Car Crash Video Analysis
As is pretty obvious in this video, speed was the main factor. Just 5 seconds into the video, this becomes pretty obvious. Traffic has slowed, probably because of the deteriorating road conditions, and at least 2 vehicles failed to see the slowed traffic. We can see the first vehicle around the 5 second mark begin losing control. As is the case with most drivers, the vehicle behind was not looking ahead and thus, also had to hit the brakes, sending the vehicle out of control. Fortunately, the pickup truck in the left lane had the left shoulder to escape to. But the damage was already done as lanes now became blocked.
At the 15 second mark, we see more vehicles losing control, even though those vehicles had escape routes, the road conditions were simply too poor. Making sudden maneuvers only caused the vhicles to lose control further. At the 17 second mark, vehicles continue to enter the video frame at a high rate of speed. Some got lucky, others didn’t. At this point, the “stage was set” for something bigger. So far, only a small handful of vehicles were involved and unfortunately, this type of event is pretty common during snowstorms in any part of the country.
Things Go From Bad To Worse
It only took until the 33 second mark for more vehicles to enter the frame at a high rate of speed and lose control. Fortunately, nothing too serious. The minor rear-end collision at the 39 second mark is almost humorous. Even with the shoulder available and an open lane to the left, a rear-end collision still occurred. At this point, a short lull in the action begins, but we still see some rather unusual behavior as the victims of the crash begin entering the still open expressway with a wall of vehicles on the way. Remember, if you are ever involved in a car accident on the expressway, stay in your vehicle! Here are some tips for what to do after major vehicle pile-ups.
Between the :45 and :52 mark, we see several more vehicles enter the frame which are obviously traveling too fast for conditions. Some of them never made it through. We can also see pedestrians almost getting struck around the 1 minute mark. They were putting their lives in further danger. A few other vehicles are involved until the 3 minute mark, but that’s when things really go to Hell. It just seems like they will never stop coming!
Unfortunately, one man did die as a result of his injuries from this pile-up.
Get Your Driving Record By Name & Address
- OR -
Get Your Driving Record By License Plate #
The Lessons To Be Learned
Well, it’s pretty obvious in this video, isn’t it? Clearly speed was the main factor here. But, I also saw two other blatant issues that many people who aren’t driving instructors may not notice. First, everyones following distance was way too close even for good weather conditions. When it’s snowing, following distance should be double or tripled – minimum. It is also pretty obvious that people aren’t looking down the road far enough. Many of the vehicles that crashed were obviously following the tail lights in front of them. Monkey see, monkey do.
Let’s also not forget, however, that these same rules should apply in all sorts of other weather conditions as well. While I was a truck driver I saw many accidents – some of them happened right in front of me. Hands down, the worst accidents I’ve ever seen have not occurred during snowy conditions. They have occurred during rain or icy conditions – especially when the ice was black ice (or glare ice). Rain can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than snow, and yet, many people still don’t slow down.
So, here are my takeaways from this accident…
- Slow down
- Look further ahead while driving
- Increase following distances
- Learn how to drive properly in poor weather conditions
What do you think? Please share your comments in the commenting section below.