Multi vehicle accidents happen at a rate of one a day during winter according to USA Today for the Journal News on February 1, 2014. Since December 1, 2013, a USA Today analysis shows police reported a 42 car pile up of at least 10 vehicles or at least 5 vehicles when someone was killed, a rate of almost one per day.
A 46 car crash took place near Michigan City, Indiana that killed 3 people and injured more than 20 people and left Route 94 closed until the next day. Police reported drivers were hit by a sudden snow white out and were going too fast for road conditions.
For all of 2013, at least 107 pile ups occurred on US roads, about 2 a week. These accidents occur in the winter months of December, January and February when drivers face sudden blinding conditions from snow squalls in the Midwest and Northeast. Even dust storms in the West and mountain fog in the Southeast cause multi car pile ups. Weather in 2013 was found to be present in 62% of pile ups. The conclusion is people are driving too fast for conditions and
visibility is usually poor when accidents occur.
In AAA Driving Training they state “assume that the road is blocked just beyond the point you can’t see”. Last month in Wisconsin, a traffic camera caught a pile up creating a video that went viral. A couple of cars in three lanes of traffic were moving much too fast and ended in a skid and collided. This ends up blocking the road and more fast moving vehicles, who can’t stop in time, cause the pile up within seconds.
About ¾ of pile ups in 2013 occurred on Interstate roads because the kind of configuration is fueled by lots of traffic moving at a rapid speed. 15 pile ups last year were caused by icy roads. In all 40% of pile ups were in wintry weather.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call the law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800.