How Do Deadly Multi-Car Pileups Happen?

Remnants of a Multi-Vehicle WreckWhen a negligent driver sets off a multi-vehicle accident, a crash can involve 5, 10, 20, or more vehicles within a matter of seconds. These crashes can be especially terrifying on highways where the vehicles are traveling at 70 miles per hour or faster, and the pileup can become massive. Victims of these injuries can suffer catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, internal organ damage, burns, or die. If you were injured in one of these crashes, it is imperative that you retain an experienced car accident attorney who can determine the liable parties and negotiate your settlement for you.

Three Types of Multi-Car Accidents

While multiple vehicle crashes can happen in a number of ways, they are more likely to happen in three types of accidents. These include the following:

  • Intersection crashes. When a driver is trying to beat a red light, runs through a red light, or fails to yield the right of way at an intersection, he can hit another vehicle that can set off a chain reaction crash.
  • Highway accidents. Multi-vehicle accidents on highways can be especially dangerous given the high speed the vehicles are traveling at. These wrecks can involve 20, 50, or more vehicles as the pileup grows and cars are unable to swerve out of the way.
  • Rear-end collisions. A rear-end collision can spiral into a multi-vehicle crash when the vehicle in the rear pushes the one in front of it into another vehicle.

Common Causes of Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multiple car accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or death than the ones involving two vehicles. This is because a vehicle can be hit multiple times—sometimes from different directions. In addition, more glass is flying, metal is being crushed, and gas is leaking—contributing to more serious injuries and increasing the danger of one or more vehicles catching on fire.

Sadly, many of these crashes are preventable. Some common causes of multi-vehicle accidents are:

  • Weather conditions. Multiple vehicle wrecks often happen when weather conditions are poor and drivers fail to slow down, do not maintain more distance between other vehicles and theirs, and engage in other unsafe practices. Huge pileups on the highways are often caused by this type of negligent driving in fog, heavy rain, ice, or snow.
  • Speeding. Drivers who speed are in danger of losing control of their vehicle, running a red light, and rear-ending another vehicle—all increasing the odds of the crash involving multiple vehicles. They also do not have sufficient time to stop or slow down when conditions require this.
  • Drowsy driving and falling asleep. When a driver is drowsy or falls asleep while driving, his vehicle can crash into one or more other vehicles without him being aware of what was happening.
  • Intoxicated drivers. Whenever a driver is intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use, many of his driving abilities are impaired, including his reaction time, his reasoning, and his ability to remain awake and alert. This is a recipe for causing a multi-vehicle crash due to many types of negligent driving behaviors associated with drunk driving.
  • Distracted driving. Any time a driver’s mind and eyes are not focused on the road and his driving, an accident can happen—with some turning into tragic pileups. Eating, drinking, talking on a cell phone, and texting are a few of the dangerous distracted driving practices that drivers engage in.
  • Tailgating. Many drivers who tailgate are also speeding. Even if they are driving the speed limit, tailgating causes a driver to be unable to slow down or stop in an emergency—with a rear-end collision the common result.
  • Rubbernecking. Rubbernecking refers to the practice of drivers looking at other accidents or traffic stops instead of the road ahead of them, increasing the likelihood they will cause a multi-car crash on the highway or a busy intersection.
  • Construction zones. When impatient drivers cause a wreck in a construction zone, it can quickly escalate to one involving many vehicles given the smaller lanes and the lack of open spaces to escape to.

If you were in a multi-car accident, it is essential to seek the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. He can help you through the complexities of identifying the liable parties, building your case, and negotiating your settlement. Call our office to learn how David Brauns can help you receive the compensation you deserve.