70 car pileup Wisconsin, USA. They just kept coming..

fieldofview

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You have to wonder what was going (or not going) through driver's minds when they saw (or didn't see) there were cars ahead that weren't moving and cars ahead where there shouldn't have been cars. At some points there should be what looks like a solid wall of vehicles completely across the road ahead and a clue to slow down and be prepared to stop. Yet they still keep coming at high speeds like they had no situational awareness. Visibility looked good here.

For self preservation I generally don't stop to help in these situations and if I can I will keep going to get on the other side of a pile up to avoid getting rear ended.

Your analysis? How do we get drivers to wake up?
 

niko

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In this situation somebody from that pile up ( whos car can still drive ) should turn around his car, park on road side and start flashing with high-beam towards others who yet to crash. This would bring their attention to slow down. Of course in shock situations its easy to lose reality analisys on what could be done better.
 

FSC830

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Seems like most common reason for accidents: sitting into a car switches off drivers mind...
Most of the cars speed do not match the environment status, snow, sight and I guess an icy or slippery road. So even those which keep distance to the car ahead and stopped have been rear-ended from the next stupid guy behind.
Even worse I am surprised that at the other lane no more happens. I cant imagine why a lot of people escaped to the oncoming traffic instead to the right side...one or two, but 10 or more?

In my mind staying in the car, even at the side, is not the best choice. Escape as far as you can and try to help others.
 

CheckYourLights

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I'm sure there is a lot going on when something like this happens. I've seen pile ups like this before. Between seeing all the pile ups, the dashcam footage, and clips from shows like Canada's Worst Driver where they actually teach accident avoidance can help someone be more well prepared just in case.

However when it comes down to it there are a few factors that I always seem to see, and I don't know if some drives are really even willing to wake up, and it's not just in situations like this, but normal driving as well.

People love to speed. Now to try and be a little fair yes I am a car person, and I understand that people especially people with nicer cars that are built a little for it like to put their foot in it every now and again. I've even seen people that have and are trying to have the legal maximum speed limit raised in different states and that is fine, but it is when people go fast in traffic, in poor road conditions like above, or speed in a distracted manner that causes issues. It's also in what you drive. if you drive a 1993 Dodge Dynasty that suffers from the Mopar Lean (Worn out rear suspension that causes the rear of the car to sag) you should probably not be doing 85-90 down the highway in good clear weather.

People tend to panic. While ingredient number one for disaster is speed number to is panic. While members here and myself have seen what can happen both through shared video and first hand and then can help better prepare when they are faced with it not everyone has and people that have not seen or dealt with such situation will be unsure what to do and will panic. You can see in the video some (but not all) of the truck drivers are able to slowly and carefully make their way through everything they also have radios and are able to call for help without leaving their rig.

How can drivers wake up to this? It's really a few easy steps that take a little bit of work that most drivers will not want to be bothered to put in.

Maintain your vehicle Check your tire pressure regularly and keep it correct. Check your wheel alignments. Check your lights (seriously) If a part is worn out replace or have it replaced. I've been noticing a lot of other drivers having two of three or even all of their rear lighting not functioning, and at night or in bad weather this is extremely dangerous.

Focus while driving Even more so in bad weather, but even in regular driving. Don't play with your phone, your,iPod or eat dinner in the driver seat. I've almost been hit by distracted drivers not noticing red lights and stop signs before.

Practice Practice Practice This one is tough because a bit of people are not willing to do it. Some places offer winter driving practice where they let you bring your car and loose control in a controlled environment. Even if you could find a place empty and out of the way so you don't bother anyone or hit anything. Get the car sideways on purpose see what it feels like to loose grip and how the car acts. Then work on bringing it safely and calmly back under control.
 
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MrFluff

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I think it goes beyond panic. I find there's a lack of education in how you're supposed to drive... I mean, crash on the highway like this? You're not supposed to get out and hang out on the road like the three idiots in the video. They nearly got wiped out by a couple other cars when on foot. You stay in your big metal cage. It's there to protect you.
 
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Another thing that seems to be happening are the drivers who let others drive for them. What I mean there are drivers who are blindly following the car in front then when the driver in front takes evasive action and changes lanes, the driver following suddenly ends up with no course of action other than rear ending the cars ahead.

I take advantage of playing around in snow and ice inducing skids, pulling up on the hand brake etc. to get a feel for how the car reacts. Sadly, all that practice isn't going to protect me from someone blindly following the car in front of them and not thinking for themselves. Their brain is switched off, no one is home. Thinking about it now, the lead driver has some responsibility too if they see something ahead to tap their brakes to wake up the driver behind. Or turn on the 4 way flashers, maybe the drivers following will wake up and think "oh, what's going on? Brain, increase situational awareness to 10%"
 

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In this situation somebody from that pile up ( whos car can still drive ) should turn around his car, park on road side and start flashing with high-beam towards others who yet to crash. This would bring their attention to slow down. Of course in shock situations its easy to lose reality analisys on what could be done better.

This has to be the absolutely worst thing to do.
1) You're going to try to drive around in a pile-up that's still happening? ...you're going to die
2) You're going to try to park on the shoulder *upstream* from the pile-up where people are diving off to the left and right to avoid it? ...you're going to die.
3) You're going to park the wrong way facing traffic and start flashing your headlights? This is only going to greatly confuse oncoming traffic who will probably figure some one is going the wrong way and draw their attention away from traffic that is going the right way AND the pile-up. ...they're going to die and ...you're going to die. If you manage to survive you're going to get sued for contributing and wish you would have died.

The only thing to do in this situation (provided you can't get well down stream of it easily and quickly is to park as far off the road as possible, get out of the car and get yourself a hundred yards or so further off the road.
 

niko

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This has to be the absolutely worst thing to do.
1) You're going to try to drive around in a pile-up that's still happening? ...you're going to die
2) You're going to try to park on the shoulder *upstream* from the pile-up where people are diving off to the left and right to avoid it? ...you're going to die.
3) You're going to park the wrong way facing traffic and start flashing your headlights? This is only going to greatly confuse oncoming traffic who will probably figure some one is going the wrong way and draw their attention away from traffic that is going the right way AND the pile-up. ...they're going to die and ...you're going to die. If you manage to survive you're going to get sued for contributing and wish you would have died.

The only thing to do in this situation (provided you can't get well down stream of it easily and quickly is to park as far off the road as possible, get out of the car and get yourself a hundred yards or so further off the road.

Question: why cars keep driving into pile-up ?
Answer: - they didnt see what is in front.
Solution: - get their attention to slow down by any means!, - How to get attention in this critical situation? - I find by flashing high beam lights would be quickest and most practical. It would be enough to draw their attention to slow down speed way before getting into pile up this way avoid danger to you and others. Simple in theory here where I am sitting behind desk and typing on PC, but of course in real life kicks-in some time panic and fear-factor.
 

Street Guardian USA

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It was scary to watch just how fast people were driving on a snow covered un-plowed freeway. I expected to to be far worse than what we saw, but was still bad enough.

I grew up in North East Illinois 10 miles from Wisconsin.
 

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In Denmark today you will have to go thru a track course on how to handle a car on a slippery surface, its part of getting a licence these days.

Old Guys like myself find a open area when there is snow on the ground and have our own course ;)

When i got my licence for driving semi trucks it was quite interseding to drift 18 Meters of truck and trailer on a slippery surface, and allso no one than me was faster around the track or going faster into the brake / avoid manouvers :D

Back in 1994 i was working on some ferries 75 km from where i live, it had been snowing for 26 houres or so when i drove home on saturday.
On the freeway i was doing 90 - 100 km/h on all year tiers overtaking all even the snow plows, the snow on the freeway was at least 1 foot Deep and i constantly had to Work the sterringwheel to stay on the road.
When i got off the freeway i had to pull over as i had chest pains and felt wierd from a adrenaline rush lasting 45 minutes :oops:
Needless to say i dont drive like sutch a ass anymore, and i am still a elite driver acording to my Insurance Company :D

When i was 18 till i was 38 years old i did not use seatbelt, i do these days, but mostly to guard against other ppl bad driving, and offcourse the fines witch have become more expensive.
 
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Quick

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Solution: - get their attention to slow down by any means!,

Yes, they do slow down when they hit you...
If they do manage to miss you they will be looking at you wondering what you are doing and how you got there when they impact the pile-up.
 

Street Guardian USA

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I'm currently a few miles from Wisconsin right now actually. (North east Illinois for my moms birthday party this weekend). Because of this thread I rented an all wheel drive Ford Edge to make it though the snowy days ahead. I'm only here 3 days but it's supposed to snow. I miss California already.

atuju7en.jpg
 

CheckYourLights

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It gets like that a few days every winter here. Some states get it worse, but yesterday there was a car into a guardrail like every 15 mins. I had to put it in 4WD to get up a few hills otherwise my rear tires were just building a snowman.
 
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fieldofview

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More reasons to stay inside your car after an accident. In this story in the Chicago Tribune a man stops to help a lady who has driven off the road. Both make it up the embankment back onto the road then are promptly hit by 3 cars in row and killed. It does look like a contributing factor was that drivers came over a small rise before the accident site so their view was obscured (but that's no excuse for over driving your visibility). More reason to stay in the car and phone for help. If you have exchange information, do it later in a safe spot.
 
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