How do these 80 car pileups happen?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by chovy, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. chovy

    chovy Bobtail Member

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    I live in California so I don’t know if it’s just low visibility or what but I’ve seen footage where it looks like there would be plenty of time to stop. Yet these big rigs just slam right into the already huge pile of cars.
     
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  3. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Road Train Member

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    Carelessness, low visibility and no traction. The general rule is, when it's snowing to the point that you can't see at least 300 yards on front of you, remove foot from dashboard and turn cruise control off. Not many drivers abide by that general rule anymore. An easy way to spot those drivers is look for the ones with their high beams on when it's daylight
     
  4. chovy

    chovy Bobtail Member

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    Yeah I mean when I hit a fog bank I come to a crawl. But that’s just me.
     
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  5. flood

    flood Road Train Member

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    Most of this happens for a few reasons....
    Between say Chicago and Detroit thay have a thing called "lake effect" it can be mostly clear and the "lake effect" will cause a blizzard white out for only a few miles... and it moves... most you the videos you see the traffic you see going into the accident are coming out of the blizzard into where it was 2 Mins ago... I've been on a few (luckily) on the other side of the freeway..

    In the upper Midwest same kind of thing....

    Alot like when the Santa Ana's winds kick up dust storms.... all of a sudden you can't see.... what do you do....?? Pull over and hope you don't get hit.... slow way down because you can't see 20 ft in front of you and hope you don't hit someone goimg slower or stopped...and hope the car behind you doesn't hit you...... what do you do.....??

    By the way do you know how long it takes to stop a "big rig" on snow or ice.....?
     
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  6. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    2 words,,,distracted driving. What backup?? Oh, shix!!
     
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  7. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    Hmmmm folks not paying attention, folks driving when conditions aren't the best, acting like it ain't snow and ice on the ground, take your pic. I always say, if you can afford to take the day off in those conditions, by all means do so. Wait that ish out. I'll do that if I have time on a load. More often than not, I do. 4 wheelers should just stay home when it gets that bad. Some folks just get in the way of those who know what they're doing. Now I know some places like in the PNW, you can't wait. It's a way of life in those passes, but for those who aren't skilled for those conditions, they need to take the necessary precautions.
     
  8. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I remember a large multi-vehicle pileup that happened in Texas I believe about 20 odd years ago. The weather was clear. Remember accidents are the last event in a chain of events. First, you are on a freeway in some cases with a 70MPH speed limit where the flow of traffic can easily be as high as 80 MPH. Then add in drivers that routinely follow MUCH too closely. Now, all it takes is a triggering event. Somebody texting or engaged in a stressful conversation even with the other person in the car ( now think husband and wife in a vicious argument) OR a sudden fog. Anybody has seen how quickly they can get into a whiteout? Now two or more vehicles crash! Once the crash happens at these high freeway speeds there is not enough time for the vehicles behind to stop and they also crash. It's possible to have 30 or more vehicles crash within 20 seconds. I spoke to a man that was close to one but not involved. He said it was so quick, like one second it road was OK and the next there was 20+ vehicles crashed.
     
  9. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    I read a vehicle traveling 60 mph goes 88 feet per second. Couple that to 30 vehicles going 60 mph, 2 feet apart on a slippery surface, doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what will happen next. I think it's more of driving has become such a common place activity, it only shows how disconnected they are to the actual operating of the vehicle, and any hiccup proves disastrous results. While a list of causes can be said, it boils down to people aren't machines, and in many cases capable of only one task. When you mix in 2 or 3( driving, eating and talking on the phone) tasks at once is when the trouble begins. Such irony. Vehicles get safer, roads get safer, and then something as devastating as a cell phone blows all that out of the water. Ditch the cell phone, HAZZAH, the wrecks cleared up. We all know that won't happen, and for some unheard of reason, pileups are acceptable,,,insurance companies MUST have their hands in it somehow. More pileups, more claims.
     
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  10. Magoo1968

    Magoo1968 Heavy Load Member

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    Technology plays a part too I had a driver blow by me one foggy evening . You could make out lines on road not much else ahead . I asked him how he could see vehicles at that speed his answer was truck radar beeps if he’s catching someone.
     
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  11. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    The OP lives in California where in the winter, that Tule fog gets real thick. When I lived in the Sacramento area, it would get so thick that I couldn't see more than a few feet ahead of me. And why some never slow down in those conditions still amazes me.
     
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