When people imagine motor vehicle collisions, they typically think of a crash involving two vehicles. Most accidents involve one vehicle hitting another. However, sometimes, crashes involve many vehicles, even dozens. One car after the next could end up sliding into a major, multi-vehicle collision.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to a multi-vehicle crash. Sometimes, one or more people on the road are distracted, possibly by passengers or a cellphone. Other times, poor road conditions and a blind curve can cause a crash. Sometimes, it's an issue with a large commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck that just jackknifed blocking all lanes of traffic. Whatever the cause, when a crash involves more vehicles, there's greater potential for secondary collisions and injuries.
Recent multi-car crash highlights the risk to drivers
When you're traveling in heavy traffic at high speeds, there's always potential for a serious collision. When you add in low visibility and slick roads, you have the perfect recipe for a crash. That's basically what happened on I-10 near Anahuac on Friday, Oct. 20. Heavy rain created low visibility and increased stopping times, resulting in a major pile-up involving at least 20 vehicles and several commercial trucks.
The collisions were so serious that not one but two medical helicopters were flown out to get victims to medical facilities. Police has to shut down the I-10 highway in the aftermath of the accident. Thankfully, local authorities cleared the road and responded quickly. None of the 30 people injured ended up dying as a result of this particular collision.
Standard accident protocol may not suffice in a pile-up
One of the most common pieces of advice after an accident is to stay with your vehicle. When you're involved in a multi-vehicle crash, especially in an area with fast traffic like a freeway, you may need to leave your vehicle. Chances are good that more vehicles may end up involved. You don't want to get struck by a vehicle or inside your car, subject to secondary collisions and additional injuries. If possible, exit your vehicle and move to safety, away from the road.
Usually, those involved in a crash start getting the name and insurance information of the other driver involved. In a major multi-car crash, however, getting the information of each vehicle involved may be impossible. Instead you should focus on your own safety and listening to first responders when they arrive. A police report number can help you get started with filing an insurance claim.
Liability and responsibility issues in the wake of a multiple-vehicle accident can become complex. Your insurance claim for medical expenses, lost wages and repair to your vehicle may take some time to process as a result.