When two cars collide on a Mississippi highway, the initial collision can set off a chain reaction that involves many other vehicles. If traffic is heavy and fast-moving, there’s no telling how many cars could be involved in a single accident. In February 2021, an accident on a Texas highway involved 133 vehicles, six deaths and 65 injured victims.
Risk factors for pileups
It’s important to be aware of common risk factors that can cause chain-reaction car accidents. According to an investigator who worked on the Texas crash, sudden changes in weather conditions are usually to blame for massive pileups. When heavy fog, rain or icy and snowy conditions take drivers by surprise, a single motor vehicle accident is more likely to become a pileup.
Drive defensively to avoid pileups
You may be able to avoid being involved in a multi-car pileup by adjusting your driving strategy when the weather changes. The first thing you can do is to check current weather reports before leaving your house and alter your driving schedule, if possible. When inclement weather takes you by surprise, slow down and try to maintain a greater following distance from the car in front of you.
While driving during inclement weather, it’s also important to check your mirrors to make sure that the cars behind you are not following too close. You may be able to change lanes to avoid being followed by a tailgater that could be putting you at risk.
Remember that safety is the top priority
When driving conditions get dodgy, some people forget that missing a turn or arriving at your destination late isn’t the end of the world. It’s important to pay close attention to what’s going on with the weather, the road and other cars so that you can avoid accidents.