3 Factors That Put You at Heightened Risk of a Multi-Car Collision

Motor vehicle collisions occur for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, one person drives while drunk or under the influence of drugs. Distraction caused by mobile devices can also affect the abilities and focus of a driver and lead to a serious collision.

The vast majority of collisions involve two cars but some of them involved multiple vehicles. Multi-car collisions or pileups can lead to major traffic delays, undrivable vehicles and severe bodily injury.

Avoiding a crash isn’t always possible, but recognizing the factors that contribute to multi-vehicle collisions can, at least, help reduce the risk of experiencing one.

1. Inclement weather

One of the most common causes of multi-vehicle pileups is heavy precipitation. Both rain and snow can cause vehicles to lose traction on the road, leading to a crash. Other vehicles may then collide with those involved in the original collision, increasing the impact of the wreck until it affects multiple people and possibly closes down a street or highway entirely.

2. Traffic density

Multi-car pileups tend to happen where there are numerous vehicles traveling in close proximity to one another. The less space there is between vehicles on the road, the harder will be for everyone to stop as they should. Avoiding busier roads like freeways during times of poor weather can help drivers reduce their hazard risk.

Even if one vehicle does stop and nearly avoids the multi-vehicle collision, someone behind them may fail to stop, rear-ending them and forcing them into the vehicles in front of their vehicle. The type of vehicles sharing the road also matters. Commercial vehicles, in particular, can be a risk for multi-car pileups, as a jackknife or rollover incident could block all lanes of traffic.

3. The speed of traffic

There is the posted speed limit, and then there is the rate of traffic at which everyone travels on a given road. There is often a noticeable gap between those two speeds.

Choosing roads with lower speed limits when traffic is heavy and road conditions are bad could help drivers minimize their risk of a multi-vehicle collision. Adjusting the speed of a vehicle to reflect the traffic density and weather conditions could also help someone avoid involvement in a crash.

Those involved in a multi-vehicle crash will likely have a complicated process ahead of them, as they may need to file insurance claims or possibly even a civil lawsuit to fully recover their losses. Learning about different kinds of motor vehicle crashes can help drivers more effectively protect themselves both in avoiding collisions and in the event that one occurs.