What are the Most Common Causes of Multiple-Vehicle Crashes?

Car accident lawyersThe recent ice storms and snowy weather in Tennessee have caused several crashes on area highways as drivers lose control of their vehicles on slick, dangerous roads. According to the NHTSA, in 2012 there were about 2.3 million people injured and 33,561 fatalities in auto accidents in the U.S. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 911 of those deaths took place on Tennessee roadways. In 2013, there were 995 vehicle crashes in TN, 444 of those were multiple vehicle crashes, according to IIHS data.

Multiple vehicle crashes are either a chain-reaction – where one car crashes into the one in front of it, and the car that was hit crashes into the vehicle in front if it – or several cars colliding with one or more other vehicles in a more chaotic manner. These accidents can be catastrophic with several severe injuries, death and significant property damage.

Slick, hazardous road conditions from ice storms and other extreme weather are not the only causes of multiple vehicle crashes. Other causes of multi-vehicle pile-up accidents include:

  • Speed. Drivers traveling at high speeds and not keeping a safe driving distance from the car in front of them can be surprised when they come upon a car that is traveling much slower than they are, and there is no time to react before colliding.
  • Intoxication. Any kind of impairment whether it is from drinking too much alcohol, using illegal drugs, or suffering from the side effects of prescription drugs, can alter the driver’s ability to focus on the road and make safe driving decisions.
  • Distracted drivers. Distracted driving among younger drivers is quickly overtaking drunk driving as the cause of auto accidents. The drivers may take their eyes off of the road for what they think is a split second to type a text message, but they don’t realize that the car is still hurtling forward at great speed. Other distractions besides mobile phones include eating, drinking, applying makeup, adjusting the dials on the radio and even snapping pictures behind the wheel.
  • Drowsy drivers. Drivers who get sleepy behind the wheel might even be more hazardous than one who has had too much to drink. Falling asleep at the wheel while their foot is still on the gas pedal can cause the car to crash into the car in front, or to veer out of their lane crashing into the car to left or the right.
  • Weather conditions. Fog, smoke and dust storms that compromise visibility, snow, heavy rain and ice that cause the road surface to be slippery can also contribute to multiple car crashes.

If you should end up in a multi-vehicle crash, after you have sought any necessary medical attention, contact your insurance company right away. Determining fault on a multi-vehicle crash can be complicated due to all of the conflicting accounts of what happened. If you have suffered serious injuries, contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you on what your case might be worth.

Contact a Memphis auto accident attorney today if you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident. We are ready to discuss your case and advocate your best interests. Contact Bailey & Greer, PLLC to schedule a consultation today.