The bright seasons that make up our year are one of the most excellent features of existence. However, there are several disadvantages to changing seasons.

According to the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation, the weather has a role in around 21% of all accidents each year. Weather-related incidents cause over 1 million accidents each year.

Although the majority of traffic collisions are modest, resulting in minimal property damage and minor casualties, now and then, an accident occurs that garners national attention due to its severity. 

Hundreds of vehicles may be involved in these collisions, which result in numerous injuries and, in some cases, death.

Bad weather Tragedies

1. Fog tragedy on Interstate 75 in 1990

1990 Interstate 75 fog disaster | Video Credit – Randy

The 1990 Interstate 75 fog catastrophe occurred on December 11, 1990, on a segment of Interstate 75 (I-75) near Calhoun, Tennessee, during intense fog that hindered vehicle visibility. 

The collision happened in a fog-prone area that had previously seen multiple multi-vehicle accidents due to low visibility.

It was made up of a sequence of multi-vehicle collisions that resulted in 12 deaths and 42 injuries, with a total of 99 automobiles involved. 

When it happened, it was reputedly the most severe motor vehicle accident in U.S. history in terms of the number of cars involved, as well as the largest and second deadliest vehicle accident in Tennessee history, after the 1972 Bean Station bus-truck disaster, which killed 14 people.

2. A bus and a truck collision near Bean Station in 1972

Bean Station Bus Crash Video | Video Credit – thehideman

The crash is the bloodiest and one of the worst road accidents in Tennessee’s history. 

Following the tragedy, lawmakers and residents demanded increased traffic safety and infrastructural upgrades, including highway widenings and the completion of Interstate 81 in Tennessee. 

On May 13, 1972, a head-on accident occurred between a double-decker Greyhound bus and a tractor-trailer on U.S. Route 11W in Grainger County, Tennessee, near the town of Bean Station.

3. Deadly snowfall traps hundreds.

Deadly snowstorm traps hundreds of tourists in their cars in Pakistan | Video Credit – FRANCE 24 English

At least 21 people have perished in northern Pakistan after being stranded in their vehicles by heavy snow.

The event reportedly stopped as many as 1,000 automobiles as would-be tourists rushed to see the winter snowfall in Murree’s hilltop town.

According to emergency personnel, ten children were among those who died. 

At least six people were reported to have been killed from frostbite in their vehicles, according to police. 

Asphyxiation caused by inhaling fumes has been suggested to force the other demises.

4. Icy road catastrophic pileup

Ice Storm In Texas Leads To Deadly 100-Car Pileup | Video Credit – TODAY

The Pennsylvania Turnpike traffic jam in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, lasted nearly 5 miles and was caused by ice road conditions.

A speed restriction set in place due to poor driving conditions was relaxed, plainly incorrectly, just before the initial accident that triggered it all. 

On February 14, a pileup involving five tractor-trailers and ten autos occurred shortly after 8:25 a.m. 

Authorities did not reopen the collision site on the eastbound side of the Turnpike until 4:00 p.m. that day.

5. California on Interstate

On March 20, 1995, one of the worst multiple-vehicle catastrophes in United States history occurred on Interstate 10 near Mobile, Alabama.

The accident involved 200 automobiles, resulting in 90 people being injured and one person dying due to those injuries. 

The fact that the Interstate travels along a bridge over Mobile Bay added to the severity of the disaster. 

The cause of this fatal collision was a heavy fog that crept up from the Bay below, obscuring the visibility of cars.

6. A 200-vehicle pileup in Michigan

Interstate 5 in California | Video Credit – FreewayBrent

Dense fog caused this accident on Interstate 96 in Ingham County, Michigan, with cars having less than a quarter-mile of sight. 

An SUV and roughly ten additional vehicles, including a semi-truck, were involved in the first accident that sparked the carnage.

From there, cars continued to pile up on both sides of the Interstate, with roughly 114 automobiles on the eastbound side and 86 on the westbound side engaged. 

A 14-year-old child traveling in the SUV that was involved in the initial disaster and a man who rear-ended a Tractor-Trailer later in the accident were among the dead.

7. Deadly 150-vehicle pileup

150 Car Pile-Up on Michigan Highway I-94 | Video Credit – Trevor Proctor

During the 193-vehicle pileup on I-94 near Galesburg, Michigan, the sequence of events that resulted in 23 injuries and one death is difficult to comprehend. 

The misfortune happened just before 10:00 a.m. in the eastbound lanes, but it swiftly spread to both sides of the highway.

Following the first pileup, it was revealed that one of the Tractor-Trailers on fire was carrying fireworks, which ignited and caused additional explosions. 

Another Semi-Truck involved in the collision was transporting acid, which began to flow into the surrounding region, posing a new threat.

Because of the incidents caused by the pileup, police issued a statement requesting that anyone living within one mile of the accident stay in their homes until the accident was cleared, which took about 12 hours.

8. Massive Crashes Occur in the Midwest 

On February 14, 2010, a massive snowstorm slammed the Kansas City area, causing many traffic jams throughout the city, but none compared to the one that happened just before 1:00 p.m. on Interstate 70.

Although there were no casualties in the accident on Interstate 70, several injuries were reported. 

It took emergency assistance more than six hours to clear the road enough for traffic to resume.

9. Stafford County accident 

Tractor Trailer Accident In Stafford County | Video Credit – WUSA9

On February 22, 2001, just before 11:00 a.m., slick roads and heavy snow showers caused over 100 automobiles to collide at high speeds.

The pileup resulted in a 3-mile-long accident scene, stranding dozens of motorists. 

Many drivers abandoned their vehicles for nearby shelter as the automobiles piled up, hoping to avoid being harmed by flying wreckage produced by the ongoing collisions. 

The southbound lanes of I-95 were stopped until 9:00 p.m. due to the severity of the incident, causing traffic to back up almost twelve miles.

10. Multiple wrecks on I-85

Wrong-way driver causes multi-car wreck on I-85 south in Atlanta | Video Credit – 11Alive

A 130-vehicle pileup happened near the intersection of Interstate 85 and Interstate 40 in Alamance County, North Carolina, due to a combination of blinding sun and heavy rain.

The six-mile-long section of the freeway was closed throughout the evening of March 13, 2016, while crews attempted to clean the wreckage and respond to the injured. 

Thankfully, the majority of the damage caused by the chain of incidents was limited to vehicles, with no deaths and only 20 injuries reported.

Precautions

1. Switch on your lights

Switch on your lights
Switch on your lights | Image Credit – Pixabay

Visibility on the roads is reduced when the weather is terrible. As a result, it’s critical to be visible to other vehicles on the road. 

Setting your lights to “auto” or manually turning them on in the early morning and early evening is critical. 

Make it a routine to turn on your lights when it’s raining or snowing outdoors, as the “auto” option may not work. Other automobiles are less likely to collide with you if they can see you.

2. Fasten your seatbelt

Fasten your seatbelt
Fasten your seatbelt | Image Credit – Freepik

Wearing your seatbelt is one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of a car accident, even if it seems obvious. 

The CDC estimates that wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of death by 45 percent.

In inclement weather, wearing a seat belt is a simple approach to help avoid accidents and injuries.

3. Examine your vehicle

 Examine your vehicle
Examine your vehicle | Image Credit – Rayner Bosch Car Service

It’s a good idea to get your car tuned up at the start of each season. Checking the heating and air conditioning system, gasoline and emission filters, battery, antifreeze, tires, and windshield wipers are all part of this process.

4. Slow down

Driving on the roads in the rain or snow can be pretty dangerous. Remember to go slower than usual when driving in poor weather. When it’s pouring or snowing, it’s a good idea to slow down. 

Stay roughly 3 seconds behind another automobile as a general rule, so you have plenty of time to stop. 

Do not stomp on the brakes if you have to come to a complete halt. Pump your brakes slowly to avoid spinning out. If you begin to skid, turn into it rather than overcorrecting your turn.

5. Don’t be concerned about other drivers.

It is unsafe to drive in poor weather. Other drivers may pressure you to speed up, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, don’t.

If necessary, other drivers can pass you. Rainy driving is one of the most hazardous circumstances, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year. 

Take your time when it rains, stay calm, and don’t worry about other drivers. Do not overcorrect your turn into the slide.

6. Use the electronics in your car.

Accident avoidance system in cars
Accident avoidance system in cars | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Automakers have been using technology for years to improve a vehicle’s capacity to maintain control and safety when driving in bad weather. 

Electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, four-wheel drive, active body control, freeze detectors, fluid level monitors, accident avoidance, and telematics are some of the features you may be familiar with. 

When some of these functions are turned on automatically while driving, we must switch on others.

Conclusion 

Even if you are a watchful driver, there are additional aspects to consider and other drivers to be aware of. 

There are frequently warning signs on highways and roadways, highlighting regions mainly influenced by inclement weather. 

Don’t wait for tempest clouds to appear on the horizon before taking precautions to ensure your protection.

Rishu Shakya, a bachelor’s degree graduate in Business Information Management, holds an extraordinary empathy towards mother nature and her ecosystem. She has always been captivated by green Earth and its charm. She regards spreading awareness about clean energy and sustainable development as her passion as well as responsibility. She believes her compassion about the Earth and human relationships will undoubtedly assist our planet to be a better place.