Chain Reaction / Multi-Vehicle Accidents
A multi-vehicle accident can be defined as any accident involving more than one vehicle. In most cases, however, the label of multi-vehicle accident is used to apply to accident situations where there were three or more cars involved in an accident. These crashes are also called “pile-ups.” These types of collisions are frequent on high speed roads, such as an interstate, where it is difficult to stop when there is an accident ahead of the driver. Due to the high speeds on the road, if one vehicle breaks down or suddenly stops then those behind it cannot stop in the blink of an eye and a chain reaction will occur causing extensive damage, injuries, and even death. An example of a chain reaction accident occurred on December 29th, 2011 on I-10 in New Orleans East when there were about 40 vehicles in a crash due to heavy fog and smoke from a nearby marsh fire. There were 59 people injured in that accident and tragically two people died.
More recently, on October 24, 2023, near Manchac, Louisiana there was a series of massive multi-vehicle collisions involving upwards of 168 vehicles due to what has been described as a “super fog” event. A mixture of heavy fog, due to atmospheric conditions, and smoke from swamp fires created severely dangerous driving conditions making it difficult and nearly impossible for drivers to see. These collisions resulted in numerous injuries, at least 8 of which ended in some one’s death. Many of the vehicles involved were burned beyond recognition. One of our clients barely made it out of his burning car before it was completely engulfed in flames. Sorting out who is at fault is a long and complicated process, sometimes taking years to assess blame on a driver or series of drivers. Suffice it to say, this and other fog related accidents can be avoided or lessened by drivers paying attention to the weather conditions they are facing. Drivers should slow down, use their fog lights and be mindful of the digital warning signs posted by the DOTD.
The U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration reports that a car accident occurs once every 60 seconds. This adds up to 6 million crashes a year. Of these car accidents almost 1/3 involved multi vehicle accidents. One driver’s inattention for a moment is all it takes to set off a massive chain reaction of cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, and other vehicles to crash into each other. These types of collisions are more dangerous than a two vehicle collision because multiple vehicles can plow into other cars from different directions. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained from these accidents are more often catastrophic. They may include spinal cord injuries, broken bones, amputations, neck and back injuries, brain damage, and even death.
There are multiple causes for these collisions and each one is unique. However, the more common include:
- Bad Weather - this will produce low visibility and slippery roads causing it harder to stop on interstates and other high speed roads. Rain, ice, snow, and fog can easily turn a safe road into a hazardous one.
- Falling Asleep - when a driver falls asleep, even for an instant, he or she could easily crash into another vehicle causing a pile up.
- Cell Phones - texting, talking, or taking pictures on the phone are some of the leading causes of multi-vehicle crashes. These distractions can cause a driver to become inattentive which could result in rear end collisions and pileups.
- Intoxicated Drivers - driving under the influence is one of the major causes of a pileup. This could occur when a drunk driver loses control of his vehicle and swerves into oncoming traffic resulting in a collision and eventually a pileup.
- Other Causes - car stereo systems, other passengers, eating, reading maps, and countless other reasons can cause a driver to become inattentive which can lead to a pileup.
Due to the complex nature of these accidents it is very hard to determine fault sometimes. This is the reason you need an experienced New Orleans Attorney on your side. You should hire Cliff Cardone to represent you and get the best results possible for a speedy financial recovery. Phone Cardone at 504-522-3333 for a free in person consultation.