Recently on I-70 just west of Indianapolis, there was a multi-vehicle pile up that resulted in one death and many injured people who were taken to local hospitals. The crash involved 30 semi trailers and 17 passenger vehicles. Indiana State Police believe that weather and reduced visibility from snow squalls were a contributing factor in the massive multi-vehicle crash. The pile up is thought to have started when a semi-truck driver slowed down because of poor visibility, and then his truck was rear-ended by another truck, setting off a chain reaction of crashes that shut down a section of I-70. The crash scene was also complicated by fuel that was leaking from several tanker trucks.
Sorting out the cause of a multi-vehicle crash can be extremely complex. Because of the multiple vehicles that are involved, it can be much more difficult to pinpoint who did what to cause the pile-up to commence, and therefore more difficult to prove who is legally responsible for the crash in a personal injury case. The factors involved in a multi-car crash are often the same as those in any kind of motor vehicle accident. Distraction is the leading cause of car accidents with drivers talking on cell phones, texting, talking to passengers, or even daydreaming, all while traveling at 70 mph or faster. Bad weather, not allowing sufficient distance between vehicles, and sometimes even aggressive driving can also be factors that cause a multi-vehicle crash to commence.
Because semi-trucks that travel on interstate highways often weigh 60,000 pounds or more, the mass of these semi-trucks means that it takes a semi-truck a much longer distance to stop or even slow down as compared to a normal passenger or truck. For this reason, if a semi-truck must suddenly stop or slow down, it is much more likely to collide with the vehicle in front of it. All the more reason to be nervous if a semi-truck is following too close to your car!
Eyewitness accounts of who caused a multi-vehicle crash can vary widely. Each driver is likely to have a different version of how the crash occurred because it happened so quickly. Unlike crashes involving only one or two vehicles, the police may also decide not to assign fault for such a crash in their official report because it is difficult to determine who was primarily responsible. In order to sort out a complicated crash, accident reconstruction specialists may be called in and significant amounts of investigation required.
For experienced help after an auto accident or to talk to me about your injury, contact James F. Ludlow, Attorney at Law, P.C. My firm can be reached toll-free at (877) 897-9466 or by filling out the simple form on the Contact Us page.