Nearly 100 motor vehicles involved in pile-up near North Carolina border

Earlier this year, 95 cars and trucks were involved in a multi-vehicle crash along a foggy stretch of highway near the North Carolina-Virginia border. Three people died and 25 others were taken to area hospitals with serious and minor injuries. A series of 17 separate car crashes caused the pileup in a mountainous area, all in a one-mile stretch of interstate.

Traffic came to a standstill in both directions for many hours as hundreds of emergency vehicles and tow trucks cleared the area of injured motorists and passengers and towed away the remains of destroyed vehicles.

Causes of multi-vehicle crashes

Any number of issues can cause car accidents but a few common factors are known to lead to multi-vehicle pileups.

  • Driving too fast in low visibility conditions: Snow, rain or fog can reduce visibility, creating situations where drivers are unable to slow down or stop in time to avoid accidents. In this case, motorists were warned of foggy conditions but failed to slow sufficiently, creating a chain reaction of accidents.
  • Following too closely: Even in the best driving conditions, failure to maintain a safe following distance can be deadly. If a car stops or slows suddenly, the driver of the following vehicle may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid an accident.
  • Inattentive driving: Despite North Carolina laws prohibiting texting while driving, cellphone use is limited only for bus and novice drivers. Making or receiving a call while driving takes one's eyes off the road and talking on a cellphone can be very distracting. Other common distractions that can lead to accidents include reaching for an item within the car, tending to children in the backseat, eating a snack or reading a map.
  • Driving distractions: External distractions are also common causes of multi-vehicle accidents. Rubbernecking at the scene of an accident can quickly turn a single car crash into a multi-crash situation. Wild animals or tourist attractions are also known to distract drivers, leading to personal injury accidents.

Other common causes of car and truck accidents include speeding, drunk driving, snowy or icy roads and drowsy driving.

Legal help is available

If you or a loved one suffers an injury in an accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. An attorney knowledgeable about single and multi-car crashes may be able to help you obtain reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as damages for pain and suffering.