This recent accident was a huge reminder to us all that it’s best to stay off roads during poor weather conditions. If you are unable to stay off the roads keep our safe winter driving tips in mind (link to the blog), but what happens during a pileup like what Michigan experienced last week and what should you do?[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Youtube content_youtube=”http://youtu.be/W9fI5M6_XVk” video_related=”false” lightbox_play=”false” content_lightbox=”true” content_youtube_trigger=”preview” content_youtube_image_simple=”false” content_image_height=”height: 100%;” content_youtube_iconsize=”30″ content_youtube_iconcolor=”#cccccc” content_youtube_buttontext=”View Video” lightbox_group_name=”nachogroup” lightbox_effect=”random” content_tooltip_css=”false” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″][vc_column_text]In the video you see by the time the driver sees there is an issue it’s too late to stop and at that point they need to quickly decide what’s the best thing to hit. From the angle of the video you see many of the cars & SUVs aim for the median, which meant those vehicles avoided getting rear ended by semis.
One thing you see in that video that AAA spokesperson Susan Hiltz disagreed with in an article published today is getting out of your vehicle. According to AAA it is safer to stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on until emergency officials tell you it is safe to get out. In the article AAA spokesperson Susan Hiltz states:
“There’s more danger in getting out of your car than staying in your car,” she said, noting that there are too many unknown factors during a massive vehicle pileup to risk getting out. People outside of a vehicle on the highway are susceptible to getting struck.
Winter white-out conditions can complicate things even more, with vehicles sliding and drivers unable to see.”
Medically there’s also the chance of neck and spinal injury from a car accident that may not be noticed until too late if you start moving around, so it’s best to stay still until you get checked out.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Steps to Minimize Car Accidents
When a car accident is imminent adrenaline kicks in and many people say time seems to slow down, so use that time to follow these steps to minimize the severity of an accident:
1 – Stay Calm – Panicking will not help you, you need to remain calm. A panicked person will react with sudden jerky maneuvers, which can increase the severity of the accident. Instead stay calm and respond with smooth steering and braking.
2 – Decide on a plan – You don’t have time to be indecisive, so decide on what you’re going to do and stick with it. In the video you saw many of the cars decide to go left to the medium; imagine what would have happened had one of those cars started off doing that and then decided to try to go right instead. The car could have ended up sidewards between two semis instead of in the median and that would have ended very badly.
3 – Break Accordingly – Cars brake differently depending if they have anti-lock brakes or not, so it’s important to know if the car has them and to brake accordingly.
4 – Steer Decisively – Do not abruptly jerk your steering wheel in response to an imminent accident since they may lead to you losing control.
5 – Hit the Gas – Sometimes the best way to avoid an accident is to accelerate and to get out of the way. It’s counter-intuitive since instinct is to slam on the brakes, but there are times the accelerator is your best bet.
6 – Minimize the Damage – If there’s nothing you can do to avoid an accident you need to decide how to best minimize the damage. Your car is structurally weakest on the side, so it’s best to avoid impact to the side of your car. You’ll also want to try to avoid head-on collisions and large immobile objects head-on.
7 – Post Crash – Turn off the car and wait for emergency personnel to check you out.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Car Accidents Involving Fires
During the pileup in Michigan last Friday a few of the vehicles caught fire, including a semi-truck hauling fireworks, which lead to this dramatic footage below:[/vc_column_text][TS-VCSC-Youtube content_youtube=”http://youtu.be/E3NU-CuLtVs” video_related=”false” lightbox_play=”false” content_lightbox=”true” content_youtube_trigger=”preview” content_youtube_image_simple=”false” content_image_height=”height: 100%;” content_youtube_iconsize=”30″ content_youtube_iconcolor=”#cccccc” content_youtube_buttontext=”View Video” lightbox_group_name=”nachogroup” lightbox_effect=”random” content_tooltip_css=”false” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″][vc_column_text]While television and movies make it seem like car crashes mean explosions and fires in reality it’s rare, but if it does happen you do need to get out of your car and move at least 150 feet away from the burning vehicle.
At the Top Driver driving schools our drivers education programs focus on teaching teens to be safe and intelligent drivers, which means our driving instructors will teach drivers ed students to evaluate situations and help prepare the students for worst case scenarios.