It pays to drive very slowly

… when confronted with a snow squall. This massive pile-up was the result of people not driving appropriately for the weather. This video was shot in PA, a few hours ago.

(Note: Turn off the sound if you don’t want to hear the owner of a Dodge Charger cursing about his wrecked car.)

Looks like the light blue Ford Edge might’ve gotten off the lightest there by getting stuck when trying to avoid the carnage.

Here’s a sad update on this massive pile-up:

It appears that the Dodge Charger received relatively light damage, despite the owner’s cursing.

The thing is if cars are crashing behind you, ya might want to consider moving your car a little farther ahead instead of leaving it right in the road. Just like playing pool though.

White out though is when a semi passes you. There is about a 10 second period where you can’t see a thing. Just have to have looked at the road before hand and keep going straight. That was nowhere near a white out. Just people not paying attention.

According to my brother–who lives in PA–I-81 was still closed as of 9:30 this morning, as not all of the wrecks had been towed away. This is what it looked like this morning.

insanity…We received at least 4 of the patients all the way down at my hospital in Lancaster. The local trauma centers were quickly overrun as you can imagine.

It seems to me these kinds of pile-ups happen when people react to something like a squall by doing something abrupt. Hit the brakes and lose control, swerve to the side of the road, whatever, and wham, bam, boom, the car behind you hits you, both lose control, the next few vehicles try to avoid the mess and pretty soon there are cars and trucks jammed up all over the place. It’s a traffic heart attack. When something sudden happens that screws you up it’s time to get on your A-game, pay attention, and above all keep driving. It’s not the time to give up. It’s time to get yourself under control and make whatever moves are needed, but make them deliberately.

More than once I’ve been in the middle of a sudden squall. Most were in Central NY and all of a sudden, a lake effect storm started dumping 5" of snow an hour. You have very little time to react. The roads turn to ice almost instantly. Visibility drops to near 0. I was never in an accident, but I can see how something like this can happen even with experienced cautious drivers. Happens too quickly.

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The final terrible tally:
80 vehicles
24 injuries
6 deaths