Stay Inside Your Vehicle After a Multi-Car Pileup

22760820_m (1)Unless you smell gas, you should almost always stay inside your vehicle until help arrives after any kind of motor vehicle accident, but it is even more important in a multi-car pileup on a highway. As the multi-car accident continues to progress, it will go against every instinct to stay in your car in the middle of the action. Your impulse is to get out and run as far away as possible. When everything slows down and it seems like it is all over, it is natural to want to get out and survey the damage, see if anyone needs help. But getting out of your vehicle could get you killed. Staying inside your car is part of how you can Stay Safe!

Why You Should Stay in Your Vehicle during a Multi-Car Pileup

Multi-car pileups are ongoing events that can last for several minutes. Even after many vehicles have been involved, cars and truck keep coming often at a very high rate of speed with no idea of the obstacle they are approaching. Some will swerve to try to avoid the cluster. If you are outside of your vehicle, they may swerve into you. Others will plow into the existing mass of vehicles, causing them to slam into each other, spin, and shoot out to the sides. All of which poses even more danger to pedestrians that are in the road, in between vehicles, and off the side of the road.

A multi-car pileup can have lulls in the action. When it seems like it is over, it may just be gearing up. Do not assume that it is safe to get out just because it has grown quiet, and other drivers and passengers have started piling out of their vehicles. This is when it gets really dangerous. Drivers are trying to veer around the existing accident scene. Sometimes multiple accident victims are out wandering around. People may be injured and confused. All this while the next wave of traffic is fast approaching the accident scene.

Stay Alive After a Multi-Car Pileup

  • Stay in your vehicle until emergency responders arrive and let you know it is safe to get out.
  • Stay belted, your vehicle may be struck again, possibly several times.
  • Make sure everyone else in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelt, too.
  • Resist the overwhelming urge to take your child out of his or her car seat.
  • Call 9-1-1. Do not assume that someone else must have called.
  • Turn on your flashing hazard lights. It may alert approaching traffic to slow down.

Download our free Stay Safe guide to help ensure you do the right thing after an accident.


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