Every auto accident scene is unpleasant, but arguably the most horrifying type of multi-vehicle crash is one which is caused by low visibility due to smoke or fog. Here are five of the most terrible of these kinds of pileups on record:
1. South of Gainesville, Florida
January 28, 2012
A manmade fire caused thick smoke to drift across a portion of Interstate 75. The reduced visibility resulted in at least 10 people being killed in the ensuing pileup, which involved about 10 passenger vehicles and four or five commercial vehicles. The wreckage stretched for over a mile, and one witness reported hearing approximately 15 different collisions during the chaos.
2. Polk County, Florida
January 8, 2008
The I-75 crash brought back memories of this horrific pileup on Interstate 4 about 12 miles north of Lakeland, Florida. Almost 70 cars were involved in this 10-crash catastrophe over a two-mile stretch of interstate, and four people died while 38 others were hurt. The cause was a "perfect storm" of dense fog and gray smoke from a nearby brush fire.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
December 29, 2011
The exact cause of this 40-vehicle pileup is still unclear, but it is believed to be a combination of early-morning fog and darkness. The 4am crash on inbound Interstate 10 claimed the lives of 2 people, sent over two dozen to area hospitals, and injured 37 more. A tow truck driver who arrived on the scene shortly after the crash described hearing numerous screams and cries for help all around him.
4. Near Taunton, Somerset, UK
November 4, 2011
A Friday evening pileup on Britain's M5 roadway claimed seven lives and injured more than 50 others. A total of 34 vehicles were involved in the incident which authorities first thought was caused by smoke from a nearby fireworks show for an area soccer team. But experts now believe that visibility was more likely limited by fog combined with burning diesel fuel from the initial collisions.
5. Hampton Hill, Middlesex, UK
January 29, 1959
Fog- or smoke-related pileups aren't just a recent phenomenon. Over a half century ago, thick fog enveloped a large portion of the British Isles and wreaked all kinds of havoc across the region. A total of 35 vehicles were involved in one roadway accident, though records do not indicate the number of casualties. The fog lasted for more than two days and brought most British transport to a standstill.
Multi-vehicle accidents where fog or smoke is present are so scary because drivers simply cannot see anything around them. To make matters worse, once your visibility is eliminated, there's no way to determine what the safest course of action is. Do you stop and risk being hit from behind by another motorist traveling at high speed? Or do you drive on and hope you don't smash into anything (or anyone?) Plus, these wrecks are far from instantaneous - they could last for several minutes or longer.
That's why smoke- or fog-related pileups tend to have greater loss of life, more injuries, and higher auto insurance claims than most other major accident scenes.
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Are you proud that your car has hit the six-figure mileage milestone and is still going strong? Do you get all giddy thinking about how your “classic” automobile is still tooling around the highways under its own power?
If you want to be really impressed, take a gander at these nine cars that are still running - all of which are at least 100 years old! (We wonder what the auto insurance rates on these cars might be!)
1898 Stanley Steamer. This was the nickname for the vehicles produced by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, the top-selling automaker in the two years before the turn of the century. Actually, these steam-engine cars had another moniker: the Flying Teapots.
1904 Rolls Royce. This 10 horsepower two-seater was sold at auction a few years ago for a whopping $7.275 million. That was not only the highest price ever paid for a Rolls, but the sale also earned this vehicle the distinction of being the most expensive car ever purchased over the phone.
1893 Benz Victoria. One of the Victoria's brethren undertook the first long-distance "road trip" in motoring history. Theodor von Liebieg was the driver on that historic journey, and he probably pushed the Benz to its top speed of 12 miles per hour while on the open road.
Circa 1895 Panhard et Levassor. This car was made by a French company, which today limits its product line to light tactical and military vehicles. But the manufacturer holds the distinction of being responsible for various automotive innovations, including a modern transmission, a front-mounted radiator, and a clutch pedal connected to a chain-driven gearbox.
1896 Lutzman Victoria. Automaker Frederich Lutzman followed in the footsteps of his fellow German countrymen, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler. In fact, Lutzman produced some of the first cars ever to be imported into Britain.
1896 Steam-Powered Salvesen. This vehicle never went into production, but was instead used to toodle around the Salvesen family estate in Scotland. The cart not only required a steersman in the front, but also a boilerman-stoker in the back to operate the rear-mounted coil-fired boiler.
1897 Delahaye Limousine. The Delahaye brand was best known for making roadsters and Jeep-like vehicles in the first half of the 20th century. But this belt-driven limousine was one of the first autos made by founder Emile Delahaye in Tours, France.
1898 Benz Dogcart. You could call this the first "green" car in history. This "dogcart" was the first to be fitted with a electric self-start dynamotor, which helped it climb hills more efficiently.
1884 De Dion et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos runabout. This vehicle currently holds the title of the oldest car in the world that is still running. The back-to-back four-seater has a steering "tiller" instead of a wheel, and reportedly achieved a top speed of 37 miles per hour in a race in 1887.
Tags: auto insurance, car, automobiles, cheap insurance, safauto, safe auto
Filed under “acts of God,” so they aren't covered by your car insurance. Which kind of stinks for drivers, because roads, which generally are laid over sewers, subway tunnels, and other large gaps that can suddenly have the roof fall in, get an awful lot of sinkholes. Here are ten of the worst we could find.
10) Milwaukee Eats Escalade (Nom Nom Nom) To be fair, Milwaukee was the home of the Brewers. This driver was probably so used to a sinking feeling, he didn't notice he was in a sinkhole until the traffic light fell on him.
9) Polk County Gets Depressed
This is just one sinkhole from Polk County, Florida, which became the site of a sinkhole convention in January 2010, eating up roads. Also tree, houses, farm animals, and people, but we don't insure those.
8) In San Fernando, You Rescue Fire Truck
This sinkhole was caused by a water main break, which is a common source of sinkhole creation. The truck taking a nice little swim was, obviously, completely unintentional, but it could have been more embarrassing. Possibly. Maybe?
7) School's Out!
This Levittown school bus also fell victim to the insidious water main break. Now they're attacking our children! Our children! We must ban water mains before it's too late!
6) OK, Maybe We Should Have Taken the Detour
This sinkhole in Austin, TX, shut down traffic at this intersection for three weeks. What we enjoy in this photo is the fact that the road crews are clearly at a loss. “How are we filling this thing in, Hank?”
5) And He Was Almost Done With His Shift
This snowplow driver in Hanover Township, PA, was on his last run of the day when the rear end of his plow decided it needed to take a nice, comfortable seat about two feet below the actual level of the road. We hope this poor guy got overtime.
4) Bob, I Think You're Doing It Wrong
This happened in Ohio, thanks to a century-old sewer system. Even better, it happened right in front of the mayor. We're also pretty sure this was immediately turned into a motivational poster: “Revenge: If You're Going to Go Down, Take the Tools You Need To Bring Others Down With You.”
3) In Florida, Even The Ground Will Eat You
That Camry you see in this Tampa sinkhole? It had disappeared by the time rescue vehicles had shown up. Fortunately, nobody was in it, but people had cameras handy. What is it with Florida and the ground yawning open to consume you, anyway?
2) Kansas City Blues
This sinkhole shut down a major highway in Kansas City, MI. We suppose it could be worse; the Kings could still be in Kansas City.
1) This Is Why You Don't Take the Red Pill
This is what happens when you combine a terrible soil that easily washes away with a huge sewer pipe that explodes. This sinkhole appeared in Guatemala, and was 330 feet deep. On the bright side, at leas
Tags: safeauto, safe auto, car insurance, automobiles
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