Motoramic

70-car pileup caught on video captures the dangers of winter driving

Alex Lloyd
Motoramic

With this winter primed to be one of the snowiest in recent years, and with much of the country having seen sizable accumulation already, many of us will be faced with driving in treacherous conditions. Only last night, at 1 am, I was driving home from Indianapolis airport in a white-out, averaging around 25 mph despite having new all-season tires. I witnessed some drivers in mistreated old cars, with what I assumed would be equally neglected tires, bombing down the road at more than twice my speed. I thought, odds are I'll see one of these guys in a ditch.

Fortunately, I didn't. But as the shocking video below documents, taken during a massive pileup near Germantown, Wis., Sunday, off Highway 41/45, the dangers of driving in snowy conditions are perhaps more shocking than even the most sensible drivers can comprehend. In this wreck, one that looks eerily similar to NASCAR's "Big One," a reported 70 cars were involved with that tally potentially rising to 80 or 90. The inability to stop in such slippery conditions, an issue many drivers will have experienced when motoring in the snow, remains the biggest issue.

As the crash occurred, many vehicles were unable to slow down sufficiently, losing control and creating more chaos — and as this video shows, the road turned into a dangerous game of shuffleboard for over five minutes. Some motorists got out of their vehicles to seek safety and help others, only to find themselves in harm's way again as out-of-control machines careened into the wreckage, and in some cases, into the woods off the side of the road. Amazingly, according to reports, no lives were lost; although a few injuries did occur, and another multi-car wreck just a few miles up the road claimed the life of a 63-year-old man — the third fatality caused by the monster winter storm that hit Wisconsin last Sunday.

It's further evidence that perhaps the ultimate winter driving tip is to simply slow down.

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