A 38-year-old man was killed recently while riding in a vehicle as a passenger. The fatal crash happened in West Palm Beach on a Saturday morning shortly after 4:00 AM, according to WPBF. The car he was riding in was rear-ended by a truck near the intersection of North Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard. When the truck rear-ended the car, both vehicles ended up crossing the center raised median. The cars went into the westbound lane and another vehicle heading west got hit.
Unfortunately, this accident was one of many collisions classified as a chain reaction accident. Chain reaction accidents happen when one car strikes another and the force of impact results in additional cars also getting hit. It is common for chain reaction accidents to happen on highways or any roads where vehicles are traveling in close quarters.
Chain Reaction Car Accidents Cause Significant Risks to Motorists
Chain reaction car accidents happen when cars are traveling close together because there is limited or no room for motorists to react when the first problem arises and because there are few places for cars to go where they won't strike other vehicles. For example, if cars are tightly packed together on a highway, a chain reaction accident is likely if an initial crash pushes the vehicles out of their lanes. This is what happened here.
Chain reaction accidents also frequently result in cars being pushed into the vehicle in front of theirs. For example, if a car rear-ends a vehicle and that vehicle is close to the car in front of it, that front car is likely to be hit as well. That car can, in turn, be pushed into the car in front of it, continuing the chain.
Chain reaction accidents can also happen when one car is not able to stop in time to avoid hitting impaired vehicles in front of it. For example, if a car is driving on a highway and comes upon two vehicles which have been in an accident and are stopped on the road, the traveling car may not be able to stop in time to avoid striking at least one of the impaired cars.
When chain reaction accidents happen, the collisions are likely to be serious or deadly. Cars are very likely to sustain more serious damage when they are hit multiple times, such as being hit from the back and then struck from the front when they are pushed into a lane. The motorists inside of these cars have to absorb the force and impact from multiple crashes. Cars struck multiple times can also be crushed. The chain of impaired vehicles can also make it hard for rescue crews to reach victims or for victims to escape from their vehicles, which exacerbates the risk of serious injury or death.
In chain reaction crashes, it can sometimes be difficult to determine who is at fault because it can be hard to identify exactly which car in the chain did something wrong. Determining blame can be important if the injuries are serious and victims need compensation from those responsible for the crash.