Victim of a Snow Pileup? Here Are Your Next Steps

Man with car door open in the snow, on the phone with hand on their face

It may be terrifying if you suddenly find yourself in a multi-vehicle pileup. First, remain calm and if there are any serious injuries, call 911 immediately. Next, wait patiently in a safe area, whether your car or elsewhere, until the police arrive at the scene.

Here are four things to do next if you are involved in a snow pileup:

Stay in a Safe Area

1) Try to stay inside your vehicle to avoid oncoming traffic unless immediate danger is present or others are seriously injured. Move your vehicle to the side of the road if possible and wait there. It is safest to stay inside until police or emergency responders say it is okay to leave and can check on all who are injured. If possible, leave on your headlights or hazards so others can see you from behind when they try to pass.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

2) If you are in a snow pileup that has been caused by an accident involving a snowplow or other large vehicle, wait until the authorities say it is safe to move your car. In some cases, snow from these heavy vehicles can cause severe damage to cars they hit if moved too soon after impact. They may also have been carrying dangerous chemicals such as salt or chemicals used to keep snow from sticking to their tires which could have spilled.

Be Prepared

3) If snow continues to fall after the pileup has happened, snow emergency kits are helpful for staying safe on the roadways. Ask around if other vehicles may have blankets or food for those who may need them. Keeping a snow emergency kit in your car is also a good idea; it could include food, water, and blankets if you are stuck in heavy snow.

Stay Cautious

4) When you’re ready and able to move your vehicle again after a snow pileup, drive slowly out into traffic with caution. Drivers tend to forget that snowplows often leave chunks of snow and ice along the centerlines of roads, making it difficult for cars to pass later without sliding. Additionally, snow may have accumulated around your vehicle as you were waiting, causing more difficulties to get back on a cleared roadway.

Many snow pileups are caused by drivers following too closely behind other vehicles, especially if snowfall creates poor visibility. To avoid pileups altogether, leave plenty of space between your car and the cars ahead of you on the roadways. Try to stay off the roads if the snowfall is creating hazardous conditions.

Contact our attorneys today if you or someone you love has recently been involved in a multi-car pileup. We’ve available to discuss your case and any questions you may have.