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Video of Accident Shows What Can Happen to Stalled Vehicles on the Highway

Distracted driving is responsible for many crashes each year, virtually all of them preventable Automotive columnist: , Updated:

A spectacular accident occurred on a Minnesota highway recently, and authorities shared the video to make motorists aware of a few realities.

First, before we get to the video footage, let's mention that no one was injured in the impact.

The scene shows a red pickup truck stopped in the middle lane of a multi-lane highway. According to a local station, the driver of that pickup had hit a deer shortly before. For some reason that isn’t yet known, the truck had come to a stop, stalled and would not start again. The driver made the right decision and got out when it was safe to do so.

The vehicle then sat in that spot for a few minutes before a tractor trailer coming up behind it rammed into it, destroying it completely. The impact was of such violent and spectacular force that the truck was almost immediately engulfed in flames.

The tractor-trailer itself was also quite severely damaged.

So what to take from this unfortunate event? First, a motorist getting involved in any kind of a fender should do whatever possible to get their vehicle out of the way and to safety if possible, even if it means driving to the next exit or even backing up to the last one. If that isn’t possible, they should get away from the vehicle and find a safe spot, as the driver of the pickup in the video did.

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The other takeaway involves distracted driving. The investigation will surely show this, but the video makes it clear the driver of the tractor-trailer didn’t even slow down before the impact. Obviously, they did not spot the pickup stopped in their lane. The shadows show us that the sun was not in front of them, but coming from the side, so that can’t explain their failure to see the stalled vehicle. Were they lost in thought, or, perhaps, busy with an electronic device?

On Canadian highways as on U.S. roads, the sight of motorists, including truck drivers, unlawfully looking at their smartphone screens whilst in motion is all-too-common.

Distraction can lead to, well, what we see in the video. What would have been the result if all traffic had been stopped in front of the red van? The tractor-trailer would have crashed into dozens of vehicles. And given the violence of the impact and the fire that ensued, who knows how tragically this could have turned out.  

As the warm weather approaches, more and more motorists will be out on the roads. Make sure you get behind the wheel with a model in good condition and be careful not to become a statistic. And if something does happen and your vehicle is stalled on a highway, always remember to move to a safe place.