What to do if you find yourself in a major interstate pileup

Virginia News

A 69-car pileup on Interstate-64 near Williamsburg this weekend left dozens of people hurt. Drivers said it was foggy and roads were slick when the chain reaction crash happened.

The major pileup crash led some to question: What is the best thing to do if you find yourself in the middle of a pileup like this one?

AAA says the most important thing is to conserve energy since you do not know how long you might be stuck. They say, typically, the safest place to be is in your car with your seat belt fastened. 

Buses were brought to Sunday’s crash to keep people warm. If this is not an option, AAA recommends turning your car off to save fuel and battery and running it for three to five minutes at a time to keep it warm.

AAA also suggests to unplug any electronics you may have charging to conserve your car’s battery.

The auto club also says to be prepared with water, snacks, extra blankets and sweaters. Michael Allen from Drive Smart Virginia agrees, stressing the importance of always dressing for the weather.

“We wind up dressing for that warm vehicle and that final destination, so I encourage everyone to be dressed for that weather outside for at least two to three hours,” said Allen.

Allen also advised drivers to look out for gas leaks, which could be a major hazard in a pileup like Sunday’s.

“You get a broken fuel line, fuel is spilling on the road, one of the vehicles is running their engine and that can easily set a vehicle on fire and pretty soon it’s running through the entire bunch of cars,” he said.

Finally, be patient as you wait for emergency crews to get to you.

“It’s going to take them a while. If you got 69 cars, they’re going to work from the outside in, it’s going to take them a while to get there,” said Allen.

There were 51 injuries reported in Sunday’s crash. Police say no charges have been placed at this time as the crash investigation remains ongoing. 

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