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Worst UK Motorway Crashes

Driving is a routine part of everyday life for most people. We suffer through the daily commute, enduring long tailbacks and annoying drivers, plus we probably use the car for a multitude of other tasks. In short, we spend a considerable amount of time in our cars. Unfortunately, although driving is a relatively safe, sometimes circumstances conspire to create a perfect storm of events that lead to destruction on the roads. So what are the worst motorway crashes of recent times?

M5 Fire Ball Disaster

The M5 crash in Somerset in 2011 was later described as the worst motorway incident in more than two decades. The cause of the pileup was believed to be thick black smoke drifting across the carriageway from a nearby fireworks display. Seven people died and at least 51 were badly injured when a huge fireball engulfed a section of the northbound carriageway near Taunton in Somerset. Witnesses described horrific scenes of destruction when vehicles exploded as the fire took hold. Many victims were trapped in their cars following the collisions. Other drivers tried desperately to free them, but the heat was too intense.

M4 Fog Crash Disaster

Prior to the M5 disaster, the M4 multi car pileup at Hungerford in 1991 was probably the worst motorway crash in living memory. It happened during the early morning rush hour when a van driver fell asleep at the wheel and drifted across the carriageway. Other drivers tried to avoid him and a total of 51 vehicles were involved in the resultant carnage. 10 people died in the crash and 25 were injured. There was a huge fire on the crash site when fuel and combustible materials inside one of the vehicles ignited. The heat was so intense that the carriageway melted like butter.

M62 Hen Party Crash Disaster

Hen parties are supposed to be fun, but for one unfortunate group of ladies, they had barely left home when the minibus they were travelling in crashed on the M62 near Pontefract. The horrific crash in April occurred when a minibus carrying a hen party on their way to Liverpool collided with a lorry. An eighteen year old woman died when she was trapped beneath the wreckage of the minibus and in total, 21 women were injured, some of them seriously. The lorry driver was arrested at the scene for dangerous driving, but the minibus driver has since also been arrested for the same offence.

What Causes Serious Motorway Pileups?

In the case of the M5 disaster, thick smoke was to blame. Conditions deteriorated rapidly and drivers were caught up the carnage before they had time to take evasive action. At Hungerford, it was a combination of reduced visibility because of fog and one tired driver drifting off at the wheel. In most cases, however, dangerous driving causes crashes, which was evidently the case in the hen party crash. People drive too fast, too close to other vehicles, or they just take crazy risks. So no matter how careful a driver you may be, there is no accounting for the stupidity of others on the roads.Weather conditions could also cause drastic road conditions, especially in the winter. Due to this, it is important that you monitor your car’s safety on a regular basis.

10 Nov 2016

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