You’ve never seen a crash quite like this one. While first responders were tending to a crash site between an SUV and a semi-truck, another semi-truck lost control, rolled off the adjacent highway overpass, and landed on the previous crash site. Madness!
What are the chances of two different crashes colliding?
According to Carscoops, the dramatic footage shared first on social media shows a scene more chaotic than anything we’ve ever seen. An SUV and an overturned semi-truck blocked Highway 14 / 5 Freeway interchange in Santa Clarita, California, at 6:30 am as first responders worked on the scene. Within an hour of the first crash, as work continued to clear the scene, another semi-truck lost control, careened off the above overpass, and landed on top of the first crash.
“At first, I was in shock,” Tommy Dorado told ABC7 after filming the crash. “I was in disbelief. I honestly couldn’t believe I was witnessing something like that firsthand.”
Was anyone injured in this mayhem?
Thankfully, no one was in the first flipped semi nor the SUV involved in the first crash. Even more amazingly, the first responders were able to get out of the way before the second semi-truck landed on the scene. ABC7 reports no injuries were reported from the second crash. The cause of the crash is most likely due to the wet weather conditions, which are less common in this part of the world.
Are drivers getting worse?
If you, like me, hear stories like this one and pair that with the number of times you have seen truly horrifying things on our roads, you might be inclined to believe we are getting worse at driving. Well, you aren’t wrong. We are getting worse at driving.
Though vehicle miles traveled decreased by 11% in the United States in 2020, traffic fatalities rose 6.8%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the American Psychological Association (APA), this might be due to something University of Utah cognitive neuroscientist David Strayer, Ph.D., calls the “four horsemen of death.” These four factors are speed, impairment, distraction, and fatigue. Research suggests that 90 percent of all vehicle crashes can be traced back to one of these.
“People’s brains are not perceiving information and processing emotion in the way that they did prior to the pandemic,” said Kira Mauseth, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Seattle University who studies disaster behavioral health. “People might be a little bit more impulsive; they’re a little bit less regulated, and they might not be considering consequences.”
All of this is pretty disheartening, especially considering how much safer our cars have gotten over the past decade. Still, our bad driving habits make these advances feel pointless.