Driving in the winter is a hassle, there’s no doubt about it. But there’s nothing scarier than driving along on what looks like just a wet road, hitting the brakes to slow down, and realizing that what you thought was just melted snow is actually ice—and your car isn’t showing any signs of stopping. The problem with snow and ice in winter is that it seems like there are always drivers who think, despite everything around them indicating otherwise, that they can drive fast regardless of conditions and nothing will go wrong. When something goes wrong—not if, but when—it can often lead to pileups and multi-car accidents, often with ugly results that turn out to be an insurance nightmare because of the number of people involved.

Massive Pileups In the Blink of an Eye

Take, for example, this multiple-car pileup that happened in December 2013 in Wisconsin.  While it’s not entirely clear how many vehicles were involved, it’s at least a few dozen. Imagine the insurance and legal paperwork that ensued afterward:

The entire disaster could have been prevented had drivers been more careful. Unfortunately, when the roads are slick, accidents like these are all too common.

Winter Crash Safety

The crashes shown above are made all the more dangerous when drivers and passengers start getting out of their vehicles and standing in the median. When the conditions are so slippery that cars keep crashing, it’s not safe to be standing unprotected, since it’s highly likely that a car could crash into you.  It’s best to avoid car crashes by driving more slowly and turning on your hazard lights so that you are more visible to other drivers. It’s also important to try and avoid stopping suddenly, because if roads are slick and you hit the brakes to stop quickly, you’re more likely to spin out or slide into another car.  If you are involved in a crash, try and get your vehicle far enough away from the mayhem so that other cars won’t crash or slide into it. If you must get out of the car, make sure to stand far away from any vehicle traffic so that you don’t risk getting hit as well.

In an instance like this, it’s absolutely essential to contact a lawyer. With the number of people involved, dealing with insurance companies on your own would be practically impossible. But don’t get overwhelmed—car accident lawyers have experience dealing with situations like these and will be able to help you get things sorted out.