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Last Modified: December 28, 2022

The 5 Worst Traffic Accidents in U.S. History

Published on November 9, 2012 • Last updated December 28, 2022 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Car Accidents

There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. In these accidents there are, on average, 40,000 fatalities. The leading causes of traffic accidents are drunk driving and distracted driving (usually texting). Both drinking and texting while driving are highly irresponsible yet every day someone decides they can do one or both of these things while behind the wheel. Those that choose to do this undoubtedly do not realize the devastating consequences that an alcohol related or texting and driving accident can have. To spread awareness of the danger of this, a list of the 5 worst car accidents in recent U.S. history was created:

5 A snow storm in Virginia on February 22, 2000 dropped over an inch of snow in just minutes. In theses white out conditions the worst pile up in Virginia history ensued, involving 117 cars. One person was killed and 31 more were seriously injured.

4 On January 19, 2009 in Maryland ice and snow conditions made driving very precarious. 20 accidents were reported in the area but the worst of these involved 7 tractor trailers and 35 cars. Two people were killed and 35 more were injured.

3 On May 14, 1988 a drunk driver entered a Kentucky freeway going the wrong way. Before long he struck a passenger bus head on. The collision ruptured the bus’s gas tank and soon after the bus was engulfed in flames. Of the 66 bus passengers 27 died and 34 were seriously injured.

2 In Tennessee on December 11, 1990 a dense fog descended quickly onto the roadway. A 70-car pile up that killed 13 people ensued. Adding to the chaos was a series of car fires that sounded, to one witness, like a string of bombs and gunshots.

1 On November 29, 1991 winds in Northern California reached up to 40 mph. Dust, stirred up from unplanted farmlands nearby, greatly reduced visibility. The poor road conditions caused a 164 vehicle pile up. It took rescue crews until the next day to come in and clear the road. In the aftermath of the accident it was found that 17 people had died and another 150 were seriously injured.

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