|The pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, N.H. today.|
Up to 100 cars were involved in the crash, one truck burst into flames when a car crunched beneath it, and a few people got hurt.
What a mess!
I don't have empirical proof, but it seems to me that most of these gigantic highway crashes on snowy, icy roads happen during brief or unexpected snow squalls, or near the start of a snowstorm.
Here's what I think is going on: People are blasting their way down the highway on dry pavement when it starts to snow.
In the case of a snow squall, the pavement very quickly goes from dry and fine to slippery and dangerous. Most people respond by slowing down so they can brake more easily if they have to, and because visiblilty is low and it's better to go take your time in those situations.
That's most people.
But there's always a few oblivious idiots in the mix that keep zooming along at 75 mph or more. Then out of the murk of the snow squall, they see all those slow moving people up ahead.
The Oblivious Idiots then slam on the brakes, but can't stop, so they slam into the clot of slow moving cars and trucks.
Then, another clot of slow moving cars encounters the crash, and stops so they don't get involved. But, inevitably, more Oblivious Idiots are racing toward the stopped traffic, and they crash into the mess as well.
Every time I hear about these crashes, like the one in New Hampshire, the police say some people were driving too fast for the conditions.
But all the Oblivious Idiots get is a traffic ticket and a wrecked car.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Why not really punish the Oblivious Idiots? I'm sure a traffic investigation and eyewitness interviews can often determine which cars were being driven responsibly, and which had Oblivious Idiots behind the wheel.
Put it this way: If I went through a parking lot and smashed the hell out of 35 or so cars with a sledgehammer, and injure a few people in the process, I'd face multiple criminal charges and probably spend months or years behind bars.
The Oblivious Idiots are essentially rampaging through a parking lot with a sledgehammer when they cause these huge crashes, so why don't they spend months or years in jail?
Set an example and maybe other Oblivious Idiots would get the message and slow down.