Video of the tragic frozen freeway pile-up in Fort Worth, Texas

Originally published at: Video of the tragic frozen freeway pile-up in Fort Worth, Texas | Boing Boing


I got caught in an ice storm just west of Ft Worth in 1993. Terrifying. For some reason this Californian had had the good sense to put some antifreeze in my wiper fluid, but I headed for an exit as quick as I could and then traveled on access roads for a long time. But the truckers just kept going at 70mph. Ugh.


Robot car Manhattan project.

Yikes. For the truck drivers, don’t they all have radios? Shouldn’t some of those later ones been warned about the pile up and to pull over earlier up the road?


Anyone who’s driven through Texas in inclement weather knows how dangerous it can be. We routinely made a trek from Arkansas to CA for Christmas, and that stretch was always the most terrifying when there was ice or snow, particularly watching the “professional” semi drivers sliding off the road on all sides of you because god damn if they were going to slow down.

Nice to know some things never change.


When I lived there (DFW area), it might (or might not) snow once a year, but the bigger and more frequent problem was ice. I suppose it’s possible to drive on ice, just so long as one never, ever needs to apply the brakes.

ETA: @anon27007144 nailed it; see below


That FedEx driver is going to get fired & sued.

My folks drove that road 24 hours earlier. Having grown up in Texas, I can assure you that no one has a clue how to drive in winter weather. They 100% believe 4-wheel drive makes you ice-proof, and there’s some kind of testosterone thing about not slowing down, like only sissies take life-and-death situations seriously. When we were kids, pre-cellphone, my wife made the trek from my dorm in Austin back home to the Denton area in worse conditions than this. Normally that drive is 3.5 hrs, but that time it took her almost 11 hrs. I was freaking out on one end, and our families were freaking out on the other end. She saw so many crashes on that drive, as people attempted to drive fast and pass slower traffic. Changing lanes was the killer.


Black ice is goddamn dangerous. Stuff like this makes me glad I’ve got studded winter tyres on my vehicle. They won’t save you if you’re reckless, but they help an awful lot on icy roads.


Many people (esp. those who don’t experience it often) don’t realize that the only safe way to drive on ice is either with a zamboni or studded tires.


And I wouldn’t put too much faith in the former:


That’s fine for you to say, but I believe there’s a third way, and that’s to gun it and close your eyes.


you’re assuming he’s not among the dead


I changed careers almost 2 decades ago and I do not miss truck driving. This is just one of the reasons why.


I’m guessing, but if everyone is giving the same warnings it will swamp the CB airwaves and wont allow drivers to extract the information they need (while trying to concentrate on the icy roads).

You just need one yahoo hollering on a hot-Mike for a long time to stop anyone else from talking.


I’m not gonna judge anyone. Black ice cannot be driven on, and no amount of experience with it will help you. It’s certainly a sickening feeling when you lose all traction and then have to fight every instinct to touch the brakes. As for truckers, I love having them on the roads in a blizzard, they act like shepherds, except when they go too fast for me to follow them :slight_smile:

Having lived in a bunch of places 696 in Metro Detroit had a pile up every time it freezes. It has a lot to do with infrastructure, reliance on freeways, and average commute length. It only takes 1 asshole in thousands to cause something like this, and chances are you can find an “anti-sissies” 4x4 driver in any given 100 cars on the road in America.


I read a statistic decades ago that 80% of motorway fatalities involved a stationary vehicle. That really stuck in my head.

My takeaway from this video clip is that one should evacuate the vehicle immediately if possible, and get to a safer position.


Man, I’d hate to be stuck behind your Zamboni, polishing its way along the black ice.