Special Report

The Worst Multi-Vehicle Collisions in America

Car accident deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were more than 5.2 million car crashes in the U.S. in 2020, resulting in 38,824 fatalities and more than 2 million injuries. 

Updated statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that 42,914 people died in car crashes in 2021, a 10.5 % increase from 2020 and the highest fatality number since 2005. Early estimates for the first half of 2022 show yet another increase. (Also see, these are the deadliest states to drive.)

Some of the most deadly car crashes occur when multiple vehicles collide. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a variety of historical sources to identify the worst car accidents since 1990. These accidents were ordered based on the estimated number of vehicles involved in the crash. 

In some cases, the accidents were multiple, separate pileups that occurred in a concentrated area as the result of a specific weather condition. All of the car crashes listed occurred in the five months between November and March.

Those dangerous weather conditions range from dense fog, icy roads, and heavy rain. But the most deadly crash occurred due to a dust storm on Nov. 29, 1991 in Coalinga, California. More than 100 cars were involved, resulting in 17 deaths and 114 injuries. In Calhoun, Tennessee, on Dec. 11, 1990, fog caused 99 cars to crash, leading to 12 deaths and 42 injuries.

Luckily, in some instances, no fatalities resulted despite a massive pileup. On Feb. 14, 2014, in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, 100 cars skidded on icy roads. Although 30 were injured, no one died. And in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, 2002, heavy fog along an interstate led to 216 collisions. Thankfully, no fatalities occurred despite 41 injuries. (Want to find a safe place to drive? Move to the safest cities to drive.)

Click here to see the worst car accidents in America since the 1990s.

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