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Chain-reaction crashes - unnecessary?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Chain-reaction crashes - unnecessary?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 7, 2012


This morning's paper carried a photo of two of the four vehicles involved in a chain-reaction crash in Crystal Lake yesterday. The crash occurred at McHenry Avenue and Monterey Drive, north of Crystal Lake South High School.

The first vehicle, a Ford Flex, slowed or stopped northbound to turn left. A Ford Windstar was behind it; then a Chevrolet pick-up, and then a Ford Explorer.

To what extent did tailgating contribute to this crash? To what extent did drivers contribute to the damage to their own cars by failing to slow and stop, leaving some room between their cars and the car in front? What was the driver of the Explorer doing (cell phone? texting? eating? drinking?) that s/he smacked into the pick-up, pushing it into the Windstar and pushing that vehicle into the Flex? Did the Flex driver stop suddenly to turn? Did the Flex driver signal the intended left turn?

The photo with the article shows the pick-up and the Windstar getting towed. Was the Explorer towed? How much damage was there to the Flex? Where's the name of the Explorer's driver, who was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash?

The first car, the Flex, must have been hit pretty hard, since the driver was transported to a hospital, as was the driver of the pick-up.

Did inattention cause the driver of the Explorer to rear-end the pick-up? How close to the vehicle in front did the drivers of the pick-up and the Windstar stop?

When you stop, allow some distance (a car length?) in front of you, and keep an eye on the rearview mirror. You'll have a little room to roll forward safely, if the driver behind you is careless and needs an additional 5-10 feet to get stopped. You won't get smacked in the rear bumper, and you might just save the front of your car, too.

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