Watch an Alleged Distracted Driver Smash into Stopped Traffic on the Highway
Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds is all it takes.
A scary scene unfolded on a highway in Canada on Sunday when an alleged distracted driver plowed into the back of stopped traffic at around 70 mph, triggering a chain-reaction crash that injured ten people—and the whole thing was caught on video.
Recorded on a witness' dashcam and posted to Reddit yesterday, the footage shows a grey, late-2000s Volvo XC70 cruising along in the left lane on Highway 401 outside Gananoque, Ontario. It passes the camera car and continues to pull away, but at around 0:38 you can see traffic coming to a halt further ahead.
Unfortunately, the Volvo driver does not. A few seconds later, there's no sign of brake lights as he plows full speed into the back of a stopped Ford F-150, flipping it and sending it flying into a minivan stopped in front. The Volvo then careens across the highway, coming to rest on an embankment off the right side of the highway.
According to the uploader, a father and two sons in the Ford F-150 escaped with minor injuries, and a family of six in the van also got away with bumps and bruisers. But the driver of the Volvo wasn't as fortunate—he reportedly received serious injuries to his lower body and was pinned in the wreckage of the XC70 before first responders were able to cut him out. A local news report notes he was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition.
But were he driving any 10-year-old car other than a Volvo, it's quite possible he'd be dead right now. The forces involved in hitting a stopped object at 70 mph are astronomical, and the Swedes' longstanding obsession with safety surely played a role in his survival.
It's easy to pin the blame on this poor schmuck and his distracted driving, but it's also a sobering reminder of how quickly things can change in an instant. At 70 mph, you're covering more than a hundred feet per second. Fiddle with the GPS for a bit too long, and suddenly an obstacle that was a quarter of a mile away is closing fast.
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