Icy Road Leads To Massive Pileup With Nearly 100 Cars On Canadian Highway

Almost 100 vehicles were involved in a huge pileup on Ontario’s Highway 401 on Saturday, just outside of Toronto.

The domino effect starts with a transport truck losing control and crashing into multiple vehicles right at the end of the clip. It’s also alarming to see so many drivers not using their hazard lights, as it could have helped those further down the road realize that traffic was coming to a halt.

“I saw the death in front of me. I thought, ‘Okay I’m not going to make it,” said one of the drivers who had a different transport truck crushing the roof of her car. “It’s going to be really bad and I’m not going to die in a nice way, it’s going to be awful.”

There was also some low visibility due to a snow band off Lake Ontario, as reported by CTV News. Though stopping in those conditions is never easy regardless of visibility, if you’ve already made the mistake of going too fast.

“We were all scared and thanked god that we’re all alive,” said another driver who made it out unscathed.

Fortunately, nobody was killed in the collisions, while those that got taken to the hospital only had minor injuries to show.


  • Erzhik

    1. Idiots going way too fast and then panicking and not knowing how to brake properly.
    2. Idiots braking way too soon and too hard and leaving unnecessary large distances.
    3. Idiots swerving into other idiots who are not prepared.

    “It’s also alarming to see so many drivers not using their hazard lights,
    as it could have helped those further down the road realize that
    traffic was coming to a halt.”
    Canadian and American drivers don’t use hazard lights like they do in Europe, meaning they don’t use them to warn drivers behind them. They use them to increase visibility of their cars. In all my years driving on US highways, I only saw 2 people use hazards to warn of a slow down up ahead. And one of them was me.

    • Big Black Duck

      we are not taught to do it..so its a failure with the ministry or state system…but once I came back from my trip to europe I put them on in sudden braking situations

    • Jason Miller

      Someone in front of me tonight put them on to signal they were pulling onto the shoulder. Most of the time that I see them, it’s just people sitting on the side of the road or people that are pulling things down the road slowly. (I live in farm country)

    • PlonPlon

      Even when the weather and road conditions are good do they drive too fast and way way too close from one another! Not all people go through a learning school — I guess most learn from their parents or a friend so no wonder they don’t learn the proper way. That’s where the failure of the system begins — at the learning stage.

  • Phil Navarro

    Was the guy filming just randomly there? Or did he plant himself ahead of time knowing of previous issues in that area? If it was the latter, how about extra ‘Caution’ signs or lights when conditions warrant extra safety. No?

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    • Thierry

      How many caution signs & warning lights does a wreckless car or truck driver need to understand that snow/ice covered roads are dangerous?

      • Phil Navarro

        I don’t know the number(s). Point was, if this is a well known accident zone, are there ways to slow vehicles down ahead of time?

    • Matthew Daraei

      Of course, when is a heavy snow, you would expect more accidents.

      • supermanuel

        I would expect more caution.

  • rover10

    No matter how you mix it, there’s only two combinations that cause such incidents, apart from the weather conditions, lack of attention and speed. Hopefully, as we gravitate towards autonomy such situations will become less dangerous by eliminating the speed factor?

    • That raises an interesting issue I’d not considered before – how do autonomous cars deal with different road conditions?

      • LouInPA

        Especially when sensors get covered by snow/ice.

        • Status

          If they know where the lines and the road is in dry and sunny conditions, the data can inform the car in poor weather conditions, and speeds can be adjusted accordingly.

      • rover10

        I’m not qualified enough to know just how autonomy will work, but some sort of weather sensitive sensors will be required? Petto tubes that froze up mid flight, brought down a passenger plane a few years ago due simply to icing. Temperature critical sensors can only be the answer, that are heated to work in extreme conditions, or is that a contradiction in terms?.

        What is evident watching the video,is the small percentage of fast or reckless drivers. However, it’s the speed that is frightening especially the trucks. Visibility is not too bad, so why the behaviour? I suppose if we knew that, we probably wouldn’t need autonomous vehicles?

        • Knotmyrealname

          The cameras are usually in the windscreen (being cleaned by the wipers) and the radar, well, I’m not sure if they are affected by a build up of ice. Many manufacturers have been using radars on the exposed fronts of their cars for years now. Maybe 10 or more.

          • rover10

            I suppose the sensor icing question is based on conditions of deterioration, as seen in the video. I’m comfortable with the current raft of warning technology, as it works well on my vehicles. Surely, no manufacturer would consider autonomy if the technology wasn’t a 100%, or am I being nieve?

          • Knotmyrealname

            No you’re not being naive. OEMs do a hell of a lot of testing in icy conditions and also in chambers. This would be part of their regular FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis) process during development.

      • Sébastien

        awareness and focus, they could just do microchecks on road traction to detect when it’s about to get slippery… and they’d just increase safety distance if any doubt in the calculations

        Humans are just bad at this and overconfident

    • Sébastien

      speed is a factor not a cause, lack of attention to road AND insufficient distance with the leading vehicle…
      Both areas were computers are just brilliant at, while human brain get distracted/borred

  • TrevP

    It’s amazing that snow comes every year to these parts of the world, and drivers still don’t slow down!

  • A Peck