Texas Highway Pileup on I-10: What Caused It?
Heavy fog was undoubtedly the main cause of the Thanksgiving pileup near Beaumont, TX that killed two people and injured eighty. The linked article speculates about other causes: speeding, whether truck drivers or motorists are more to blame, etc.
But they skipped something. There’s a certain type of driving I’ve seen in that part of Texas — anywhere within about a 100-mile radius of Houston — that I’ve never seen anywhere else: Everybody follows too closely.
I’m not talking about tailgating the slow F#$%!#%$!!$ in front of you; everybody does that. But in this part of Texas, there seems to be about six inches between every two cars on the road. I-10 looks like a train barreling down the freeway at 90 m.p.h.
When I’ve been on that part of I-10, if there’s a slower car in front of me and I see another vehicle coming up behind me, I get over to the right lane ASAP. And it’s not limited to I-10. It was the same thing on the north-south route between Galveston and West Columbia.
I’ve never seen this mass tailgating at 90 m.p.h. — with six inches between every two vehicles — anywhere else, even southern California.
Has anyone else noticed this? I haven’t been in Texas since 2000, but unless there’s been a mass personality shift in that area, I can only assume all of the vehicles on that fateful Thanksgiving were snuggled up close together as they went barreling through the fog.
I’m not pointing fingers or trying to use this tragedy to make a point. It just seemed odd that the linked article didn’t mention this.