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Collisions involving three or more vehicles can be very dangerous for several reasons. With more vehicles involved in the accident, vehicle occupants are much likely to suffer serious injuries due to repeated impacts. Additionally, multi-vehicle accidents often make it difficult for emergency responders to access injured victims and provide them immediate medical aid.

Such a multi-vehicle accident recently occurred on I-95. A 26-year-old woman from Stuart sustained critical injuries after the 2007 Scion she was driving was involved in a six-vehicle crash in southern Martin County. The accident occurred on Interstate 95 in the Jupiter-Hobe Sound area around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 55-year-old man of Hollywood was driving a 2003 Toyota Tundra pickup truck south on the interstate when he lost control of his vehicle. He went across the grass median, and then into the northbound lanes.

A Palm Beach Gardens woman traveling north in another vehicle was swerving to avoid colliding with the oncoming Toyota when it crashed into the Scion. Three other vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction accident. The Stuart woman driving the Scion suffered severe injuries and was taken to a hospital in West Palm Beach, where she was listed in critical condition. Authorities are still investigating the multi-vehicle accident. No charges had been filed.

The Federal Highway Administration said the majority of crashes and fatalities on highways are due to roadway departures, which occur when vehicles leave the road or cross the centerline and cause a head-on crash with an oncoming vehicle. To prevent serious head-on collisions, grass medians have been created to separate lanes on interstate highways, and beam barriers have been installed in highway’s known dangerous areas. However, cross-median crashes on highways still do occur.

The main cause of cross-median and centerline accidents is negligent driving, such as inattention, fatigue, speeding, inexperience, drunk driving, and failure to check blind spots. In some crashes, medical emergency, defective road design, roadway obstruction, and mechanical failure are factors. People seriously injured in a multi-vehicle wreck may pursue a personal injury claim against a driver who negligently crossed a median, even if that driver is not directly involved in the crash.