Muli-Car Pile Up, Courtesy: WDBJ/Sharon Beasley
So far this year, poor visibility and icy conditions have contributed to at least 19 pileups on U.S. highways, and five of those involved at least 50 vehicles, according to USA TODAY research.
In all, eight people were killed and nearly 700 vehicles were involved. There were numerous injuries.
Sudden, dense fog has caused pileups on other U.S. highways since 2012. Two people died in a 95-car pileup in a foggy stretch of I-10 near Beaumont, Texas, last Thanksgiving weekend. Another 10 died in January 2012 near Gainesville, Fla., when a stretch of I-75 became suddenly shrouded in fog and smoke.
Winter weather tends to be the biggest culprit, though. When intense winter storms sweep the Great Lakes states, several pileups can occur in a single day. On Jan. 31, a band of midday snow squalls triggered two pileups in southern Michigan and one southwest of Indianapolis. Each involved 30 to 40 vehicles. And on Feb. 16, at least four pileups occurred in snow squalls across Michigan and Ohio.
Related: 3 Killed In 90+ Pileup On I77 At The VA/NC Line