Why it’s never a good idea to stop in the middle of a busy freeway under any circumstances.
Redditor and presumed SoCal resident /u/AdvancedLooker posted some shocking dashcam footage to the /r/IdiotsInCars subreddit, showing the surprising moment when a driver in a Ford F-150 slammed into the back of a Mazda Tribute that was stopped in the middle of I-15.
/u/AdvancedLooker’s thread is linked here with his dashcam footage embedded below.
As mentioned, this happened on the I-15 in Escondido, CA (San Diego County) just before the Centre City Pkwy exit (exact location on Google Maps linked here.)
As the video shows, OP is driving in Lane #3 with a beat up Ford F-150 passing him in Lane #2.
About a half mile ahead and unbeknownst to the F-150 driver, there’s a stopped Mazda Tribute with a flat tire, its owner attempting to swap in a spare in the middle of the busy freeway.
Not paying attention and also not expecting anything stopped, the F-150 driver slams into the back of the Tribute at speed.
Parts fly everywhere as both cars are demolished and now destined for a wrecking yard.
Apparently, the driver in the blue Mazda ran over a long, metal pipe, causing him to get a flat.
You can actually see the pipe in the video at 00:05. I highlighted it in a red square below.
The pipe was dropped by, coincidentally, by another white Ford Truck.
You can see the owner of the Mazda and the pipe dropper exchanging information at the moment of the collision in this screenshot here.
It’s the same pipe that the Ford F-150 driver claims distracted his eyes away from the road.
OP reports that all involved parties came out of the horrible collision OK.
“The driver (in the beat up Ford F-150) came out alright! Just a some whiplash from the airbags and a dash of gasoline on his pants. No on was in the Mazda at the time of the collision, thank goodness.”
The Mazda Tribute driver should’ve drove on his flat until he was safely on the side of the road.
The risks of getting hit from behind like they did outweighs any additional damage he would’ve incurred driving on a flat, which, given the circumstances, was entirely doable.
I’ve researched whether you should stay in your car or not if you suddenly stop and can’t move in the middle of a busy freeway and no one’s given a concise answer. It appears to be situational.
According to experts from AAA, if a crash from behind is imminent and you can safely exit and make it to the side of the road behind a barrier, do so.
But, if cars are frequently whizzing by at 70+ MPH and you know it’s dangerous to attempt to scurry to the other side of the road, don’t. Put on your flashers, fasten your seatbelt, and wait for help. You are no match for a 3,000+ pound car.
As for that Mazda Tribute driver, he’s learned the hard way to get off the road ASAP, regardless of a flat or otherwise.