1. #1
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    Default how would you prevent a pile up?

    I've been trying to think up ways on how to prevent a pile up. I've witnessed one a couple months ago and i've seen alot of videos of pile ups. all of them started with just a 1 or 2 car wreck.

    my question, what would you do to prevent a pile up from happening when you show up in ur pov? untill the big red road block comes.

    for a 5 lane and up free way and 2 lane country roads.

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    IMHO, POV's should never respond directly to any limited access highway and should be the last resort repsonding to any other roadway incident. Adding unneessary vehicles to the scene just makes it harder to control.

    Traffic control shouldn't become a fire department issue until the fire department is on scene with apparatus and has the tools to make the scene safe. Anything that happens before that might as well be just another civilian flapping his arms at traffic.
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    DM, maybe I read the original post differently, but I intrepeted it to mean that you were travelling to "No-Wheresville" and came upon an incident....?? Just my penny's worth. {only cuz probies dont get paid much LOL}
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    I think its just a judgement call. I've stopped at accidents where pulling my vehicle completely off the roda was the right thing to do (MVA was in the intersection) but there are circumstances in which i would maybe position my vehicle in one way or another. But on a limited access highway I would actually position my vehicle a ways down the road so when motorists see it their attention will be grabbed and they will then hopefully see the incident down the road. (Thanks to VFIS Instructor and Fmr. Chief Ronn Thompson for that one, but thats what he does with his command vehicle but coudl apply to any vehicle I suppose)
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    Fair enough. First I'd call 911 to inusre a response was on the way. Then, if I had good reason to believe there were injuries that I could significantly help with, I'd stop well beyond the accident; pull completely off the travel lanes; and do what I could within the boundaries of safety. If the situation happened to be the sort of situation that breeds pile-ups, I'd stay out of the way until the proper authorities arrived to secure the scene. If there was nothing that I could do to directly improve the outcome of the scene, I'd keep driving and not add to the problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    I would actually position my vehicle a ways down the road so when motorists see it their attention will be grabbed
    FWIW, in order to determine if stopping is justified, you'd need to have already passed "a ways down the road".
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    The "R" on the gear lever does not stand for RACE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Fair enough. First I'd call 911 to inusre a response was on the way. Then, if I had good reason to believe there were injuries that I could significantly help with, I'd stop well beyond the accident; pull completely off the travel lanes; and do what I could within the boundaries of safety. If the situation happened to be the sort of situation that breeds pile-ups, I'd stay out of the way until the proper authorities arrived to secure the scene. If there was nothing that I could do to directly improve the outcome of the scene, I'd keep driving and not add to the problem.
    I certainly understand your point of view. If I am going to stop however, I am going to put my vehicle in between where I am going to be and the rest of the traffic barreling down the interstate. I will leave enough room that traffic will have to slow down - at least some before getting to me, but not so much room that they will start speeding back up again. That will also hopefully provide just enough buffer that if someone were to strike my vehicle, it would stop before skidding into me.

    There is already a crash there, positioning my vehicle in the roadway should not cause that much more of a traffic problem and will be something soild that someone will have to hit before they hit me!!

    EDIT - Another trick while blocking with any vehicle is to make sure the steer tires are pointed away form the accident site where your working. Again, it it were to be struck by another vehicle, it would hopefully be steered away from the accident scene.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 07-09-2007 at 03:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirbyPB View Post
    I've been trying to think up ways on how to prevent a pile up. I've witnessed one a couple months ago and i've seen alot of videos of pile ups. all of them started with just a 1 or 2 car wreck.

    my question, what would you do to prevent a pile up from happening when you show up in ur pov? untill the big red road block comes.

    for a 5 lane and up free way and 2 lane country roads.
    Simple. Start by actually making sure that people know how to drive befroe giving them a license, then re-test them on those skills every 5 years. Once you get the idiots off the road the problem will be solved

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Simple. Start by actually making sure that people know how to drive befroe giving them a license, then re-test them on those skills every 5 years. Once you get the idiots off the road the problem will be solved
    Dude...just STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    FWIW, in order to determine if stopping is justified, you'd need to have already passed "a ways down the road".
    Good point. LIke I said, I was just told this method in a class and the class was based on emergency vehicles not POV's. Just throwing it out there, btu I hadn't thought of that little problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    The "R" on the gear lever does not stand for RACE.
    "But on a limited access highway I would actually position my vehicle a ways down the road..."

    FWIW, there is no backing up on a limited access highway. Unless you want to exit, re-enter, and go around again, you just can't do it.

    Don't get me wrong, positioning a warning vehicle well in front of an accident is a good tactic but it's a tactic for later arriving emergency vehicles -- not POVs.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 07-09-2007 at 04:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    "But on a limited access highway I would actually position my vehicle a ways down the road..."

    FWIW, there is no backing up on a limited access highway. Unless you want to exit, re-enter, and go around again, you just can't do it.

    Don't get me wrong, positioning a warning vehicle well in front of an accident is a good tactic but it's a tactic for later arriving emergency vehicles -- not POVs.
    On MOST limited access highways around here, even some going through Downtown Toledo, you will have grass on either side and a berm in the middle. So backing up is often a viable option. I've seen ODOT, Police, FD, EMS, and tow trucks do it quite often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    So backing up is often a viable option. I've seen ODOT, Police, FD, EMS, and tow trucks do it quite often.
    Those are "Emergency or Other Authorized Vehicles." POVs rarely fit into either of those categories.

    Even for emergency vehicles, backing up on a limited access road is a last resort maneuver -- for a POV it should never happen.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Those are "Emergency or Other Authorized Vehicles." POVs rarely fit into either of those categories.

    Even for emergency vehicles, backing up on a limited access road is a last resort maneuver -- for a POV it should never happen.
    No offense here, but I am 99.99% sure that I would not even be questioned by a LEO if I were to do this at the scene of an accident.
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    Exclamation Well.............

    Couple of tricks:

    You don't want to be standing BEHIND your vehicle doing something without watching Traffic. To avoid that I have a Traffic Vest and a couple of Flares in the Cab of my Pickups. I recently encountered a broken down Van on the Eastbound Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I turned on the 4 way flashers, stopped behind the Van, slid out of the drivers seat of my truck, pulled on the Vest, grabbed a Flare (It was 10 PM) lit it, and went to the Drivers window of the van to see if the Van was unable to move, ALL WITHOUT TAKING MY EYES OFF OF TRAFFIC. My wife was calling the Bridge Police on her cell phone as I did this. Driver of the Van said his Transmission was locked up, so I went back and worked Traffic with Flares until the first Police Car pulled up, in about 5 minutes.

    If you carry Flares, Stop past the Accident and walk back, CHECKING FOR SPILLED FUEL, and start setting up Flares back down the road at a reasonable distance, working back to the crash scene.

    Not often that I'll say never, but here it is: Until ADEQUATE Barrier Protection is in place, NEVER take your eyes off of Traffic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Couple of tricks:

    You don't want to be standing BEHIND your vehicle doing something without watching Traffic. To avoid that I have a Traffic Vest and a couple of Flares in the Cab of my Pickups. I recently encountered a broken down Van on the Eastbound Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I turned on the 4 way flashers, stopped behind the Van, slid out of the drivers seat of my truck, pulled on the Vest, grabbed a Flare (It was 10 PM) lit it, and went to the Drivers window of the van to see if the Van was unable to move, ALL WITHOUT TAKING MY EYES OFF OF TRAFFIC. My wife was calling the Bridge Police on her cell phone as I did this. Driver of the Van said his Transmission was locked up, so I went back and worked Traffic with Flares until the first Police Car pulled up, in about 5 minutes.

    If you carry Flares, Stop past the Accident and walk back, CHECKING FOR SPILLED FUEL, and start setting up Flares back down the road at a reasonable distance, working back to the crash scene.

    Not often that I'll say never, but here it is: Until ADEQUATE Barrier Protection is in place, NEVER take your eyes off of Traffic.
    That is also one thing that I have always been taught. "Until ADEQUATE Barrier Protection is in place, NEVER take your eyes off of Traffic" Even though it looks kinda goofy, it will probably save my life someday. Even when picking up cones after doing a drill where we had to shut a lane of traffic down we will do this. This is a common occurence if we want to fill at a hydrant instead of from the station. If the weather is hot, I will have my explorers all in helmets, bunker pants, gloves (if need be), and reflective vests for visibility no matter the time of day. If it is cold, they will have their turnout coats on and maybe even a vest on top of that.
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    There's not too many PA laws I like, but this one comes to mind; not sure of the exact wording, but here's the jist of it:

    If the vehicle can be moved off the roadway (driveable in any shape/form), then it shall be moved out of the traffic lanes and onto the shoulder.

    This is "supposed" to be done by either the occupant, passerby, etc...

    Obviously if there are injs, it's a different story.

    The only problem is this law is not so well known, nor enforced by PD. When I do roll up on a wreck, after checking on injs, thats the next thing I'm doing is trying to get the veh out of the way of traffic, thus HOPEFULLY preventing a pileup.

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    What liability do you incur if you park your POV in a traffic lane to block traffic?

    Do you get reimbursed by the department if somebody slams your POV?

    Are you running any other emergency lights besides your flashers?

    Just thoughts to ponder.

    My opinion, and our SOP, get a Rescue or Engine on scene for adequate lighting and emergency notification, blocking of the working area, then work the scene.

    As for preventing pile ups, only adequate notification for other drivers might truly work. That and get them off the cell phones and teach them to slow down a little. But that is my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWLAFireDawg View Post
    That and get them off the cell phones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirbyPB View Post
    I've been trying to think up ways on how to prevent a pile up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    No offense here, but I am 99.99% sure that I would not even be questioned by a LEO if I were to do this at the scene of an accident.
    Maybe, maybe not. Unless, of course, you caused an accident doing it.

    Either way, it's illegal in most states and a bad idea in all of them. Don't let a potentially whacker-to-the-rescue mentality overcome common sense.

    Sometimes the best thing you can do to keep an accident scene from getting worse is stay away from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. Unless, of course, you caused an accident doing it.

    Either way, it's illegal in most states and a bad idea in all of them. Don't let a potentially whacker-to-the-rescue mentality overcome common sense.

    Sometimes the best thing you can do to keep an accident scene from getting worse is stay away from it.
    We both want the same thing in the end. And you raise very good points my friend.

    See minor squabbles (which this didnt even become, all it was was an exchange of differing ideas) can be settled without name calling, threats, or peoples mothers being involved.

    Thanks dep!
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    I turn on my whacker lights................LOL

    Seriously, I respond in my personal vehicle but I have lights to warn traffic and am a registered emergency vehicle in our county. I have one of the brightest traffic vests ever and I have a big box of flares.

    If I am first on scene I stop way upstream and drop 3-4 flares right away behind my vehicle. I stop half way into the lane and on the shoulder and drop flares from my vehicle to the center line on a divided hwy. This forces cars over unless they want to run over the flares. The scene is not considered secure until something, anything is laid out for traffic control even if it is a few flares and a Ford Explorer.

    No matter what, I never take my eyes off of traffic either. Always act as if the cars are actually out to get you.
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    Thanks guys.

    so really theres nothing innovative about it just be smart? keep ur eyes on traffic and set up flares?

    im a real SH*t magnet when it comes to car accidents. i've witnessed about 5 right in front of me and pulled up on another 5. Off duty in my pov. thats just in the past 2 years
    Last edited by KirbyPB; 07-10-2007 at 08:38 AM.

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