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'Stay Inside Your Car With The Seatbelt On,' Experts Reiterate What To Do After A Crash

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After seeing footage of Thursday's massive pileup on I-35W in Fort Worth, many were left asking – is it safer to stay in your car, or get out in a similar situation?

CBS 11 News has yet to determine how many victims of the horrific crash were inside their vehicles when they were injured or killed. And it's currently unclear if any of the victims were hit while outside their vehicle.

Regardless, safety experts with AAA said it's still safer to remain in your car, with your seatbelt on if you're ever in an accident on a freeway.

"Usually the best thing to do is stay in your car with the seatbelt on. That's not always the case but usually it is, getting out of the vehicle you risk getting hit by another vehicle especially when vehicles are out of control and sliding like they were in that situation," said AAA spokesperson Dan Armbruster.

But some drivers involved in the pileup were able to exit their vehicles before other cars and trucks came plowing through within seconds.

With concrete walls on either side of the lanes where the crash happened, many drivers found themselves trapped. And from the video footage, it appears approaching drivers hit their brakes hard, which sent many out of control.

"You want to make sure that if you're going over 25 mph you're not slamming on the brakes. In fact don't even use the brakes -- try to steer in the direction you want to go," said Armbruster.

Safety experts with AAA said the investigation will re-examine the long standing belief that staying inside a vehicle is the safest place to be after a freeway accident.

"That situation was one that we don't see very often but certainly one as tragic as it was we can learn from and move forward and make things safer for everyone on the roadway."

Experts also said the deadly pileup should serve as a reminder for drivers to slow during freezing temperatures even if the road appears to be dry.

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