Thousands of people are injured in truck accidents each year, with many such accidents resulting in fatalities. The federal government has passed several trucking laws and regulations in an attempt to make the roads safer, but an alarming number of truck accidents still happen. When a large truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the smaller vehicle usually suffers severe damage because of the sheer size and weight of the commercial truck. Consider that the typical fully-loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while the average passenger car weighs less than 4,500 pounds. By virtue of their liquid cargo, tanker trucks pose an extra hazard.
In Macon recently, a truck driver was hurt when he rolled his tractor-trailer fuel tanker. Flipping on its side, the tanker exploded into flames, damaging a nearby building and causing the intersection of Pionono and Houston Avenues to be shut down while officials cleaned up the fuel spill and debris from the fire. Fortunately, no one else was injured. The driver admitted he was driving too fast when he approached the intersection and lost control of the tanker.
Added dangers that are usually related to tanker truck accidents include:
- Fires – Tankers may carry oil, gasoline, or other highly flammable petroleum products.
- Explosions – Again, due to the nature of the freight most commonly conveyed by tanker trucks, an explosion is a very real possibility in an accident.
- Sloshing — If a tanker truck is not carrying a three-fourths capacity or full capacity load, then the liquid inside the tanker has a tendency to “slosh” or move around. This sloshing can cause the driver to lose control because of the continuous shifts in weight.
- Leaks and Spills — If a tanker is not closed properly or if there is any kind of defect, cargo can spill or leak.
- Chemical Burns — If a tanker truck was carrying chemicals or radioactive materials, there is an additional risk of chemical burns and reactions.
If you have been injured in a tanker truck accident, or have lost a loved one in such a crash, contact a personal injury attorney at the Mann Law Firm today at 478-742-3381 or through our online form, to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.