What Are Tanker Truck Crashes?
In 2017, 4,889 tanker trucks and buses were involved in fatal traffic accidents. A tanker truck is smaller than a semi-truck, but can cause as much or more damage. A tanker truck is a large truck with a tank attached to it that carries liquefied materials, dry bulk goods, or cargo. Often these goods can be hazardous materials such as gasoline or ethanol, radioactive materials, diesel fuel, and household petroleum-based products.
Accidents involving tanker trucks are unique because of the damage the potentially harmful chemicals stored in their tanks can cause if they spill during a crash. People can suffer catastrophic injuries or death. Sometimes others nearby can also suffer the consequences of these spills.
If you have been in an accident involving a tanker truck in Arizona, it is possible the driver and/or the trucking company may have violated federal regulations for the transport of hazardous materials. Contact a Phoenix truck accident lawyer with experience in tanker truck accidents and personal injuries to help you claim compensation.
Common Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents
All drivers must be attentive and aware of their surroundings. However, this is especially true for tanker truck drivers carrying hazardous materials. When accidents occur involving tanker truck drivers, the consequences can be more traumatic due to the size, the cargo and velocity of the vehicle. Tanker truck collisions typically happen without warning. As with most other accidents, tanker truck accidents are commonly the result of distracted driving, especially drowsiness. These are the three most common causes of tanker truck accidents.
- Driver errors
- Vehicle conditions
- Size of load
Tanker trucks can often roll over or become damaged during an accident. When the tank is damaged, accidents may result in cargo spills, toxic fumes, chemical leaks and spills, chemical burns, fires, and explosions.
- Fire – When tanker trucks transport flammable materials, the risk of fire increases significantly. Both the driver of the tanker truck as well as people in nearby vehicles and in the surrounding area may sustain serious burns.
- Explosions – Explosions are also a possibility when dealing with flammable and other hazardous materials. This type of accident significantly increases the likelihood of death due to the sudden force commonly associated with explosions.
- Chemical spills – Chemicals inside the tanker may spill out if not properly closed, or the tanker truck ruptures during a crash. In these cases, the toxic fumes and the chemicals themselves can inflict serious injury on anyone in cars, homes, or businesses nearby.
- Sloshing – This commonly causes accidents with tanker trucks. Sloshing is when the tanker truck is only partially or three-quarters of the way full. The weight of the materials can move or slosh around causing the tank to tip over.
- Chemical burns – Chemical burns are very serious injuries and may result in scarring, disfigurement or other life-changing medical problems. In cases where the material is radioactive, this can be extremely harmful for people exposed to the material and require extensive cleanup after the accident.
Tanker truck drivers must be especially mindful on the road to protect themselves, their cargo, and the people around them from injury caused by a tanker truck collision.
Common Injuries From Tanker Truck Crashes
Injuries sustained from a tanker truck collision can be catastrophic and life-threatening. Flammable and hazardous materials can cause unique and serious injuries.
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushed, broken, or fractured bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries – including paralysis
- Internal organ damage
If you suffer an injury as the result of a tanker truck accident, you should consult a personal injury attorney who has experience in handling these kinds of unique cases. The attorney will evaluate your case and ensure you have every opportunity to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our top-rated team.