Tanker Truck Accidents
Washington, DC Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving any type of large commercial truck can be catastrophic,
but tanker trucks present unique dangers, included an elevated risk of
explosion and fire. Fires from gasoline and other flammable materials
transported by tanker tucks can burn at temperatures so high that they
actually destroy the structure of bridges and overpasses, causing them
to crumble and fail causing a chain-reaction of more accidents. In addition
to the flammable nature of the materials that tankers often carry, a tanker
that is less than three-quarters full is at risk for rolling over.
The slosh factor
Liquid cargo behaves very differently from other types of loads. Trucks,
of all types, that are overweight have more momentum and are more likely
to be involved in an accident. Tanker trucks also become far more dangerous
when they are under-filled, due to the sloshing of the liquid and shifting
weight. Properly loading a regular tractor trailer truck involves balancing
and securing the load to ensure maximum stability of the truck and proper
handling. Liquid loads cannot be secured in the same manner, and when
they are filled to less than three-quarters of their capacity, the liquid
has room to slosh around, creating enormous weight shifts, and making
the truck difficult or impossible to control, and causing rollovers at
very low speeds. Once a tanker truck goes into a roll, it rolls farther
than other trucks.
Just like all commercial trucks,
tanker trucks are subject to laws governing how much weight they can carry. However,
trucking companies often calculate the weight of a load based on the weight
of water. Different liquids have different densities, and a more dense
liquid will weigh more per volume than one which is less dense. Because
many of the liquids tanker trucks carry are denser than water, calculating
the weight based on water weight by volume can result in an overloaded truck.
Hazardous and flammable materials
Drivers who haul hazardous materials have to have special training and
pass rigorous tests, beyond the normal requirements for drivers of other
commercial vehicles. Strict Hazardous materials can only be transported
on certain roads and in certain types of areas.
In addition to a
truck accident, when a tanker truck crashes it often results in a hazardous or flammable
materials spill. This can cause fires, explosions, contamination of water
and soil, and the release of toxic gases. Tanker truck accidents can cause
mean emergency evacuation of the surrounding area. When fire is involved
in a tanker truck accident these fires can burn so hot that they cause
overpasses and bridges to fail, before approaching traffic can be stopped,
causing even more accidents and injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a
tanker truck accident in Washington DC, please email or call our committed truck accident lawyers
today. We are focused on obtaining justice for you - the victim.