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, contact our committed truck accident lawyers today. We are focused on obtaining justice for you – the victim.