Pete’s only thoughts were about unloading his truck and getting home again. But as he drove down the road in his tanker truck, his brakes stopped working. His truck mangled several automobiles before flipping. Several people in the cars were seriously injured. As his tanker sprang leaks, the victims remembered that trucks carry dangerous cargo sometimes. They somehow had to escape from the cars and get as far away as possible. As if their injuries were not bad enough, they now had to move people who should have been left in place until emergency personnel arrived. Truck accidents usually are devastating, and the presence of hazardous materials only makes it worse.
Truck Accidents, Generally
Tractor-trailer collisions often leave a trail of debris and seriously injured people along the road. But why does this type of accident seem worse than when cars collide?
One reason is size. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer weighs about 80,000 pounds, while the typical car is only about 5,000. Also, the weight of the vehicle affects the stopping distance.
A truck traveling about 65 miles an hour might not stop for up to 200 yards or the length of two football fields. A driver faced with an unexpected obstacle in the road or an equipment failure will try to stop the truck before it collides with anything but may fail.
A truck’s load may be unstable or packed incorrectly. If the load shifts, the truck may then swerve or completely tip over.
Unless they see signs on the truck itself, victims may not realize that the truck was not the only hazardous thing on the road.
Trucks with Dangerous Cargo
And, finally, the cargo itself makes a difference. Trucks that carry dangerous cargo should be marked with hazmat warning labels:
Class 1 – Explosives
Class 2 – Gases
Class 3 – Flammable Liquid
Class 4 – Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet
Class 5 – Oxidizer, Organic Peroxide
Class 6 – Poison (Toxic), Poison Inhalation Hazard, Infectious Substance
Class 7 – Radioactive
Class 8 – Corrosive
Class 9 – Miscellaneous Hazardous Material
Trucks that carry dangerous cargo should be marked, so that first responders know what they are dealing with. If you are involved in a truck accident and notice warnings on the truck, try to move away from the truck as quickly as possible.
Accidents Involving Trucks That Carry Dangerous Cargo Can Be More Devastating
Increased hazards often lead to increased damages. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out how you can be compensated for your injuries.
Osvaldo Rodriguez has more than 20 years’ experience helping people like you. Schedule a free initial consultation or ask a question by calling us at 708-716-3441 or by completing the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County, and Will County.