Best Truck Accident Attorneys in Denver
It’s no surprise that tanker trucks clog our highways and roads, given America’s robust oil and natural gas businesses and our demand for fuel. To be clear, this is almost always a positive thing. A large number of tanker trucks on the road might indicate a thriving economy and a large number of employees.
Tanker trucks, on the other hand, may sometimes create disasters.
Every year, tanker truck explosions kill people, injure others, and destroy property on highways throughout the country. Even when the cargo does not explode, many more commercial vehicle accidents involving tanker trucks endanger life. Tanker trucks are as important to the local economy as they are deadly.
So, in this blog article, i’d want to speak to you about how these catastrophic accidents happen, the toll they take on innocent victims, and what you can do if a tanker truck disaster destroys your or a loved one’s life.
How common are tanker truck collisions?
According to the federal motor carrier safety administration (FMCSA), tanker truck accidents account for between 5% and 10% of all truck-related fatalities, injuries, and property damage on u.s. Highways each year. Are there that many accidents? It’s a lot, according to the FMCSA.
There were 9,610 tanker truck accidents on American roadways in the latest full year, for which figures were available when this article went to press. There were 372 fatalities, 3,505 injuries, and 5,733 “tow-away” accidents with no recorded deaths or injuries (which doesn’t imply no one was wounded, by the way—it just means no one reported injuries).
What is it about tanker trucks that makes them so dangerous?
Let me tell you something. Tanker truck collisions are hazardous because they combine all of the perils of a regular tractor-trailer collision with the extra risk of possibly exploding or poisonous cargo. Here’s what i’m talking about.
They remind me of a tractor trailer
Most tanker trucks are tractor-trailers with a specific trailer intended to transport liquid or gaseous cargo. Putting the cargo aside for a minute implies that tanker trucks offer all of the usual hazards of huge rigs.
They are extremely heavy, which means they take a long time to come to a halt and release a lot of energy when colliding with other cars or buildings. In an accident, all of that energy translates to enormous destructive potential, especially when the tank trailer’s weight overwhelms the tractor and forces the truck to jackknife.
They have large blind spots, which means their drivers cannot see you until you look in the rear-view mirrors of their cars. Blind spots on a truck are typically 20 feet in front of the cab, 30 feet behind the tank trailer, one lane to the left, and two lanes to the right.
Their drivers regularly jump behind the wheel when dangerously fatigued.
They are top heavy and, depending on their load, potentially unstable while making abrupt curves, rendering them prone to toppling over. Drowsy driving impairs driver performance in the same way as drunk driving does. A tanker truck operated by an overtired driver on the roadway is a dangerous weapon. However, in the case of very hazardous cargo,
On the other hand, tanker trucks offer an extra risk to those who use the road with them since they often (but not always) transport goods that might explode if ignited or produce toxic fumes if permitted to exit their container. Even non-toxic, non-flammable cargo may cause damage and injuries if thrown into a highway.
Tanker truck drivers must have special “endorsements” on their driver’s licenses because of the extreme risk inherent in delivering hazardous goods. These “endorsements” are obtained via further training on safely transporting hazardous chemicals.
Even with further training, a tanker truck driver cannot ensure that his rig will be operated with the utmost caution and care. Like other long-haul truck drivers, tanker truck drivers operate in challenging circumstances.
They work long hours to meet deadlines. They were quick. They are disturbed. They experience exhaustion. To stay awake and aware on the road, they turn to over-the-counter and (occasionally) illicit stimulants.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture. In theory, tanker truck drivers should be among the most responsible and cautious truck drivers on the road. That is not usually the case in practice. Drivers of tanker trucks are human, making errors that may be fatal.
Injuries caused by tanker truck accidents
Anyone who has the misfortune to be involved in a tanker truck accident risks death or serious injury. But wait, that’s not all. Tanker trucks put everyone in their proximity at risk in an accident due to the potentially poisonous nature of their contents. You don’t even have to be personally engaged in one to be hurt by a tanker truck accident.
Collisions with tanker trucks cause injuries.
Of course, any car engaged in a collision with a tanker truck faces a hazard. Tanker trucks colliding with smaller cars do massive damage regardless of the collision. When a tanker truck collides with, or runs over, a smaller car, or when the smaller car rear-ends or rides under the tanker truck, death, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, traumatic amputations, and crushed limbs are all prevalent. Of course, suppose the tanker truck explodes or discharges poisonous cargo due to a collision. In that case, passengers of smaller cars might suffer serious burns or internal damage due to the toxic exposure.
Injuries caused by being too close to a tanker truck accident
Even if a tanker truck does not contact another car, a tanker accident poses a tremendous risk to other road users.
A tanker truck explosion, for example, is similar to a bomb going off. It has the potential to hurl devastating shrapnel. The bomb has the potential to damage nearby structures with people inside.
A leak of poisonous chemicals may sicken anybody within breathing distance of the spilled cargo, which can also cause chemical burns on anyone who comes into contact with it. Toxic chemicals may harm the environment and cause building materials to deteriorate.
A spill of ostensibly “safe” tanker cargo might render a road surface slippery or sticky, resulting in subsequent collisions between cars unfortunate enough to travel over that stretch of roadway, killing or wounding their passengers.
Take some easy precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the case of a tanker truck (or, really, any big car) catastrophe.
Keep an eye out for blind spots.
If the trucker can’t see you in his rear-view mirror, chances are he can’t see you either. Also, if you drive too near to a trucker’s front or back bumpers, they won’t be able to see you at all. The trucker is blind to cars in his front and rear “no zones” unless he has fancy high-tech cameras on his bumpers.
Also, do not stop in front of a tanker truck in the lane. Pass a truck as rapidly as possible on the highway. If you can’t pass safely, at the very least, remain close enough to view the trucker’s mirrors. Never sit in a traffic lane close to a tanker truck ready to turn at a junction on a city street.
Ou incur an extreme danger of getting driven over or squeezed off the road since the trucker cannot see you. Hold back and provide plenty of space for the trucker to make the turn.
Make room for them
Trains crash with tanker trucks at railroad crossings, and tanker trucks do not have the space to stop, resulting in some of the most devastating and destructive tanker truck accidents throughout the country. Those catastrophes show how critical it is to provide enough space for tanker trucks to move safely. In a tanker truck collision, not simply other road users, but everyone on and around a road confronts extreme danger. So, if you see a tanker truck clogged up, do your bit and attempt to make room for it.
Give a shout if you see cargo leak!
Everyone on the road owes it to their fellow drivers and people to look for tanker truck leaks and spills. Tanker truck drivers may be unaware that their cargo is leaking. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, alert the motorist immediately or pull over to contact 911. Then walk as far away as possible.
Help following a tanker truck collision
Do you know what to do if the worst occurs and you or a loved one is injured in a tanker truck accident? Do you know what to do to safeguard your health and legal rights? This is what i normally tell anybody dealing with a catastrophe with a tanker truck.
Seek medical assistance. After a tanker truck accident, seeing a doctor serves at least two functions. First and foremost, it safeguards your health. Second, it keeps track of your injuries and links them to the tanker truck collision. This is critical because the people who may be legally liable to you (and their insurance companies) will hunt for any excuse not to pay you what you are owed.
Waiting a few weeks to seek medical attention just offers those involved more ammo to claim that you were not seriously injured in the tanker truck accident. Don’t fall for the “freebie” argument. See a doctor immediately.
Be very wary of insurance providers. I understand that you may need to contact your insurance carrier about injuries or property damage resulting from a tanker truck collision. However, if you get a call from someone else’s insurance company, beware. Suppose the other driver’s insurance company (or anybody else’s) contacts you.
In that case, it’s a solid indicator that they believe they owe you a lot of money in damages and are hoping to avoid paying you what you deserve by striking a fast deal. Do not engage in conversation with them. Instead, follow the advice in the following section.
Seek the advice of a truck accident attorney. Allow an expert tanker truck accident attorney to speak with insurance companies and attorneys on your behalf to protect you and your rights. Tanker truck collisions that cause broad damage become very complicated, very fast.
Everyone who may face legal repercussions scrambles to protect themselves. It takes a seasoned legal professional who has helped clients recover every penny they are entitled to, whether that means negotiating with insurance companies, taking a case to trial, or even filing and pursuing claims in bankruptcy courts, where companies frequently flee and hide when their tanker truck causes massive destruction. Remember to contact an attorney as soon as possible to avoid running out of time to pursue your claim.