Accidents, regardless of whether they are head-on collisions, side-impact crashes or rollover crashes, often have an unimaginable effect on everyone involved, especially if those involved in the crash sustain serious injuries. We have discussed the serious nature of rollover accidents involving passenger vehicles in the past, but even some rollovers are more serious than others — particularly if they involve cargo tanker trucks.
Every year, over 1,300 cargo tank rollovers occur, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Cargo tanker truck accidents can be especially serious, primarily because of what they carry. Tanker trucks typically carry hazardous materials, including gasoline, crude oil and other flammable liquids.
While it is true that most of the shipments arrive without issue, accidents involving these trucks can have a horrific outcome, not only for the individuals involved in the crash but also the general public and the environment as a whole.
What Really Causes Cargo Tanker Truck Rollovers?
The FMCSA states that cargo tank rollovers typically occur due to either the truck’s load size, the condition of the truck or driver error. More specifically, the agency notes that about 63 percent of cargo tank rollovers happened with trucks that were only partially full and experienced what’s known as the “slosh and surge” effect that some truck drivers do not fully understand.
Some rollovers stem from the condition of the truck itself. According to the FMCSA, there was a study conducted that showed that approximately 54 percent of the trucks involved in rollover accidents had some type of brake defect.
Driver mistakes are also a common cause of cargo tank rollovers, with about 78 percent of those rollovers stemming from driver error. By way of example, many of the serious crashes that result are due to driver inattention and/or tiredness, which ultimately causes the driver to ride over a curb, drift over to the shoulder or make an incorrect turn at an intersection — all of which could result in rollovers.
The FMCSA has provided cargo tank drivers with a training video that notes four primary ways in which to prevent rollovers, including discussions related to highway-related issues, driver error factors, load effects and vehicle performance and design.
What Can You Do if You Are Injured in an Accident Involving a Cargo Tanker Truck?
We all know that accidents can happen for any reason, but some of them simply occur due to driver negligence. That said, if you or someone you love was injured in an accident that was caused by a truck rollover, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Accident victims are encouraged to speak directly with a skilled Denver truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident, as time is of the essence when it comes to filing a claim or pursuing a lawsuit.
When you speak with an attorney right away after an accident, you will have a better chance of preserving the evidence needed to obtain the best outcome possible. In many of these types of accidents, there are often several individuals or entities who may be held legally responsible, including the truck driver and/or the truck owner or company, depending on the circumstances. Contact Levine Law today to discuss your options under the law.