In most truck accidents, the impact of the crash is the primary cause of injury and damages. But in some instances, the greatest danger actually occurs after the collision. Many trucks on California’s highway haul hazardous or toxic substances that are housed in tank trailers. Should a tank become punctured or breached in some other manner, it is possible that flammable solutions could be spilled on the road, or poisonous fumes could be released into the air, endangering everyone in the area.
It takes a special skill set to haul tanks containing hazardous liquids. Unlike solid cargo, liquids cannot be tied down with securement devices, and can move while contained in the tank. What’s more, tanks have a very high center of gravity, which makes tank vehicles more prone to having rollover accidents.
Additionally, controlling tank vehicles is challenging due to the potential for what is termed “liquid surge.” Liquid surge can occur if a tank vehicle stops too quickly, sending a wave of liquid toward the front of the tank. The surge can force the vehicle forward. This is especially dangerous when driving on slick surfaces, where a surge could send the vehicle into a busy intersection. As such, it’s imperative that drivers always exercise the proper precautions when operating tank trucks.
When hazardous materials escape from a tank truck, all those on the road are placed in danger. It is imperative that chemical spills are cleaned up immediately. But the cleaning process can also erase important evidence. This means if you suffer an injury or damage, it is very important that all pertinent information is gathered quickly.
In such a situation, contacting an experienced HazMat truck accident attorney as soon as possible could prove wise. If the attorney is made aware of the situation in a prompt manner, then it would be possible to begin an immediate investigation of the incident.
The information gleaned from a prompt investigation could help prove liability and provide you with a better opportunity to receive a fair settlement should you choose to take legal action.