All accidents between cars and any kind of truck are serious just due to the differences in size and weight. When the accident involves a tanker truck, there are more dangers than an accident with an ordinary semi-truck.
Tanker trucks carry large amounts of liquid. They may carry gasoline or dangerous chemicals. They may carry milk, cooking oil, or any other liquid. They also carry loose materials like gravel or sand. It is this fluidity of the load that makes tanker trucks more susceptible to accidents than other trucks.
Dangers Presented by Tanker Trucks
Some dangers uniquely posed by tanker trucks include:
- Ease of rollover. Due to the nature of their load and high center of gravity, tankers have a tendency to roll over even when traveling at what would normally be considered a safe speed. This happens more often when the truck is going around a curve.
- Susceptibility to fires and explosions. The contents are often flammable, so when there is an impact, the contents are more likely to explode and cause fires. Sadly, people have been known to survive the impact only to later die in the flames of a fire started by the burning cargo.
- Surging of the contents. A surge refers to the action of the contents surging from front to back that happens when drivers brake. If the braking is sudden, or the braking did not occur soon enough, the forward surge can be so heavy that it propels a stopped tanker forward. This can be tragic if the tanker is propelled into an intersection where there is cross-traffic.
- Sloshing of the contents. This is similar to a surge and happens when the tanker cannot be filled, for example, when liquids need room for expansion when the weather warms up. A slosh can cause drivers to lose control when they stop, go around curves, or even make a turn because the slosh causes the tanker to become unbalanced.
Either a surge or slosh may occur when the truck has been properly or improperly loaded.
All tanker truck maneuvers need to be done slowly. Maryland drivers need to do everything they can to avoid slamming on the brakes to avoid surging or sloshing.
Proper initial loading of the tanker truck is vital. Those who load liquids need to know exactly how much can be loaded into the tanker and take into account how much the liquid will expand.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Companies that use tanker trucks may be liable for damages caused by their tanker truck drivers. A personal injury attorney will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine who among all possible entities could be liable. It could be both the tanker truck owner and driver. It could be the federal, state, or local government responsible for maintaining the roads.
If you were injured in a tanker truck accident in Maryland, or someone you love was killed in such an accident, our personal injury attorneys at the The Jaklitsch Law Group have over 75 years of combined legal experience assisting clients in recovering all the compensation to which they are legally entitled. Contact us for a free initial consultation, so we can help you to determine how to proceed, 855-Big-Dog1.