Truck accidents can cause serious damage and injury. Accidents involving trucks that contain hazardous materials can be catastrophic. Any truck barreling down a highway can be intimidating for nearby drivers. The vehicle’s size is enough to make a neighboring driver uneasy. Considering these threats to safety, how often do we consider the dangers hidden inside the huge trailers being hauled along our local roadways?
Trucks are used to transport goods for various industries. It may be surprising to realize how often the materials transported for these purposes are toxic, flammable, or corrosive substances that have the potential to turn our roads into danger zones. An accident seems more conceivable when it involves driver errors or vehicle malfunctions. It is less foreseeable that a leak from a tanker of hazardous material will set off an uncontrollable fire or fill the air with toxic fumes.
The trucking regulations in place for companies and drivers are stringent and in-line with the potential dangers involved in operating these vehicles. Likewise, the added level of danger inherent in handling and transporting hazardous materials calls for additional safety training and certification.
Regardless of the load being carried, all truckers are required to follow normal driving laws, such as following the posted speed limits and avoiding risky behaviors, such as distracted or intoxicated driving, but they are also subject to rules regarding their personal conduct, such as obtaining enough rest to avoid sleepiness behind the wheel.
Drivers and other trucking professionals who deal with these harmful substances are required to adhere to protocols and procedures that are intended to address these added dangers. The crews that pack up the shipment are supposed to mark the load with a placard that signifies that the contents are dangerous. The notice should indicate what kind of material is present and what dangers are posed as a result.
It takes many people to get a truck’s shipment to its destination. All of them are responsible for making safety a major priority for the trip. If there is a breakdown in the system, the results can be tragic. A shipper should make sure to load the cargo safely in a container appropriate for the materials. The placard and other warnings should be affixed to the truck to advise caution.
Truck manufacturer and maintenance crews should be sure the truck is fit for the road. The trucking company is responsible for planning the trip using a truck appropriate for the size and weight of the load. Finally, the driver must operate the vehicle with care. If any element of the safety plan goes unchecked, an accident may result. Victims may find it difficult to determine where things went wrong and who is responsible for their injuries. A lawyer familiar with the rules and practices of the trucking industry can help.
If you were injured in an accident with a truck transporting hazardous materials, you need the Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. to prove your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.