Causes of Tanker Truck Accidents

By Lynn Harris on August 01, 2019

A large tanker truck on the roadAttorney Lynn C. Harris and his team have discussed the dangers of large trucks on multiple occasions on this blog. Large truck accidents can result in catastrophic and even fatal injuries. Yet we haven’t looked specifically at the hazards posed by tankers trucks. If the loads of these large vehicles wind up spilling or dumping out, it can lead to fires, chemical contamination, poisoning, and other severe threats to general wellness.

The team at our Salt Lake City, UT law office would like to go over some of the most common causes of tanker truck crashes. This should make you proceed with caution when you see these vehicles on the road.

Driver Fatigue

According to a large truck crash causation study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 13 percent of collisions were the result of the truck driver being tired or sleepy. Given the long hours behind the wheel, these numbers are not surprising.

Large Blind Spots

Tanker trucks are extremely large vehicles, and as such have major blind spots. Even an attentive truck driver may not be able to see vehicles or objects to the sides or behind the tanker truck. This makes side collisions and vehicles rear-ending the tanker truck more likely.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

If the driver of the tanker truck or any motorists around the vehicle are speeding, the chances of a crash go up severely. The previously cited FMCSA/NHTSA study notes that 23 percent of large truck crashes are the result of the truck driver going too fast; 9 percent were the result of the driver making illegal maneuvers on the road.

Driver Inexperience

Operating a large truck takes practical knowledge gained by years on the road. Some truck drivers simply lack the necessary experience to operate such a vehicle. In these cases, our Salt Lake City law office can determine if the truck driver should be held liable for a tanker collision or if the company that hired the inexperienced driver may be responsible for contributing to the collision.

Problems with the Load

The liquids hauled by the tanker trucks can sometimes shift with changes in direction or momentum. When this happens, the balance of a vehicle can be thrown off, which can make it difficult to maintain control. Rollover accidents, jackknifing, and other deadly collisions are likely in these kinds of situations.

Vehicle and Maintenance Issues

There are times when a tanker truck driver is operating the vehicle safely but the vehicle itself is dangerous. Tire issues, steering problems, and brake problems can all contribute to a crash. These maintenance matters could be the fault of a trucking company or a person responsible for servicing the large truck.

Poor Weather

Bad weather is a hazard for all drivers, whether they’re commuters or commercial vehicle operators. Rain, snow, fog, and other conditions must be approach with caution, with truck drivers acting accordingly to protect themselves and others.

Bad Road Conditions

The FMCSA/NHTSA study noted that 20 percent of large truck accidents can be traced to bad road conditions. If there is debris on the road, tight turns, potholes, large puddles of standing water, or other problems, the likelihood of a crash increases.

Speak with an Auto Accident Lawyer

If you live in Salt Lake City and have been injured in an auto collision with a large tanker truck, we encourage you to contact a skilled injury accident lawyer. Attorney Lynn C. Harris can be reached by phone at (801) 521-3200.

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