Hazardous Materials Can Make Trucking Collisions Go From Bad To Worse
18-wheelers are dangerous on their own and can cause serious truck accidents, but there are some situations where they are even more dangerous than usual—when they are carrying hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment.
Trucks carrying hazardous materials could have explosives, flammables, corrosives, radioactive materials, or poisons on board. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 200 hazmat trucks a year are involved in fatal crashes and 5,000 are involved in nonfatal crashes. These numbers are relatively small compared to nationwide crash statistics, but it is important to remember that these accidents can cause a lot more harm to the people and places involved. When a truck carrying hazardous materials is involved in a wreck, it's not a typical scenario where the injured parties are generally those who were directly hit by the vehicle; individuals who were merely witnesses to the crash can be burned, poisoned or hurt by the release of the hazardous material.
If an individual is somehow involved in a hazmat truck crash, whether they're injured or not, they should try to get a safe distance away as quickly as possible to call 911 if they are able to. They should be sure to tell the operator that hazardous materials are involved so that the emergency responders can take the appropriate precautions.
These hazardous material trucking collisions are rare, but serious. Injuries from hazmat truck crashes can cause catastrophic injuries and permanent scars or impairment. If you were involved in a truck accident in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas and were seriously injured, call the attorneys at The Girards Law Firm today for a free consultation at 888.333.9709.