Big rig accidents are often very serious. Large 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded. This makes them much heavier than passenger vehicles. When a collision occurs with a big rig, it is likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities to people in cars or SUVs. Besides the size and weight of these big rigs, other drivers also need to be aware of hazardous materials they might be carrying. In addition, 18-wheelers can hold up to about 300 gallons of diesel fuel, which can spill onto the roadway during an accident.
Hazardous Material Safety
Commercial semi-trucks must follow safety laws when they transport hazardous materials. They must also follow the local laws governing hazardous material transport. Houston has designated haz-mat routes. Trucks are restricted from traveling on road other than those specified as safe for those carrying hazardous cargo. The 610 Loop is a designated route, so these trucks avoid traveling through the city.
Truck drivers could be ticketed and fined for failure to obey the law. If they are involved in an accident, they might be negligent were they traveling on roads not specified for their use. Hazardous material spills are not uncommon. Recently, an 18-wheeler accident closed the westbound lanes of IH-10 in Chambers County. The hazmat team was called in to clean up about 100 gallons of diesel fuel and oil that spilled onto the roadway during the crash.
In a similar incident, the North Loop had to be shut down while hazmat crews cleaned hazardous materials that spilled in a big rig crash. Not only are these incidents irritating to drivers, they can also be deadly. Fuel, oil, and hazardous material spills can catch fire in an accident. These fires burn very hot, quickly, and can be difficult to extinguish.
Drivers should know the dangers of sharing the road with big rigs that carry hazardous materials. When an 18-wheeler overturns or is involved in a serious crash, the hazardous materials can spill out immediately. Keep your distance from these trucks and allow extra room between you and them. Do not speed around one truck, and never cut one off because they may not slowdown in time.
If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, do not go near it after the crash. Exit your vehicle if it is safe to do so and get as far away from the truck as possible. If you see smoke or flames, do not go back to your vehicle to retrieve any personal items. Do not put out a fire yourself as these fires are too dangerous.
If you were hurt in an accident with a big rig, you may have compensation for your injuries. Contact trucking accident attorney Greg Baumgartner for a no obligation consultation-