What is a Tanker Truck?
Tanker trucks are similar to regular 18-wheelers in that they consist of a truck cab and trailer carrying a heavy load. However, tanker trucks don’t have a square-shaped box for holding cargo like most 18-wheel-trucks you see on the highway. Tanker trucks carry loads in a cylinder-shaped metal trailer.
These trucks either carry cargo as harmless as flour or as hazardous as acids or other corrosives. Even if a tanker truck isn’t carrying hazardous material, the sheer size of the trucks and the weight of their loads produce catastrophic accidents.
Hazardous Materials Tanker Trucks Could Contain
Tanker trucks hauling hazardous materials may have products in nine separate categories:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gases
- Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquid
- Class 4: Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet
- Class 5: Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide
- Class 6: Poison and Poison Inhalation Hazard
- Class 7: Radioactive
- Class 8: Corrosive
- Class 9: Miscellaneous
How Are Hazardous Materials Identified on the Truck?
Each class has its own identifying marks that must be found on the side of the vehicle. The hazardous materials placard is useful when reporting an accident, as it helps emergency personnel respond appropriately to the accident.
In addition to the nine placards required above, there is a “Dangerous” placard that must be used for all loads that are dangerous to drivers.
Some of our recent results...
*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.
Why Tanker Truck Collisions Are So Dangerous
Looking at the nine classes of tanker trucks, it’s easy to see why these crashes are so dangerous to everyone on the road.
Hazardous Material Can Cause Additional Injuries
In addition to physical injuries from a crash, an accident could lead to a chemical reaction that causes spontaneous combustion or the release of dangerous fumes and gases. Victims also risk chemical burns and chronic breathing and vision issues.
Tanker Trucks Threaten All Surrounding Vehicles
These crashes cause injuries to those involved in the initial impact, but they also put anyone on the road at risk. If hazardous material leaks during a collision, it can easily cause a fast-spreading fire that engulfs the road and other vehicles. This could cause a large-scale tragedy on a busy highway.
Sloshing Increases Accident Risk
Sometimes, tanker trucks might not be carrying a full load. When a tanker truck’s cargo is only half-full, there is an increased risk of sloshing.
Sloshing happens when gravity causes liquid cargo to shift to one side of the trailer as the driver makes a sudden stop or sharp turn. This could cause the truck to tip over in a busy area and jeopardize bystanders.
Who is Liable for a Tanker Truck Accident?
Several parties could be liable in your tanker truck accident. Figuring this out is a significant part of your injury claim. Potentially responsible parties include:
If the driver was impaired or reckless at the time of the accident, liability might lie with them. They may be speeding, making dangerous lane changes, or failing to consider the size of their load when making stops or sudden turns.
There are several situations where an employer could be the liable party. If they provided inadequate training, hired dangerous drivers without doing their due diligence, or forced drivers to work while fatigued or inexperienced, they may be held accountable for subsequent crashes.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Trucks are complex machines, and one poorly made or designed part could cause a disaster. If the truck contained dangerous or incorrect parts, the manufacturer could be forced to pay up. A repair shop could also be found liable if they performed improper repairs or used unapproved parts.
What our clients have to say...
5.0 Google Reviews. Out of Almost 400 Reviews.
Tanker Truck Crash Statistics
Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 8% of all fatal crashes caused by large trucks from 2017 to 2019 were caused by cargo tank vehicles. Just under 3% of deadly crashes in the same timeframe involved trucks carrying hazardous materials.
Of the fatal crashes, between 59% and 66% involved trucks carrying flammable liquids. Trucks carrying flammable liquids were also most likely to be involved in nonfatal crashes between 2017 and 2019.
Common causes of large truck collisions include a passenger vehicle rear-ending a large truck, a truck rear-ending a passenger vehicle, and a truck hitting a car due to an unknown cause.