Dangers of an 18-Wheeler Accident Involving Hazardous Liquids

18-wheelers cause some of the most serious accidents on the road. Add hazardous liquids to the already dangerous trucks and an accident can turn fatal. Semi-trucks carrying hazardous materials is also called HAZMAT Trucking, and and if released these materials can pose dangers to the environment and the lives of those nearby.

What is HAZMAT Trucking?

HAZMAT is a term that covers a wide range of dangerous substances in any physical state, solid, liquid or gas. HAZMAT Truckers may transport substances that are flammable, explosive, radioactive, corrosive or toxic. These substances can be very dangerous if exposed or handled improperly.

HAZMAT Trucking dangers

prohibited hazardous materials in vehiclesTrucking incidents that involve hazardous materials are far more dangerous than trucking incidents that do not involve them. This is because the the materials are exposed they create the following dangerous risks:

  • Fire – If the substance is flammable the accident will probably cause the truck to ignite, endangering everyone and everything nearby.
  • Explosion – If the substance is highly volatile it could explode. Explosions create grave danger and could kill or seriously injure anyone in its path.
  • Chemical burns – If a truck is carrying corrosive materials and there is a leak, the materials can burn anyone the chemicals come in contact with. These burns can be severe and can even lead to death.
  • Radiation – Trucks carrying radioactive materials can cause adverse health effects. The radiation can even seep into groundwater and affect the surrounding population.
  • Poison – Toxic and poisonous materials can also seep into the ground and affect people who are unaware of the situation. It can also affect anyone involved in the accident if they come into contact with the poison.

HAZMAT Trucking regulations

HAZMAT truckers have additional regulations placed on their driving in efforts to prevent accidents. The major ones include:

  • A truck driver cannot park a vehicle containing HAZMAT substances within 5 feet of a public street or highway.
  • A truck driver can never leave their HAZMAT vehicle unattended.
  • A truck driver cannot park a HAZMAT truck on private property without first informing the property owner of the hazardous cargo and obtaining permission to park there.