Some accidents carry a threat that goes beyond the impact of metal on metal. When a tanker truck carrying hazardous materials crashes and spills its toxic cargo, not only those involved in the crash may be in danger. Area residents, emergency responders, and even those passing by days later may be exposed to dangerous chemicals.
One such crash occurred several years ago on December 18, 2008. A tanker truck hauling liquid aluminum crashed along an Indiana freeway. According to troopers with the Indiana State Police, an unidentified trucker was behind the wheel of a tanker as it traveled south along Interstate 65 in Boone County. As the truck approached Interstate 865 at an unknown hour, he took the connector to eastbound traffic. Investigators say the trucker lost traction on the icy roadway and then skidded off the shoulder and overturned on a nearby slope. Paramedics responded to the scene and transported the trucker to a nearby hospital for evaluation. It was unclear whether any of the chemical contents leaked from the tanker, but a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) team was presumably dispatched to the scene to evaluate the shipment and perform any necessary reclamation. The next day, a second truck was called in to remove the load of liquid aluminum. The original truck was roughly 300 feet from where it left the roadway, tipped on its side.
HAZMAT Trucks Must Be Driven With Caution
America relies on semis to ship materials of all kinds to far-flung locales, but these very materials can present a threat to public safety should the shipping vessel be compromised, say, in an accident. In the industrial setting, a laboratory, or on the roadway, exposure to volatile materials can cause serious illness.
The threat of massive 18-wheel trucks hauling multiple tons of freight is more than enough risk for most motorists. But a hazardous material barreling down a highway at high speeds is a truly frightening thought.
Not surprisingly, trucking is a highly regulated industry. Federal transportation laws mandate that over-the-road truckers log the miles they travel and observe mandatory rest periods. Failure to do so can provide reason to assign fault to the trucker and trucking company.
The threat associated with massive semis only increases during the winter months, when hazardous weather conditions become more common. Truckers have not only a professional responsibility, but they also have a moral obligation to keep their loads as safe as possible. Other drivers should be on alert for semis, understanding that large vehicles take longer to stop. By working together, travelers can reduce semi accidents and prevent dangerous chemical spills.
If you've been involved in an accident involving a vehicle carrying chemicals, you could be facing long-term health effects as a result of poisoning, along with bodily injuries such as broken bones. Get the best advice possible by contacting the Indiana semi accident attorneys of Keller & Keller.