Recently, our Illinois truck accident attorneys read a report on TheIndyChannel.com that detailed an unfortunate semi truck accident that took the life of the semi’s 47 year old driver. Local authorities state that the accident occurred when the semi truck’s driver drove off the right side of an exit ramp and collided with various concrete construction barriers –subsequently rolling over into a nearby ditch. The driver of the truck remained trapped inside the truck’s cab when it overturned and was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi truck was hauling over 8,000 gallons of gasoline, of which 3,000 gallons of it was expelled upon impact. Local hazardous materials crews were called to the scene to transport the remaining gasoline, as well as, provide clean up for the expelled fuel.
According to the article, national transportation officials claim that this accident warns others of the severe risks involved with transporting hazardous materials. Officials also confirmed that more needs to be done to prevent the recurrence of this type of accident. Not only are these accidents often proving fatal for truck drivers, they often pose a severe environmental risk. A semi truck driving instructor addressed this issue by stating that there is currently not much extra training that can be provided for truck drivers who carrying hazardous liquid materials. The instructor asserts, “liquid has a mind of its own … it will keep the truck moving in the direction that it wants to go, which is to roll over.”
A 2005 study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration further highlights these types of fatal semi truck accidents involving hazardous material. According to the study, of the estimated 5,000 semi truck accidents that occur in the United States each year, over 200 of those semi truck accidents involved trucks containing hazardous material. In addition, spills occur in approximately 18% of all hazardous material related accidents. More often than not, the causes of these accidents are seemingly unknown due to the fact that the driver of the semi truck was fatally injured in the crash.
Our Chicago accident attorneys send their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the accident victim. Safety improvements need to be implemented by trucking companies in order to prevent the reoccurrence of this tragic accident. The transportation of hazardous materials has proven to be a very dangerous task that needs to be handled with the utmost responsibility in order to keep truck drivers and other motorists safe.