Over 78% of cargo tank rollovers are truck driver error.
The primary reason for tank rollovers is driving too fast for road and weather conditions. But other unsafe driving can also cause rollover accidents.
Cargo tank trucks (tankers) are more susceptible to rollover accidents because their liquid load shifts. A cargo tank driver has to understand how the liquid payload can contribute to rollovers. A fluid load will always shift. It is responding to the way the driver is handling the load’s movement.
Drivers have to manage their speed and avoid situations where they need to hit their brakes suddenly, which will cause the liquid to surge forward. This means more than obeying the speed limits. It means slowing down when the road or weather conditions call for it.
Driving with a partial tank of liquid is even more dangerous than a full load. Over 94 percent of rollovers occur in trucks with a partial load, according to FMCSA. In these rollovers, liquid slosh and surge are a big factor, and these are caused by speed, turning radius, sudden braking, sudden moves forward, sudden shifting, missing a shift on a turn, and load distribution.
Drivers need to survey the road ahead and watch for high risk areas on the highway, including steep downhill grades and soft shoulders. It can take a few trips on a road to know the dangerous sections, so the driver should proceed cautiously until he or she knows and is comfortable with the route. In addition, drivers should avoid distractions like talking on a cell phone and texting.
Drivers should also never drive when they are tired. Federal law outlines the hours a driver can be on the road. And when a driver has time off, it is important that the driver gets enough rest. There are many warning signs of driver fatigue: trouble focusing, frequent yawning, blinking, heavy eyelids and head bobbing. If a driver has trouble remembering the last few miles, he or she needs to get pull over to a safe area and rest.
Obviously, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not permitted. But it
could be a major factor in a rollover. Over-the-counter drugs can also impair driving.
Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Caused by a Cargo Tank Truck
If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a cargo tank driver and trucking company, you will need a lawyer with experience winning lawsuits against trucking companies to help you. You can talk to me for free by submitting our free consultation form or by calling 1-888-377-8900 (toll free). This should be done immediately because a spoliation letter needs to be sent to the trucking company to prevent it from destroying evidence. For many reasons, auto accident insurance claims need to be investigated by your lawyer as soon as possible after the rollover accident.
Attorney Eric Hageman represents accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits throughout the United States. He is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. Eric represents semi truck accident victims and their families nationwide.