There’s a reason why the United States trucking industry is worth an estimated $700 billion. We rely on trucks for everything from our Amazon deliveries to the fuel that goes into our car. Unfortunately, even the most cautious truck driver is prone to an accident. The most dangerous types of truck crashes are typically those involving tanker truck accidents.

That’s due to the dangerous cargo that these vehicles typically transport. If you find yourself at the scene of a tanker truck accident, then you likely won’t know how to proceed. Luckily, we’ve organized this guide to provide you with some advice if you find yourself in this scenario. Let’s get started!

Seven Things to Know About Tanker Truck Accidents

Seven Things to Know About Tanker Truck Accidents

Tanker truck crashes might seem rare, but you never know when you might encounter one. In this section, we’ve compiled seven things that everyone should know about tanker truck accidents.

This includes things that cause them so that you can anticipate potentially unsafe situations. We’ve also provided some information on what to do if you arrive at the scene of a tanker truck accident. That way, you don’t put yourself in a potentially unsafe situation.

1. Underfilled Tanker Trucks Can Easily Roll Over

When tanker trucks carry liquids under capacity it can cause the material to move around within the tank. This movement creates an imbalance within the tank. When it makes a turn that’s too sharp, it can tip over. As such, if you notice the tank on a truck swaying, then you should keep your distance. There’s a chance it could roll over near you on the road.

2. Tanker Trucks Are Much More Likely to Catch Fire

Many tanker trucks transport tanks full of gasoline or oil. If these tanks get punctured, then the flammable liquid can leak out around the accident site. All it takes is one spark for this liquid to combust. As such, be cautious if you see gasoline around the scene of the accident. There’s a high risk that it can burn and cause serious injury or death. Instead, call the fire department.

3. Tanker Trucks Might Be Carrying Hazardous Chemicals

If a tanker truck is carrying hazardous chemicals, then the situation is much more serious. Not only can these chemical spills cause serious burns, but they can also threaten the community and environment. If the chemical being transported is deadly enough, then entire homes and offices will need to be evacuated.

If you encounter a tanker truck accident with hazardous chemicals, then proceed with caution. Keep your distance and call an emergency spill team. They should be able to let you know what chemicals are at the site and how to deal with them.

4. Tanker Trucks Exert a Substantial Amount of Force

Tanker Trucks Exert a Substantial Amount of Force

Tanker truckers are significantly larger than the average vehicle on the road. As such, they exert a lot more force than other vehicles. This makes it difficult for them to brake quickly when an unexpected hazard is in front of them.

If an accident occurs, the force also makes it much more dangerous. Severe injuries, like paralysis, amputation, and brain injuries are much more common. As such, you should always give tanker trucks as much space as traffic allows.

5. Jackknife Scenarios Cause a Lot of Tanker Truck Accidents

A jackknife occurs when the tank of the truck swings away from the cab of the truck. When this happens, the tank drags the cab with it. When this occurs, it’s almost impossible for the driver to regain control of the vehicle. As such, you should always be aware when a tanker truck is making a tight turn. These are the most likely scenarios for a tanker truck to jackknife.

6. What to Do When You Arrive at the Scene of Tanker Truck Accident

The first thing you should in a tanker truck accident, whether you arrive at the scene or are involved, is to make sure everyone is all right. It’s important to communicate with the driver of the tanker truck. They can let you know whether or not the contents they’re transporting are hazardous.

If the driver is unconscious and there are signs that the content of the tanker is hazardous, then you should remove yourself from the scene. Instead, call paramedics immediately so they can safely rescue the truck driver. Make sure you share any findings you’ve discovered about the truck’s content.

After you’ve prioritized medical attention for anyone who was injured, you can begin documenting the scene. This is mainly important if you were involved in the accident. Take pictures of the accident from multiple angles and get all the valid insurance and personal information from the drivers involved. Once you do this, get a copy of the accident report from the police and contact your insurance company.

7. Who’s At Fault: The Driver or the Truck Company?

Who’s At Fault The Driver or the Truck Company

Most of the time people believe that the truck driver is responsible for the accident. And it’s true in certain situations that they can be at fault. However, sometimes outside circumstances can make the accident unavoidable. Other reckless drivers are one example. Another is the truck company.

The company is responsible for keeping their driver safe. This means making sure the truck is maintained, ensuring the driver doesn’t drive over the legal limit of time, and not forcing the trucker to drive in unsafe conditions. So, in some cases, the truck company can be at fault for the accident.

Want More Content? Keep Exploring

We hope this article helped you learn more about what causes tanker truck accidents, and what to do if you encounter one. Any automobile accident can be a traumatic event.

However, tank trucks can be particularly devastating in terms of the amount of damage they cause. As such, knowing some basic information and safety protocols surrounding them is key to staying safe. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more topics that you’re sure to love.

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