Dangers of cargo tank rollovers

All too often in West Virginia, people are injured when a cargo tank rolls over on the highway. Many such accidents are preventable, but they still occur. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration statistics, more than 1,300 such rollover accidents occur every year across the country.

Many people believe these rollovers most often occur at night, in bad weather or on curvy roads. People also believe they are largely due to the inexperience of a driver. However, the FMCSA data demonstrate that each of these ideas is untrue. Of the accidents, 56 percent occur on straight roads, and 93 percent occur when conditions are dry. Around 66 percent occur during daytime hours, and these accidents occur without regard to the experience of the driver.

Factors that do affect the occurrence of cargo truck rollovers include the weight of the load and how it is loaded. Another factor is the condition of the vehicle itself, such as one that has problems with its brake system. Driver error plays a large role. In many cases, drivers were either inattentive or drowsy just prior to having the cargo truck rollover accident.

Cargo tank rollovers are dangerous both to the trucker as well as to those on the road around them. In some cases, other motorists are unable to avoid the truck. In others, the truck may spill hazardous chemicals when it rolls. Someone who is seriously injured in such an accident may want to ask a personal injury attorney to determine whether the driver's negligence or poor maintenance of the vehicle was the cause. If that is found to be the case, legal counsel may proceed with the filing of a personal injury lawsuit on their client's behalf against both the truck driver as well as the driver's employer, seeking damages for the losses that have been sustained.

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