Any tanker truck or semi on the highway has the potential to cause death and destruction if an accident occurs, simply due to the immensity of the vehicle. These trucks often weigh in excess of ten thousand pounds, significantly heavier than passenger vehicles. When an accident occurs between a car and a truck, the car bears the brunt of it.
Some trucks are more potentially dangerous than others, however. Trucks bearing hazardous materials are a good example. These trucks are dangerous in the same way as other vehicles of their size, but present additional safety challenges due to the load they are carrying. Because of this increased danger, there are additional federal regulations regarding these vehicles.
Federal laws and regulations limit hazardous material trucks in multiple ways, including:
- Limiting which interstates, highways, and roadways these vehicles are allowed to travel on
- Imposing additional restrictions on drivers, including restrictions on smoking and other activities
- Additional signage requirements on the truck to indicate to the general public the hazardous nature of the load
- Additional safety permitting
The reasons for the additional requirements are obvious. If an accident does occur, there is a high risk that anyone in the vicinity will be exposed to the dangerous substance carried by truck. These materials can include poisons, acids, and other elements that can cause significant injury or even death to anyone exposed to them.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you likely have many questions that demand answers. Knowing what the truck was carrying and whether or not all of the rules and regulations of Federal and State law were followed is important. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case. A qualified lawyer will help you determine the right questions to ask to get the answers you need.