Highways can be dangerous roads, given the high speeds and variety of vehicles present. Accidents on the highway can vary in the intensity and level of disruption of traffic-and a highway accident involving one or more commercial trucks can wreak havoc on traffic patterns, not to mention cause serious injuries for those involved.
Recently, San Jose highways were disrupted due to several big rig accidents. One accident involved a 18 wheeler and a stalled SUV. The two vehicles collided, and the big rig hit a guardrail, resulting in about 100 gallons of leaked diesel fuel. The truck driver was injured and taken to a local hospital, while another person was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Hazardous materials crews were called to the scene to clean up the leaked fuel and the materials that the firefighters used to contain the spilled fuel. The second accident that same day resulted in a multi-truck fire. Fire crews worked to make sure that the fire, which fully engulfed one big rig and was spreading to two others, did not spread further.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles such as 18 wheelers can be much more dangerous than accidents involving passenger cars or other vehicles. Big rigs are not only much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, but they also carry a large amount of diesel fuel, and could be carrying hazardous cargo. If they are carrying hazardous cargo, and it spills in an accident, people who come into contact with it could experience additional or different injuries than those from the impact only.
As seen in the two big rig accidents, the amount of fuel carried by the commercial trucks poses its own risk. Diesel fuel spills can run off into water sources, or can cause fires, which could quickly spread to other vehicles.
Source: MercuryNews.com, "Richmond: Two big rig crashes keep emergency responders busy," Daniel M. Jimenez and Katie Nelson, Jan. 19, 2013
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