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Some facts about cargo tank rollover accidents

Posted on in Truck Accidents

California drivers should always be aware of large trucks on the road, especially those transporting liquid loads. These vehicles are subject to special hazards the general public may be unaware of, and they are the topic of several myths about the conditions that can give rise to an accident. Understanding these myths and the actual causes of cargo tank rollovers can perhaps help to reduce the incidence of these accidents.

Contrary to popular belief, cargo tank rollover accidents are not commonly associated with speeding, nighttime driving, unsafe road conditions or lack of experience behind the wheel. Statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration based on 2007 data reveal that most of these accidents occur during the day, on exit or on-ramps and straight roads, with commercial drivers who have more than 10 years of experience. Speeding is a factor in only about 28 percent of all cargo tank rollover accidents.

However, the factors that do influence the likelihood of a cargo tank tipping over include distracted or drowsy driving, which accounts for about 20 percent of these accidents. Cargo tanks are also subject to different physics than dry haulers, because liquids can slosh and surge due to sudden braking, such as when a driver cuts off the tanker, leading to 63 percent of rollovers. Brake conditions play a critical role as well.

After an accident that resulted in an injury to another, an attorney for the victim would likely assess the condition of the vehicle and try to determine if equipment failure was a root cause of the accident. The attorney may review mileage and maintenance logs, check for evidence of improper loading and examine other possible causes of the accident. If negligence on the part of the driver or the trucking company can be demonstrated, a lawsuit filed on the injured victim's behalf seeking damages from the responsible party might be an appropriate method of pursuing compensation.

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