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Truckers Aren’t the Only Ones Hurt when a HAZMAT Truck Crashes

Posted on May 17, 2018
Truckers Aren’t the Only Ones Hurt when a HAZMAT Truck Crashes

HAZMAT truck crashes in Nevada may be much more serious than other types of truck collisions because of the dangers that are presented by the hazardous materials that they transport. Some of the substances are flammable or explosive, and others are poisonous to humans or are radioactive. When these materials are spilled in a collision, they may cause explosions, fires, or radioactive exposures. The materials may also poison groundwater and impact people in the area that is near to the crash site. Because of these dangers, HAZMAT truck drivers must undergo specific training and have additional regulations governing them. There are several factors that increase the likelihood of a HAZMAT truck crash’s severity, and the factors are largely preventable.

Why HAZMAT Truck Crashes Are Dangerous

HAZMAT trucks are used to transport hazardous materials that are dangerous to humans and that may interact with other non-hazardous materials. When these trucks are involved in crashes, there is a risk that the dangerous materials that they are carrying will be released. Flammable materials may ignite and cause severe fires, and some hazardous materials may explode or cause the release of radioactive materials into the environment. If people are contacted by these materials or are in accidents in which fires or explosions result, they may be killed. Some spills may also cause large areas around the accident sites to be evacuated. Because of these dangers, HAZMAT drivers must undergo specialized training and must follow additional rules that do not apply to other truck drivers.

Factors That Make Crashes More Severe

A study that was published in the International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology reported that there were a number of factors that are associated with HAZMAT crashes that are more severe. Accidents that happened in rural areas after dark were much likelier to be severe. Male drivers who were ages 60 or older were likelier to be involved in serious HAZMAT truck accidents. Crashes that happened on weekdays were also much likelier to be severe. Driver fatigue and drowsy driving may also increase the chance of having a severe HAZMAT truck crash. For example, a HAZMAT truck crash that caused I-80 to close was caused by the driver falling asleep behind the wheel.