More than 9 months after a tanker truck drove off the free way, rolled over, and exploded into flames in Indianapolis, the National Traffic Safety Board met in Washington DC to discuss how to prevent more tanker rollover accidents form happening. Five people were injured in the truck crash involving a tanker transporting nearly 12,000 gallons of liquefied petroleum.
While tanker trucks make up 6% percent of the total number of large trucks in the US, 31% of all commercial truck rollover accidents involve tankers—that’s 1,265 US cargo tanker truck accidents a year. One reason for this is when the tanker turns, its center of gravity shifts, which cause the liquid being transported to also move. This can prove fatal in the event of a truck accident.
At the hearing yesterday, panelists talked about whether mandatory stability controls should be imposed on tuckers and if trailers and tractors should also meet such a requirement. Electronic stability systems would not only determine when the truck’s weight is about to shift, but the computer could automatically activate the breaks to help compensate for the weight change to prevent a rollover crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say that 106 lives could be saved and almost 3,500 rollover accidents prevented if trucks and trailers were forced to meet such a requirement. The panelists talked about how properly training tanker truck drivers charged with carrying such dangerous materials could help prevent some tanker truck accidents.
Over 100,000 loads a day are dispatched on tanker trucks. NHTSA intends to finish its examination of the benefits of stability control systems for trucks by year’s end.
Our Washington DC tanker truck accident lawyers are very familiar with the devastation that these crashes can wreak on the lives of the victims and their families.
NHTSA: New technology can prevent truck rollovers, AP/Richmond-Times Dispatch, August 3, 2010
Tractor trailer trucks facing madatory changes, WishTV, August 3, 2010
Related Web Resources:
National Transportation Safety Board
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