Flower Mound Fuel Truck Accident Lawyer
Fuel trucks are common in cities like Flower Mound, TX. These vehicles are often spotted filling up the reserved tanks at local gas stations or driving down the highway. With their large, shiny metal tanks, fuel trucks are hard to miss.
Sadly, fuel trucks are involved in many car and truck accidents each year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large trucks like fuel trucks caused 4,136 fatalities in 2018 alone. Fuel trucks are often 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car, which means they can inflict serious damage in a collision.
If you’re involved in a fuel truck accident, you may suffer property damage as well as severe injuries. Many accident victims require months or years to fully recover. Some are unable to live a normal life after their accident. In these cases, their families may struggle financially.
That’s why it’s important to explore your options for a settlement after a fuel truck accident. You may be entitled to compensation from the driver or their employer. Dial (214) 305-8277 today to make an appointment for a free consultation with a fuel truck accident lawyer based in Flower Mound. There’s no obligation to you. If we take your case, you won’t pay for our services unless we help you win.
Why Fuel Truck Accidents Are Dangerous
All truck accidents are dangerous. However, fuel trucks pose a unique threat due to their size as well as their flammable liquid cargo. Often, fuel truck accidents are much worse than similar accidents involving a regular commercial truck. Here’s why:
Vehicle Size and Weight
Fuel trucks, also known as tanker trucks, are measured by volume capacity rather than tonnage weight. In the United States, the average fuel truck holds anywhere between 5,000 and 11,600 gallons of fuel. Most fuel trucks consist of a cab attached to a tank. However, some trucks use multiple tanks.
Because of their size and weight, fuel trucks can be difficult to steer. They require a very wide turning radius and a long stopping distance. The truck’s driver won’t be able to navigate around hazards in the road. Fuel trucks can also become unbalanced more easily than other vehicles. Under some circumstances, they are more likely to tip over.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Fuel truck accidents can also be dangerous due to the nature of their cargo. Most fuel trucks transport gasoline, propane, or other highly flammable, toxic chemicals. If these chemicals spill during an accident, victims can be injured by chemical burns and hazardous fumes. In severe accidents, the fuel may cause an explosion.
Often, fuel truck accidents require a hazmat team to clean up after them. People who are exposed to the fuel may also suffer health problems long after the fact. Exposure to toxic chemicals can increase the risk of developing cancer and other serious medical conditions.
Common Factors in Fuel Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent a fuel truck accident. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and avoid them. Learn about the common causes of fuel truck accidents to understand how you can protect yourself and your passengers. Some of the most common factors involved in fuel truck accidents include:
Due to their length, fuel trucks have large blind spots. Compared to a normal car, a driver behind the wheel of a fuel truck has significantly reduced visibility. They are unable to see 20 feet in front of them, 30 feet behind them, one lane to their immediate left, and two lanes to their right.
Many accidents occur when another vehicle lingers in the fuel truck’s blind spot. If another car isn’t passing properly, the fuel truck may collide with it when the driver turns or changes lanes. This can result in catastrophic collisions that affect other drivers on the road. If you’re driving behind a fuel truck when it smashes into another vehicle in its blind spot, you may be injured by an explosion.
Most large trucks, including fuel trucks, need 20-30 percent longer to come to a stop. When the driver brakes, it takes several seconds for the vehicle to completely slow down. Because of this long stopping time, the driver cannot react to hazards such as fallen objects or reckless driving. If the truck driver stops too quickly, they may lose control of their vehicle and rollover or jackknife.
Sloshing is a hazard that’s unique to tanker trucks. This occurs when the truck’s tanks aren’t adequately filled. As the vehicle speeds up, the liquid inside the tanks has extra room to “slosh” around. If it sloshes too much, it can disrupt the truck’s balance. Sloshing leads to collisions because it may cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle, or cause the vehicle to tip over.
Like all commercial drivers, fuel truck drivers work long hours. They often drive for 11 hours per shift for multiple days in a row. Some drivers also work nights. As a result, fuel truck drivers are prone to fatigue. When a driver gets tired, they experience slower reaction times and are more likely to lose control of their vehicle. In fact, studies show that driving while fatigued is equivalent to driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol level.
Finally, mechanical failure can lead to fuel truck accidents. Fuel trucks need to undergo regular safety inspections and maintenance. If the truck’s owner doesn’t perform this maintenance or fails to get the vehicle repaired on time, it may experience mechanical problems. Brake failure, engine problems, or issues with steering can lead to deadly accidents.
What to Do After a Fuel Truck Accident
If you’re involved in a fuel truck accident, you’re not alone. Our legal team can help. We’ve assisted many drivers just like you. After you call to book your free consultation, we can help you determine how much compensation you may be owed. Then, we can fight to help you receive it.
Call (214) 305-8277 now to speak to a Flower Mound fuel truck accident lawyer.