Tank Truck Rollover Accident Lawyers in Georgia Common Accident Causes
Truck drivers must receive a certification from state and federal authorities before they can drive a commercial vehicle. Tank truck drivers undergo the same certification process and more if they are hauling combustible liquids, hazardous waste, or liquefied gas. The substantial amount of professional training tank truck drivers receive does not prevent accidents, especially rollovers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration approximates that 78% of all rollover accidents happened due to driver error.
The most common cause of a tank truck rolling over is speed. Speed kills, but even the most highly trained and safety conscious drivers occasionally go faster than they should go. It is human nature. However, tank truck drivers must be cautious not to go too fast around a curve. Tank trucks have a high center of gravity. In other words, the balance point of the weight is elevated off of the ground relative to the wheelbase. Taking a curve pushes the weight of the load in the opposite direction of the turn. Driving excessive fast around a bend will shift the center of gravity of the load outside the tires, and result in a rollover.
Statistically, most rollover accidents occur on straight roads rather than entering and exiting highways. Experienced drivers say that a driver will pay closer attention to the turn and drive appropriately. Conversely, driving on a straightaway requires less attention. Tank truck operators experience problems when they have to make a sudden movement, such as slamming on the brakes or making an evasive maneuver. The liquid payload responds to the initial movement of the truck but then works in the opposite direction giving rise to an event calling sloshing.
Sloshing is a potentially hazardous occurrence. The sloshing liquid in the tank can alter the truck's center of gravity or make the truck more difficult to stop. Therefore, sloshing can force the tank to turn sideways into a jackknife, roll, or propel the trailer off the fifth wheel. Drivers must be aware of the potential threat of sloshing and have a duty owed to all other drivers to prevent that from occurring.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333