Collisions Involving a Hazardous Waste Truck

The Dangers of Truck Accidents Involving Hazardous Waste

In case a regular truck accident wasn’t bad enough, there are many trucks on the road transporting hazardous waste. These hazardous materials, when improperly stored or combined with other chemicals, can cause serious damage to the people and communities nearby.

If you’re involved in a truck accident, it’s crucial to talk to a lawyer immediately. You have rights, but if you don’t assert them, you could lose them. Call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 right now to talk to a team member.

Types of Hazardous Waste

The consequences of a hazmat truck crash depend largely on what types of waste the truck is carrying at the time of the collision. Potential substances aboard a hazmat vehicle include:

  • Chemicals: Hazardous chemicals, from acids and solvents to pesticides and cleaning agents, are often capable of causing significant damage. These chemicals tend to be flammable, corrosive, toxic, or highly reactive. Victims are at risk of chemical burns, fires, and even explosions.
  • Radioactive waste: Radioactive materials are among the most frightening for victims. Radioactive materials can linger in the soil supply for decades or longer, contaminating generations to come.
  • Biological waste: In this category, you’ll find biomedical waste, infectious agents, and biohazards. There’s a reason that healthcare workers are protected by multiple layers of personal protective equipment when they come into contact with dangerous biological material—and in a crash, this material could end up strewn across the road. Mishandled or released waste could cause profound health issues.
  • Explosives: Some tractor-trailers are used to move explosives, ammunition, and fireworks. Obviously, should these items come into contact with certain other chemicals, explosions may occur. These collisions can cause severe or even fatal injuries.

This is why you may see entire teams of professionals jump into action when a hazmat truck crashes. They must immediately identify what the truck was carrying, how far it has spread, its side effects, and how best to contain it. From there, they have to take immediate action to contain the risk and mitigate the damage.

The Impact of Truck Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials

A truck accident involving hazardous waste materials can have long-lasting consequences. Environmental contamination is unfortunately common in these scenarios. When solid or liquid waste gets into nearby water and soil, these resources can be tainted for years or decades to come. Airborne substances can spread rapidly, contaminating the air for local communities.

Many hazardous substances can have serious negative health effects on nearby communities. For example, communities affected by a tainted water supply and soil flush with hazardous materials have reported higher rates of cancer, respiratory illnesses, and other life-shortening diseases. Unfortunately, once a natural resource is contaminated, cleaning it up is incredibly difficult. In many situations, it’s cheaper to empty the community and relocate everyone than it is to fix the source of the problem.

The costs of handling these issues are incredibly high, as you may imagine. It’s nearly impossible to completely prevent fallout, so the focus is on mitigation. This means acting on what limited information is available and changing the approach as more information becomes available.

Prevention and Management of Collisions

Knowing that hazardous material truck collisions can be so devastating, what can be done to stop them? Regulatory compliance is a huge area of focus, as trucks that properly load and transport these materials are far less likely to crash.

Rigorous training for hazmat drivers is a top priority. While drivers already have to undergo significant training for a hazmat endorsement, it’s difficult to know exactly how they’ll predict should a disaster actually occur. Hands-on training is a crucial component for companies that want disaster-ready drivers.

Emergency agencies should emphasize the protocols used for hazardous material leaks. A prompt and efficient emergency response can do a lot to limit the effects of a collision.

Choose Bailey Javins & Carter for Your Personal Injury Case

Anyone affected by a collision involving a truck with hazardous waste should explore their legal options immediately. They could face health issues for years to come, and it’s crucial to hold the negligent party accountable. Find out how we can help you now; just call us at 800-497-0234 or send us a message online.