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Causes behind cargo tank rollover accidents

Many Ohio motorists are familiar with the sight of cargo tank trucks on streets and highways. On occasion these trucks will roll over, and although this type of accident is rare, when it happens there is the possibility of severe damage to others on the road as well as to surrounding areas due to the spillage of potentially dangerous cargo.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiled statistics relating the causes of these accidents and based upon data from 2007. The causes are varied, but approximately 54 percent of the trucks that were involved in rollovers that year were found to have some sort of problem in their braking system. Moreover, about two thirds involved cargo tanks that were carrying partial loads. The way in which liquids slosh around and surge forward and backwards appears to be magnified when there is space for them to move, and partial loading seems to be a significant cause.

Other factors were shown to be less important than they may have been perceived. Rain and snow did not appear to be related to these accidents, as the majority of rollovers occurred on dry roads. It was also about twice as common for a truck to roll over during the day than at night. Driver error was implicated in a large number of these accidents, but trucker experience did not seem to make a difference.

Commercial vehicle accidents can often result in serious harm to others who are on the road. An injured victim may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the best method of obtaining compensation. Legal counsel can review accident investigation reports and vehicle maintenance records when attempting to determine who should bear responsibility.

Source: FMCSA, "Cargo Tank Rollover", July 21, 2015

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