A truck accident can happen anywhere, from Lewis County Missouri to Newton County. And because a cargo tank truck accident involving a rollover has many factors in common with all truck accidents and all types of vehicles, the Missouri truck accident lawyers feel it is important to share information from a great training video. The video is in its second year and we can all learn from it.
In May of 2010 a training video was released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (US DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The video was created by the FMCSA and the US DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as a training tool for commercial drivers of cargo tank motor vehicles. The video is designed to educate on and discuss the limitations and handling characteristics of tanker trucks in order to reduce truck accidents involving rollover. But the video provides good advice for all drivers.
How and Why Cargo Tank Rollover Accidents Happen
Rollovers can happen anywhere. And surprisingly, most Missouri rollover truck accidents happen on straight roadways. In part this is due to the fact that when a driver enters a curve or on or off ramp they are more focused on the road. Traveling on a straight roadway it is easy for a driver to become distracted or allow their focus to wander. Other factors for rollover include vehicle design and performance, load effects, highway factors, and driver factors.
Major Contributors to Cargo Tank Rollover Accidents
- Vehicle design - a high center of gravity Any vehicle with a center of gravity that is higher relative to its width is more susceptible to rollover and a traffic accident.
- Load effects - a liquid load adds to the force of change as the vehicle shifts or changes directions suddenly. 94% of cargo tank rollovers involved a partial load.
- Vehicle maintenance - poor brake performance, damaged suspension, and under-inflated tires enhance the effects of load dynamics.
- Highway factors - sharp curves, steep downhill grades, soft shoulders, berms, mounds, curbs, and narrow driveway entrances or exits can quickly become a rollover hazard.
- Driver factors - not fully understanding or appreciating the dangers of load effects or inadequate pre-trip inspections as well as driving too fast, tailgating, road rage, or complacency all lead to truck accidents.
Most cargo tank rollover accidents occur because the driver changed speeds or directions suddenly. From curb tripping, recovering too sharply, taking round turns too fast, to sudden changes in direction, the stability of the vehicle is compromised and the load pushes the vehicle past its ability to recover and the truck rolls over.
Ways Drivers Can Reduce Truck Accidents in Missouri
All drivers should be aware of the factors that contribute to rollover. Know your vehicle and always do a thorough pre-trip inspection. Learn as much as you can about route conditions and potential hazards before you get to them. Remember that speed limits and warnings are designed for smaller vehicles on good roads in the day time. Slow down.
Eliminate unsafe behaviors such as excessive speed, following too closely, complacency, fatigue and the physical conditions that contribute to fatigue. Avoid all distractions while driving like eating, daydreaming, and cell phone use.
One of the keywords in the training video is suddenly. Never be too comfortable and always be prepared to make lane changes, turns, and enter curves and downhill grades at a reduced speed to reduce your chance of sudden movements.
Rollover truck accidents are preventable and unacceptable. By taking the time to do a proper pre-trip inspection, surveying and identifying high risk areas of your route, and doing everything you can to stay alert and pay attention to the road and your vehicle, you can avoid being too comfortable and avoid a rollover truck accident.
The Missouri truck accident lawyers work with people injured in truck accidents. If you are or have been involved in a rollover truck accident call 1-888-777-AUTO (2886).
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