Being in the vicinity of any kind of truck or tanker rollover can be a terrifying experience. It’s not just drivers of large trucks who may be at risk when their truck rolls over, but also occupants of smaller passenger vehicles nearby who may be in danger of losing control of the vehicle, or worse coming into contact or crashing into the truck or tractor trailer. Even more serious are trucking accidents involving fuel tankers.
One such tanker rollover occurred in Indianapolis recently. The accident occurred on the interstate 465 southbound -I-70 eastbound ramp. The tanker driver seems to have lost control of his vehicle, sending the tanker flipping over. The impact of the accident caused the tank to split open, spilling fuel on the roads. There were several explosions recorded as the fuel spilled out on the interstate. The driver of the tanker suffered serious burns, but fortunately survived his injuries. There no other injuries or fatalities associated with the accident. There was, however, serious damage to the road as well as the surrounding area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are as many as 1300 tanker rollover accidents, and more than 500 large truck rollover accidents recorded in the country annually. This particular crash occurred on a ramp, but this was the exception. Contrary to popular belief, most of these accidents occur not on ramps or near turns or bends, but on highways and straight roads.
There are a number of causes of rollover accidents. Trucks are predisposed to rollovers because of their high center of gravity which makes them more susceptible to a flip over. High speeds can also exacerbate a truck driver’s chances of being involved in a rollover. There’s a reason why it’s always recommended that trucks stay within a safe speed limit. These vehicles can be harder to control at high speeds, and braking at high speeds places trucks at a higher risk of a roller.
Besides these, the condition of the truck especially the brakes, suspension, and tires, as well as the driver’s skills and habits can contribute to rollover accidents. Distractions, fatigue, and driving for long hours can all cause lack of alertness, and could contribute to a rollover accident.