FMCSA Addresses Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Prevention

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), close to 1,500 cargo tank rollovers are reported each year. That’s an average of about 4 rollovers each and every day.
It’s important that we understand a few key factors in preventing these kinds of accidents. The FMCSA has launched “Keep the Load on the Road” resource, an educational video to provide us with the safe-driving habits we need to prevent these kinds of accidents.

Our Boston accident lawyers understand that more than half (56 percent) of these accidents happen on straight roads — not on curves or on ramps. About a third of these accidents occur during the daylight, rather than during nighttime hours. More than 90 percent of these rollover happen on dry roads as well. Rollovers can happen at any time, so drivers can never be too comfortable behind the wheel.

This new video and informational resource was created specifically for commercial drivers of cargo tank motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

All vehicles have a “roll-over threshold”, which is the lowest value of lateral acceleration that will cause a vehicle to roll over. The lower the number, the less stable the vehicle.

“Cargo tank rollovers are among the most serious types of large truck crashes, often resulting in fatalities and serious highway infrastructure damage. Yet rollovers can be prevented and driver safety is the key. This video is a tool to encourage tank drivers to become more safety-conscious,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

In addition to causing serious injury and often death for drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles, rollovers cause over 800 deaths to truck drivers every year. In fact, truck drivers die in roughly 55 percent of all rollover accidents.

Some of the most common causes for these accidents are the weight of the load being carried, the condition of the brakes, the road surface and intersection conditions.

How You Can Influence Rollover Contributing Causes:

-Be sure to keep concentration and awareness of what’s going on around you. Be sure to take breaks as often as you feel needed and within regulatory limits.

-Keep an eye on your speed.

-Be cautious of the potential for varying centers of gravity on different vehicles you may drive.

-Be sure that the tires on your vehicle are always properly inflated.

-Avoid stacking pallets if possible. Try to keep the cargo close to the floor and ensure that it’s restrained properly.

-Always follow the rules and regulations of weight limitations.

-Reduce speed around curves. Even a small increase in your cornering speed results in a much larger increase in the outward sideways force which can tip your vehicle over.

-Ensure your truck is mechanically sound before your trip. You don’t want to be involved in a rollover or other accident because your brakes weren’t properly checked before a trip.

Contact Massachusetts Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

New Hours of Service Rules in Effect, But Disagreements Persist On Likely Effects
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2013

Limiting Truck Size and Weight Means Safer Highways, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 4, 2013

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