The extensive refinery operations in Louisiana generate a lot of tanker truck traffic. Commercial vehicles moving cargo tanks increase safety risks to drivers and motorists because of their loads of hazardous liquids. When these trucks roll over, they sometimes spill their loads and exacerbate the potential for injuries to people and the environment. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 1,300 tanker truck rollovers occur annually around the country.
For the year studied, driver errors caused 78 percent of these rollovers. In 90 percent of these accidents attributed to driver errors, a combination of errors contributed to wreck. For example, a drowsy or inattentive truck driver could drift onto a shoulder and then react incorrectly and roll the vehicle. Accident investigators blamed sleepiness and inattention in 20 percent of rollovers.
Accident data also showed that a lack of vehicle maintenance resulted in many of these incidents. Investigators identified poor vehicle conditions as the primary cause of 20 percent of the rollovers. They also found that vehicles in 54 percent of rollover incidents suffered from some type of brake defect.
In some situations, a trucking company might be responsible for negligent truck maintenance. A person injured in a truck accident caused by either inadequate maintenance or truck driver fatigue will often require significant medical care and treatment. A review of the accident report and other evidence by an attorney could lead to a determination that a personal injury lawsuit would be an appropriate course of action to take. Such a lawsuit would seek to recover damages from the responsible parties for the losses that have been incurred.