Se habla español


Tanker Truck Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries

Home » Tanker Truck Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
September 27, 2017
Edward Smith


Tanker Truck Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries

I am Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents can have catastrophic consequences due to their weight and size, however, tanker trucks are even more dangerous due to their cargo. As with other types of trucks, maintenance and driver training are important in saving lives.

Why Is a Tanker Truck Accident Catastrophic?

A tanker truck is one built to carry substances, usually liquids and gas, that may be dangerous. When an accident occurs, these hazardous materials can erupt into fire, causing burn injuries, or leech onto roadways, contaminate nearby land and streams and poison farm animals or people who come into contact with them. A spill on the roadway can also cause a chain reaction series of crashes.

What Materials Are Transported by a Tank Truck?

The materials transported in a tanker truck range from non-toxic substances such as milk or molasses to hazardous ones such as gasoline, benzene, industrial chemicals or oil. Different types of a single substance such as gasoline may be transported by tank trucks by securing them in different compartments. The body of the tank itself is made from a variety of materials ranging from aluminum to steel. The composition is based on the material the truck will hold.

Size of Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks range in size from large to small capacities with larger trucks carrying liquid loads of 5,000 to almost 12,000 gallons. Small tank trucks, such as those used to carry waste from septic systems, can carry up to 3,000 gallons of fluid. Smaller tank trucks also are used to carry liquid petroleum gas, delivering it to residential units. On airfields, small tank trucks may be used to fuel aircraft.


One of the most important issues, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is to make sure the tank is suitable for the cargo. It is also important to have procedures and policies in place to protect employees. Employees must be trained in handling hazardous substances and in keeping logs as mandated by government regulations. Maintenance of all aspects of the tanker, including brakes and tires, is important in preventing roadway accidents. Failing to provide training and maintenance is considered negligent behavior by the carrier.

Brake and Tire Maintenance

According to the FMCSA, brake problems are the leading reason for truck crashes and that a big truck with brake problems is 170 times more likely to be involved in a crash than one with brakes that were functioning correctly. Out of the reasons for all truck crashes, 29 percent of those accidents are attributed to faulty brakes. Not all problems are connected to poor maintenance. In January, Volvo recalled more than 6,000 trucks due to problems with the brakes. Poor tire maintenance can also lead to accidents. Driving on worn tires, under-inflation that can lead to a blowout, mechanical problems that can accelerate wear or cause uneven wear, driving on mismatched tires or choosing the wrong tires can lead to an accident.

Recent Accident in Fresno

An accident that occurred recently in Fresno underscores the problems associated with a lack of brake maintenance. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident was caused by a rear tire failure after it caught on fire, something usually connected to a brake seizing and creating so much heat that the rubber catches on fire. This is an example of what happens when brakes are not properly maintained.

Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. When tanker trucks are involved in a highway accident, significant and often deadly injuries result. When this happens, an injured victim or a family who has lost a loved one needs the experience a seasoned attorney can provide. I am available to give you friendly advice without any cost to you. Reach out to me by calling (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.

I have served Fresno and Northern Californians for over 35 years, helping them with legal claims for wrongful death or traumatic injuries.

During times of sorrow or while recovering from injury, you have little time to pick an attorney you feel comfortable with. One way of getting to know a legal professional is by reading reviews by former clients. You can see mine on Google, Yelp or Avvo. Another way of becoming acquainted with my practice is by looking at the settlements and verdicts I won for clients in the past.

I work hard to make sure my clients get what they deserve after the trauma and injury of an accident. That is the reason I belong to a group that only permits members to join if they have won more than a million dollars for clients. Take a look at to learn more.

Photo Attribution:

:cd bw [cs 814] cv