Several factors could have been involved in the long delays caused by a truck accident that occurred earlier this week on northbound I-75 in Cobb County. Tanker trucks, which often carry hazardous materials, are some of the most potentially dangerous vehicles on the road. When rain and slippery roads are added to the mix, there is a real potential for major problems and the sort of serious injuries I see in my practice as a Gwinnett County truck accident lawyer.
In this situation, the tanker truck was carrying a load of 9,000 pounds of propane. The tanker truck was reported by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution to have hydroplaned while traveling on the wet highway. It then struck the median, collided with a tractor trailer and tipped on its side. In fact, the initial accident set off a chain reaction accident that involved an auto and a second 18-wheel truck.
Amazingly, there were only minor injuries from this accident and there was no propane leakage. This is truly miraculous. The very real dangers in this situation and the potential for serious and catastrophic injuries cannot be understated. Everyone involved is quite lucky that there the biggest problem was property damage and lane closures which caused a mess for those trying to travel that day.
In this situation, the driver that caused the wreck was cited. Presumably, the truck was driving too fast for the circumstances. Hydroplaning is often the result of speed and wet conditions. If the conditions require a truck to slow down, the driver must take this into account and reduce speed to avoid the sort of accident that occurred in this situation.
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has many regulations that govern the operation of commercial vehicles, such as tanker trucks. Under the federal rules, which apply also to Georgia's roads, drivers must use extreme caution in hazardous conditions. Code of Federal Regulations section 392.14 requires "[e]xtreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle ... when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist."
Trucks are very heavy vehicles and passenger vehicles share the road with them every day of the week throughout Georgia. As I write about in my eBook on trucking accidents, there are many rules and regulations that govern trucking operations.
Trucking accidents can be serious, if not fatal. Thus, it is very important that those injured learn about their legal rights as soon as possible after an accident that involves a commercial vehicle or truck. Not only are there duties and obligations with which the driver must comply, but the operator or motor carrier company may also be involved. But only an expert can really help with all the potential parties who might be held responsible for a victim's injuries.
As a Gwinnett County, Georgia truck crash lawyer with offices throughout the Atlanta area, I represent victims involved in truck accidents who have sustained injuries in all surrounding cities and counties, including Duluth, Fulton County, Grayson, Gwinnett County and more. Please contact our law firm for a free confidential consultation at our main Gwinnett County law office, or at our offices in Decatur, the Perimeter and Buckhead.