Accident on I-57 Causes Chemical Spill that Threatens Hundreds
An overturned tractor trailer
shut down I-57 near Champaign recently after it spilled hazardous chemicals
A tractor trailer carrying the chemical Dimethylaminopropylamine—a flammable chemical used in cleaners and shampoo—jackknifed in the snowy conditions on Interstate-57. The driver was cited for driving too fast when changing lanes. When the truck jackknifed the tanker became unattached and slid into the center median of the highway. The resulting spill caused dangerous vapors to enter the air. Once the spill was contained, more than 100 homes were evacuated in the nearby area as the wind carried the dangerous vapors.
Transporting Hazardous Materials
Because of the risks involved in transporting hazardous materials, companies and transportation providers must meet higher insurance, safety, and licensing requirements as the state and federal level. The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act is the federal law
that governs the transportation of hazardous materials. Big rigs that carry hazardous materials are required to carry $5 million in insurance coverage—a far cry from the $750,000
retirement for regular trucks. Illinois incorporates by reference
most of the federal requirements for hazardous materials transportation, with the exception of fuel tank packaging.
Truck accidents involving dangerous materials exacerbate the dangers normally associated with these types of crashes. Not only are fellow drivers, pedestrians, and communities at risk of the typical accident-related injuries and property damage, but even more catastrophic injuries caused by exposure to toxic substances, fire, and burns may result.
Trucking accidents involving hazardous materials can be caused by the usual suspects:
- Truck drivers going too fast;
- Sleep deprived drivers;
- Distracted truck drivers; or
- Negligent truck drivers who did not load or secure the truck and its cargo properly.
In the context of hazardous materials, drivers often:
- Fail to follow all of the federal and state required precautions;
- Fail to load properly the materials;
- Fail to separate the materials;
- Ignore the cargo's labeling or packaging warnings; or
- Operate a vehicle not capable of safely transporting dangerous materials
The end result is exceedingly dangerous accidents that hurt individuals beyond those immediately involved in the incident. Even if you were not involved in the truck accident itself, you may be entitled to damages depending on the level of exposure you or your property had to the hazardous materials.
Contact Our Experienced Accident Attorneys
Were you involved in a catastrophic accident with a truck carrying hazardous materials? Reach out to the DuPage County truck accident attorneys
at Mevorah Law Offices LLC today for help. We will advocate on your behalf to recover the compensation you deserve.