The transportation of hazardous materials is highly regulated, and those who violate those regulations are subject to large fines. The federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act requires all transporters to follow the regulations outlined in the Act.
In addition, if a truck is carrying chemicals or explosives that qualify as an “abnormally dangerous activity” and is involved in an accident, the truck owner will generally be subject to strict liability in any subsequent personal injury claim. Strict liability means that the person responsible is liable for the harm caused, even if that person acted with the utmost care in trying to prevent the harm. However, if hazardous materials do not qualify as abnormally dangerous, or if strict liability does not apply, injured parties have to prove negligence in order to recover compensation for their injuries.
When a hazardous spill occurs, there is a safety risk not just to the people who were transporting the materials but also to other drivers, homes, community members, and the environment. And even in a highly regulated industry, some transporters still manage to slip through the cracks.
Georgia Trucking Company No Longer Allowed on the Road Following Explosion Involving Hazardous Materials
According to one news source, after an explosion occurred while a trucking company was transferring automobile air bag inflators, the company was ordered earlier this month to take its trucks off the road. In the crash this past August, the truck crashed, caught fire, and exploded. The explosion destroyed a house, killed one woman, injured several other people, and damaged several other houses.
The air bags were made with ammonium nitrate, which causes a small explosion to fill an air bag with air when a crash occurs. However, this method has also been shown to pose a risk because in certain conditions the chemical can burn too fast and explode. This issue has caused the inflators to be recalled in about 69 million cars in the United States and about 100 million throughout the world.
Federal officials said they made the decision to pull the company’s trucks off the road after finding a number of serious safety violations. Officials found the company posed “an imminent hazard to public safety.” In fact, this violation was not the company’s first. The company had been cited many times for violations and each time ordered to stay off the road.
The trucking company employed drivers who do not have commercial licenses and did not perform drug and alcohol tests on its drivers. The company also did not follow safety regulations for hauling hazardous materials. There were also a number of safety issues with the company’s trucks. Some of the safety defects included oil leaks, contaminated brakes, loose steering, and an unsecured fire extinguisher. However, it was not until the explosion that the company was finally shut down. The company is based in LaGrange, Georgia.
Have You Been Injured in a Car or Truck Accident?
Thousands of car accidents occur in Georgia each year, many of which involve truck drivers. The truck and car accident attorneys at the McAleer Law Firm consider every claim, large or small, and fight for what our clients are entitled to receive. We are not afraid to take our clients’ cases to trial so that our clients can recover fair compensation for their injuries. To find out what your case might be worth, call the McAleer Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-622-5337.
See More Posts:
What You Need to Know About The Dangers of Running Off The Road, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, August 8, 2016.
Taser Death Case Lands at the Supreme Court Prematurely, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, August 1, 2016.