There’s no doubt about it; big accidents grab our attention. A quick Google search of “crazy cargo spills” nets more than 400,000 hits, while “truck accidents” results in a whopping 48 million results. Video compilations of truck accidents get millions of views, further proof of our fascination with the spectacle of destruction.
Cargo spills can be funny…
The Dayton Daily News recently published a fun little article that highlighted cargo spills from commercial truck accidents in Ohio in just the past year. The cargo in question ran the gamut from grain feed to road paint to piglets, an incident we wrote about last September. However, these aren’t the most unusual cargo spills we’ve heard about. Mental Floss compiled a list of the strangest truck spills from around the world. Highlights include:
- 40,000 pounds of sausage spilled across Interstate 43 in Wisconsin.
- 5,000 gallons of molasses created a sticky situation in Sugar Land, Texas (no kidding) and required more than 8 hours to clean up.
- A 56-foot whale exploded while being transported to a research facility in Taiwan. The dead whale burst after gases from decomposition built up to an explosive level.
- 12 packs of Keystone Light were scattered over an embankment in Colorado after a truck took a turn too quickly. Three beer trucks spilled cargo on the same ramp in a single year.
- 35,000 pounds of explosives were spilled after a rollover in Utah. In a scene worthy of any action movie, the driver and passenger escaped the rigs just before an explosion that left a 30-foot deep crater in the road. Nearby concrete barriers were flung hundreds of feet; incredibly, no one was injured.
…. But the consequences can be deadly
While these stories are excellent fodder for jokes (a recent corn spill in Anderson County was referred to as “aMAZEing”), cargo spills are no laughing matter. When cargo blankets a highway, new obstacles are created and detours are required that jam traffic for hours. Accidents are far more likely to occur in stop and go traffic, and unfamiliar routes have drivers checking GPS directions and traffic updates more often instead of focusing on the road.
The cost doesn’t stop with traffic detours, congestion, and fender benders. Cleaning up large or hazardous cargo poses a unique set of risks to drivers, including heavy machinery and rescue vehicles fighting to get through traffic. While safer trucks would obviously benefit everyone on the road, a new study from the American Transportation Research Institute calculated that traffic jams, some stemming from truck accidents themselves, cost the trucking industry a staggering $49.6 billion in 2014. For big companies, there is no greater incentive than the bottom line.
Until these improvements get on the road, truck accidents and their consequences continue to threaten the safety of you and yours. The best driving habits can’t prevent accidents, and when big trucks are involved, the consequences are often catastrophic.
If you or your loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Ohio commercial truck accident lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call 877.686.8879 or contact us today for a free consultation.