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Common Causes for Truck Accidents, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1972

Research Paper

Introduction

The research will include three incidents

There is an alarming rise in hazardous materials accidents with the transportation incident increasing each year. The statistics reported by IME Institute of Makers of Explosives (2015), found that between 2010 to 2014 class 1 incidents rose to 30% during transportation of hazardous materials. All these events were classified as “serious exposures that cause deaths, evacuation of 25 or more people and closure of highway or roads. There are many different reasons that a semi-truck trailer can cause an accident such as brakes locking up, worn tires, fatigue driver or truck improperly loaded hazardous materials (Wilson, Kehoe & Winingham (WKW), 2015). According to WKW that many semi-trucks do not follow the federal mandate for maintenance checks. The trucking companies are pushing the limits to make as much profit often allowing defective semi-trucks on the road. The goal of this paper is to discuss a hazardous highway accident and what could have been done to prevent it.

The number of truck/trailer accidents have the legal profession lining up to sue the trucking companies. They list the primary reason for truck/trailer accidents is improper equipment. The major highways have an increase in truck/trailer accidents in 2015. In 2012, truck/trailers have accounted for 104,000 people injured and 3921 people killed (National Highway Truck Safety Administration, 2012). The paper will discuss one major highway truck/trailer incident involving a truck/trailer combination that resulted in major damage or major injuries.

One the weapons of mass destruction used by terrorist is using vehicles to kill and injure people causing fear among the masses. The U.S Department of State has an archive of significant terrorist attacks from 1961 to 2003. The list shows over 290 incidents over 42 years that has spread across the globe. This paper will discuss one terrorist event in the last three years.

Hazardous Materials

On March 20, 2015, there was a semi-truck traveling on I-25 south bound. The hazardous accident was reported at approximately 11:45 a.m. near the southern area of Prospect Road. The Colorado State Patrol troopers indicated the hazardous accident happen at the 266 marker on the interstate. The location of the accident was in the city of Fort Collins, Colorado. The witnesses and the state troopers at the scene indicated the evidence shows the semi-truck was at fault from driver fatigue, or faulty brake equipment (Coloradolaw.net, 2015). The pictures of the semi-truck clearly show that the accident could have been avoided with better equipment to prevent the hazardous spill on the highway. The semi-truck was spilled over 220 gallons of dangerous hydraulic fluid and over 95 gallons of diesel fuel which spilled onto the road. The trucks boon crane was not secure and the pictures showed the truck equipment was rusted. The accident could have been avoided because they have multiple pictures of the semi-truck with no other cars near the truck.

The truck driver not suggested it was another car that cause the accident because all the cars that crashed were behind the semi-truck not in front. The investigation by insurance companies utilize recreation software that can emulate the accident to determine who was at fault. However, in this incident it was so much visual evidence that determine the truck had several faulty equipment issues. The first obvious issue was the semi-trucker was not fit to haul hazardous materials because it was an open truck not enclosed properly.  The truck was carrying 220 gallons of dangerous hydraulic fluid and over 95 gallons of diesel fuel. These types of dangerous liquids should have been transported in closed containers that are similar to the gas tanker trucks. The crane boon truck was not equipped to protect the environment from hazardous exposure if the truck was turned over on its side. Hazardous accident could have been avoided.

There are hazardous materials federal guidelines for each trucking agency in the United States. However, the enforcement of the laws are difficult because the trucks travel all over the world and the policemen and highway patrol have too much territory to cover. The Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safely Administration (PHMSA) mandates were not followed by this trucking company because it was obvious the truck was old and the equipment was rusted and worn. The PHMSA laws Section 1501 of the Secretary of Transportation states that any material that is transported such as toxic, infectious substance, explosive or radioactive must have protective equipment that has been through risk assessment maintenance (PHMSA, 2015).

The secondary reason for the accident was no posted signs about the slickness of the roads which the drive underestimated the slippery areas on the highway. The crane boon was already in danger with improper loading of the hazardous materials including the damaging pictures showing worn out tires. The driver is at fault however, the Department of Transportation should provider more warnings about the dangerous areas for truckers. The insurance company will try to recreate the accident but it was clear no other cars were 50 feet away from this truck indicating the truck flipped causing accidents to all the cars that traveled from behind the truck.

The hazardous state crews, Transportation Authority, fire department and state troopers worked together to keep the highway clear until the hazardous materials was cleaned up. The driver was cited for several citations including faulty equipment and transporting hazardous equipment improperly. The primary responsibility under the federal law with the trucking company because they have mandates they must follow to be compliant. The driver has the responsibility to drive with the proper equipment and take safely measures to protect the hazardous materials and other drivers. This is an accident that should have been prevented and the trucking company will be fined and the driver will probably be suspended.

Truck/Trailer

The truck/trailer accident was involving a truck/trailer in Rutherford, New Jersey. The truck drive was involved in a fatal accident on Route 3. The truck driver did not check the height of the truck while traveling through the city limits. The second car was traveling southbound in a 2004 Honda about 2:00am when the truck/trailer hauling a large shipping container. The drive of the truck ignored the height of his truck which was passing over an overpass causing the container to fly off landing on top of the Honda. The container hit the top of the Honda killing the Honda driver immediately. The policeman first on the scene said it was horrific because the container crushed the driver pronounced died on the scene (Einiger, 2015).  The local authorities cited the truck driver broke several city and state ordinance driving with a truck that was eight feet over allowed height requirements in the United States.  The truck had over 5 different warnings that did not allow the truck to flow through traffic on Route 3. This stretch of highway had a truck/trailer stop which the driver choose to go around avoiding any more warnings about the height of the truck. This is another case of truck drivers following company policy to deliver the load by taking back roads that do not have as many

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI) (2015), found that truck-trailers are a major cause of highway deaths because of the greed of the trucking agency to deliver large tickets loads. They sight that the major problem is the passenger vehicles does not have a chance when colliding with a large truck on the highway. The truck often ways over 30 to 40 times more than a small compact vehicle(Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI)(2015). They cited the secondary problem as the trucking agencies find routes that are least resistance and does not have as much coverage to monitor large trucks and their loads. In addition, the truckers drive too many hours.

Terrorism Vehicle Weapons

The terrorist use of vehicles are a trademark which has been used worldwide. In Afghanistan, terrorist used a regular compact vehicle on June 30, 2015. The busy streets and shops had many customers that were either shopping or eating in area. The cars and taxi are always parked right in front of the restaurant and shopping area for easy access. The suicide bombers waited until the area was full of people however, the suicide bombers could not drive all the way to the restaurant area. They decide to ignite the vehicle bomb right in front which saved hundreds of people but two were killed. They filled the bomb with nails and metal to make the impact more damaging to the person hit by scrap metal. They injured over 55 people because the explosion spread over 1000 yards (Thereligionpeace.com, 2015).

The Afghanistan authorities indicated it is one the most difficult crimes to prevent because they blend in with the local towns. In addition, they are ruthless not caring if they kill or hurt men, women or children. The local authorities have been soliciting help to prevent the suicide bombings with vehicles. The suggested measures for the Afghanistan to use the same technology of the airports to detect bombs such as Neutron generator or laser Doppler vibrometry (Polintan, 2012). The suicide bombs using vehicles can be prevented by using bomb dogs to patrol the city. In 2015, they have major demands for dogs that are capable of sniffing out bombs before anyone gets hurt. The dogs can smell through plastic, bicycles, bags, and concrete blocks. The dogs would be able to cover more territory quickly than any other hand held advice. In the advent, that the car bombs continue to rise they must take immediate measures to prevent the vehicle bombings.

Conclusions/Recommendations

The recommendations for the hazardous trucking accidents begins with the trucking agencies. The fines need to be so serve that force trucking companies to pay hefty fines and lose a state, city or federal contracts. In addition, the companies that sale the hazardous materials must have sign off of mandatory requirements the truck company must meet. This would support the hazardous materials mandates with collaboration from the trucking license, vendors, and state and city officials. The number of hazardous accidents on the highway warrant each incident being tracked to the trucking agency and any excessive accidents should dictate severe sanctions. The Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has suggested enhanced security measures that should be renewed and check by every agency that should be integrated with trucking companies license renewals for each truck.

The tractor/trailer accidents can be prevented by requiring all tractor trailers additional training that is mandatory. The trucking companies only document enough to be legal but not enough to heavily fined. They have found ways to circumvent the process. The government should make it mandatory that the tractor trailer turn in all maintenance records before renewing state or interstate licenses. In addition, any driver that causes a death or accident should have a mandatory downtime before getting back on the road and the trucking agency has to take that truck out of circulation for 30 days. This will prevent trucking agencies from putting faulty trucks on the road after a major accident. The trucking agency should be required to provide all the maintenance done on the truck before it returns to regular rotation. The vehicle suicides can be prevented by Afghanistan using bomb sniffing dogs.

References

Coloradolawnet (2015). Common causes for truck accidents. Retrieved from http://www.coloradolaw.net/html/causes.html

Einiger, J. (2015).Drive of tractor-trailer in fatal Rutherford crash will be issued multiple summons. Retrieved from http://7online.com/traffic/tractor-trailer-driver-in-fatal-rutherford-crash-will-be-issued-summonses/773216/

Highway Truck Safety Administration. (2012).Traffic safety facts. Retrieved from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811868.pdf

IME Institute of Makers of Explosives. (2015).PHMSA hazardous materials incident data. Retrieved from https://www.ime.org/content/phmsa_hazardous_materials_incident_data

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safely Administration (PHMSA). (2015). Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Transportation Laws: An overview. Retrieved from http://phmsa.dot.gov/portal/site/PHMSA/menuitem.6f23687cf7b00b0f22e4c6962d9c8789/?vgnextoid=e4439f5cf6f57110VgnVCM1000009ed07898RCRD&vgnextchannel=a45a764e4da7e010VgnVCM1000008055a8c0RCRD&vgnextfmt=print

Polintan, L. (2012).Iranian scientist killed: How to check for car bombs. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com.au/iranian-scientist-killed-how-check-car-bombs-1292312

Thereligionpeace. (2015).List of Islamic attacks from the part of 2015. Retrieved from http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks-2015.htm

Wilson, Kehoe, Winingham. (2015).Truck brake failure lawyer Indianapolis. Retrieved from http://www.wkw.com/areas-of-practice/truck-accidents/truck-brake-failure/

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