Hazmat Spills & Road Safety

Hazmat is short for hazardous material. These materials are any flammable or poisonous products, including biological, chemical, radiological, and physical, that could pose a threat to people, animals, or the environment if released without the right safety precautions. Many 18-wheelers carry loads that are dangerous and considered hazmat, including common seemingly-benign things like gasoline and petroleum products.

Hazmat Spills

While inside the trucks, hazardous materials are usually safe. It’s when an accident occurs, that hazmat spills may leak dangerous materials on the roadways. Something as small as a single spark could cause a huge fire to erupt at an accident scene when a hazmat spill is involved.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration places hazmat into classes based on their potential risks.

  • Class 1 = Explosives
  • Class 2 = Gasses
  • Class 3 = Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4 = Flammable Solids
  • Class 5 = Oxidizers
  • Class 6 = Poisons
  • Class 7 = Radioactive Materials
  • Class 8 = Corrosives
  • Class 9 = Miscellaneous Hazards (like hazardous waste)

Hazmat Road Safety

Some roadways are designated as Haz-Mat routes. Any vehicles carrying hazardous materials must use these routes when traveling through the areas that contain them or face fines for violating local laws.

Some states, like South Carolina, require truck drivers to have hazmat endorsement with their CDL in order to haul hazardous material. A hazmat endorsement involves an extensive background check, including earning a TSA security clearance and submitting fingerprints.

South Carolina and many other states allow trucking companies to use public highways for their business. With that privilege, truckers must also accept responsibility for ensuring they’re driving in a safe and prudent manner. When they don’t, the environment can become contaminated and lives can be lost.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a truck, call an experienced truck accident attorney from The Clardy Law Firm to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your damages and injuries.

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If you or a loved one was injured in South Carolina, we offer a free, no-obligation case review so you can see how we can help.

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