The Environmental Impact of Truck Accidents with Toxic Chemicals

Commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials can cause devastating injuries and environmental damage when they crash. According to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, commercial vehicle accidents involving toxic materials caused 16 times more deaths than rail accidents over a 45-year period. Large trucks have also caused nearly three times as much property and environmental damage as train-related incidents in the past 23 years. 

At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, we know how badly hazardous material accidents can harm the environment and anyone involved in these types of wrecks. It takes tenacity to hold careless drivers and trucking companies accountable for their actions. Our truck accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting accident victims and the environment, no matter what it takes. 

Are you concerned about the effects of a toxic spill caused by a truck accident? Discuss your situation with a knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident lawyer from Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Contact us today for a free case review.

The Immediate Environmental Effects of Truck Accidents 

When a commercial vehicle accident dumps toxic materials into the environment, the harmful effects of the spill can be almost immediate. Many hazardous chemicals impact air, soil, and water quality and can cause long-lasting damage, depending on the type of chemical.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies nine classes of hazmat materials commonly carried by commercial trucks, including: 

  • Explosives
  • Gases
  • Flammable liquid and combustible liquids
  • Flammable solids, spontaneously combustible, and dangerous when wet
  • Oxidizer and organic peroxide
  • Poison or poison inhalation hazards
  • Radioactive materials
  • Corrosive substances
  • Dangerous or miscellaneous hazardous materials

Trucks carry sulfuric acid, argon, carbon dioxide, propylene, and fertilizer, among many other toxic substances. Even milk counts as an environmental hazard and can pose an immediate threat to ecosystems, killing wildlife and fouling water systems. 

Spills and leaks from truck accidents involving these substances can immediately degrade the air quality, cause devastating chemical burns, and result in a severe fire hazard. One spark is all it takes for many of these flammable chemicals to ignite and cause significant environmental destruction.