Ammonia. Chlorine. Flammable gas. When you drive in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, you might not be aware that you could be surrounded by the tons of hazardous materials that are shipped by trucks on a daily basis on U.S. roads. According to PBS.org, tons of hazardous materials are transported by trucks, often through dense urban areas. These hazardous materials can pose a serious risk to people who live near highways and to highway users as well. According to some government estimates, if a tanker carrying chlorine were to explode in a heavily populated urban area, it could kill up to 100,000 people.

Every year, a variety of factors lead to hazardous material accidents. Many accidents are easily preventable with proper vehicle inspection and with proper driver training and safety. Victims who survive these accidents face a range of medical problems, lifestyle changes, missed time at work, and pain and suffering. If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to a truck accident in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a lawyer like Ross Downs can review your case and determine whether you have been exposed to potentially harmful hazardous materials. If you have been exposed to hazardous materials, the long-term effects of exposure can affect you for a lifetime. Truck accidents often result in more serious injuries for victims. Hazardous materials accidents can be even worse still, because of the increased risk of fire and the long term damage that can result from exposure to chemicals.

Exposure to some of the chemicals shipped on a daily basis can result in permanent disability and illness. For instance, exposure to ammonia can result in blindness, skin irritation, and lung damage. Chlorine exposure can also damage the lungs. Exposure to hydrogen fluoride can result in blindness. Long-term exposure to this chemical can result in liver damage or kidney disease. If a truck accident occurs and these materials leak or spill, drivers in the vicinity and their passengers could be at risk.

Drivers and hazardous material shipping companies have an immense responsibility to the public. Truck driver negligence, inexperience, or improperly maintained equipment can all lead to hazardous material truck accidents and spills.

The Transportation Research Board released a report outlining the common causes of hazardous materials accidents in the U.S. Several factors lead to hazardous materials accidents. Improper vehicle maintenance or a defect in the vehicle can cause accidents. Driver training, age, and experience can also play a role in hazardous materials shipping safety. A novice truck driver placed behind the wheel of a hazardous materials truck could be a recipe for disaster. Proper design of vehicles shipping hazardous materials as well as the implementation of anti-rollover technology can also impact safety. Companies have a responsibility to keep their equipment up to date within current regulation and to perform proper inspections.

Cities have a responsibility, too. Infrastructure failures, such as poor road conditions and road surface can also have an impact on whether an accident is more likely to take place.

Many factors can contribute to truck accidents and personal injuries in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A law firm like www.rossdownslaw.com can assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.