Yesterday afternoon, a tractor-trailer crashed into a fire hydrant and utility pole in Paramus, New Jersey, causing a massive fire and the closure of all lanes of traffic on Route 17. The crash also knocked down utility lines and resulted in power outages in the area. It appears the driver of the tractor-trailer suffered a medical episode immediately before the crash, but thankfully, the driver escaped the fire without serious injuries.
Why Do Tractor-Trailer Crashes Cause Post-Collison Fires?
While trucks account for only 3.7% of vehicles on the road, they account for a grossly disproportionate 15.4% of fatal post-collision fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Society. Heavy trucks are 113% more susceptible to post-collision fuel-fed fires than light trucks and passenger cars.
This increase in fatal post-collision fuel-fed fires is a direct result of the gas tank placement differences between heavy trucks on the one hand and light trucks and passenger cars. In a collision, “side saddle” gas tanks on heavy trucks are both much more exposed and situated closer to the heavy truck’s passenger compartment.
Although side saddle gas tanks have been phased out of passenger vehicle designs for decades due to the known susceptibility of these designs to post-collision fuel-fed fires, this remains a common design for tractor-trailers. Our truck accident attorneys at The Ammons Law Firm have a long track record of success in handling cases involving post-collision fuel-fed fires, including those caused by side saddle gas tanks on heavy trucks.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a tractor-trailer, call The Ammons Law Firm at (281) 801-5617 today for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: On our blog, we report on recent catastrophic accidents to begin important conversations about consumer safety. Our hearts go out to all the victims mentioned in this article, and we sincerely hope that future injuries and deaths can be prevented. If these resources are found to include any false or outdated information, we invite you to contact The Ammons Law Firm as soon as possible so we may update them. This content should not be construed as legal counsel or advice.