Fire Damage Caused By Truck Accidents

In recent months, we’ve seen a number of high-profile truck accident fires caused by a range of issues. Some people have even questioned whether trucks are actually more flammable than they used to be.

While it doesn’t appear so (and we offer some reasons below), there’s no question these kinds of accidents create an incredibly dangerous situation when they happen.

Here’s what we know about these disastrous types of accidents, and what you can do if you or your property have been affected.

Why Truck Accidents Seem to Be on the Rise

To a lot of people, it could appear that truck accidents in general are on the rise, and serious fires caused by truck accidents included. But that’s likely not the case.

First, there have been rumors for years that electric vehicles cause fires more often and are more flammable than diesel trucks. With more electric vehicles on the road, it might seem like accidents and fires would increase as a result. However, the data doesn’t back this up. Electric vehicles don’t appear to have any higher risk, and in fact, may cause far fewer fires than their gasoline counterparts.

In addition, we have to consider the enormous burden we’re putting on truck shipments. Over the last two decades, we have consistently increased truck shipping through the rise of online retail, from Amazon to Etsy. In fact, each year we add billions of tons to the amount freight trucks carry.

So any increase in truck accidents may reflect an increase in our use of trucks to get goods to our homes and businesses. Those trucks likely aren’t any more flammable or dangerous than in years prior. But as we increase the amount they have to carry, the number of trucks on the road, and the types of products they ship, accidents may become more prevalent.

truck driving cargo accident MemphisCauses of Truck Accident Fires: The Trucks and the Cargo

When looking at the common causes of freight truck fires, you have to look at two main categories: the components of the truck itself, and the hazardous materials they carry.

Statistically, most truck fires happen as a result of faulty components. The main culprits include:

  • Brakes
  • Tire issues
  • Wheel bearings
  • Air leaks

And on any large vehicle, electric problems can cause major fires. This might include faulty wiring, short circuiting, or overheating components.

Truck drivers have a series of safety checks they have to do before their drives. This can offer some level of protection against fires, but often electrical issues go unseen.

Then we have to look at the materials in the back of the truck. Freight trucks famously carried a wide variety of cargo. Some cargo is extremely flammable, like oil and gas. Some might even seem absurd in case of an accident, like the alfredo sauce spill in Memphis a few years ago that shut down part of I-55.

The level of flammability can make for a much bigger disaster in an accident. As a result, these types of shipments are typically heavily monitored and delivered in specific vehicles meant to prevent explosions.

What Is the Truck Companies’ Responsibility?

In many crashes, truck drivers and their vehicles don’t bear the entire responsibility for fires.

Trucking companies have a responsibility to their drivers to create a safe environment. And they owe it to the rest of the public, too.

This includes providing their drivers with safe and reliable equipment. It means giving their drivers enough time to get where they need to go safely. And it requires drivers have enough rest and time off to avoid careless mistakes off the road and major accidents on the road.

Anything less can cause disaster. And truck fires impact many more people than just the trucks and cars around them. It can damage major infrastructure, set fire to private property, and and disrupt traffic patterns for entire urban areas.

Yet unfortunately, truck drivers bear the public’s wrath when these kinds of accidents happen, even when we know the truck companies often deserve the accountability.

Darrell Castle downtown Memphis attorneyThe Right Lawyer for Your Truck Accident Fire Case

I had two brothers who retired as truck drivers. One of them once had a fire in the trailer: he was driving furniture, and friction in the back led something to spark. 

From seeing their hard work and the dangers they faced, I learned firsthand how much we depend on truck drivers to make our lives function. And I also saw how easily a serious accident could happen.

Our award-winning Memphis truck accident lawyers work with anyone who’s been injured in a truck accident that wasn’t their fault.

After a devastating accident, the last thing you need is to fight the major trucking and insurance companies on your own. These are massive corporations with huge legal teams, and you should be focused on getting better rather than going to war.

That’s where we step in. We build a claim on your behalf, fight for you, and don’t give up until we win.

What’s more, we don’t make a dime unless and until we win your case.

We’re here to talk with you anytime, answer all your questions, and help you get started on a road to real financial recovery. Contact us for a free appointment today either online or by calling us at 901-327-2100.