Dangerous Cargo Spills: Is California Safe?
The eyes of the nation are on East Palestine in Ohio, the site of one of the largest chemical spills in living memory. A fire broke out after a train derailment in the area, causing toxic fumes to cover the area. Chemicals also permeated the soil and water, sparking serious concerns for local people. These concerns became even more heightened when dead fish started washing up in droves. But could something similar happen here in California? How vulnerable is our system for transporting toxic chemicals and other types of dangerous cargo?
Here in California, toxic, explosive, and even radioactive cargo is often carried by semi-trucks. The truth is that these vehicles are even more vulnerable to crashes than trains. A simple crash can cause toxic chemicals to spill onto the roads. A collision might also cause radioactive material to leak into the surrounding area. All kinds of things can go wrong when we transport these materials on semi-trucks. We have seen these kinds of accidents before in California, and they may happen again if we continue to use unreliable transportation methods.
Victims of these accidents can sue for a wide range of injuries. Even if you were not caught in the initial crash, you could still sue for toxic exposure. Chemicals and radioactive materials can cause a wide range of injuries, including cancers, birth defects, blindness, and many others. Of course, you can also sue if you were injured in the crash, perhaps suffering disfiguring burns in a chemical fire. Finally, you can also sue for the deaths of your loved ones if they have passed away due to these accidents.
California Produces Serious Toxic Waste
As one of the most heavily-populated states in the nation, it should come as no surprise that California produces a lot of toxic waste. You also need to consider that we have the highest GDP of any state in the nation, which suggests that our industries are extremely active. But where does all of this toxic waste go? As it turns out, most of it is shipped to other states for disposal and dumping. Why? Because California actually has very strong environmental protection laws, which means that companies that operate here cannot legally dump their waste. Instead, they simply load the waste onto semi-trucks and ship it to places like Arizona or Utah.
This might be slightly encouraging for some California residents. After all, this means that the toxic waste is not being dumped in our own backyard. However, you also need to consider the fact that countless semi-trucks are constantly carrying toxic waste out of the state. Even if one of these trucks crashes each year, it could easily lead to an environmental disaster within our own borders. We have seen it happen before in East Palestine, and the truth is that it could easily happen in California, as well.
Nuclear Materials Carried by Semi-Trucks
Unfortunately, nuclear materials are often carried by semi-trucks – including nuclear weapons. Although it is a rare sight, the US military sometimes transports nuclear missiles down normal US roads. Accompanied by convoys of helicopters and armed vehicles, these missiles make their way from arms factories to missile silos. The entire process is extremely secretive – so not much information is ever revealed about safety or security policies. That being said, it is not exactly easy to hide a nuclear missile on the highway, especially when it is surrounded by US military vehicles.
It goes without saying that a crash could be disastrous. While it is almost impossible for a collision to activate a nuclear missile, there is still the potential of radioactive material spilling out and contaminating the local area. In addition, semi-trucks often carry nuclear waste from one state to the other. Most motorists are completely unaware that they are driving next to a vehicle carrying highly radioactive and harmful material.
Semi-Truck Spills Happen All the Time
Although the eyes of the nation are on East Palestine, semi-trucks spill toxic chemicals all the time. In February of 2023, a semi-truck crashed and spilled nitric acid across I-10. The crash killed the trucker, and those within a one-mile radius were told to immediately seek shelter from the toxic leak. Fortunately, the leak was contained relatively quickly, and air quality was later determined to be normal.
Trucks are Much More Dangerous Than Trains When Carrying Toxic Materials
Questions have been raised about whether trains represent the best way to transport toxic chemicals after the East Palestine derailment. But the truth is that semi-trucks are even more dangerous for transporting these toxic chemicals. The chances of a semi-truck crashing are much higher than the chances of a train derailment. Trains are on a fixed path, and it is much more difficult for them to veer off the road. There is less potential for train operators to make mistakes compared to semi-truck drivers. A moment of distraction can send a semi-truck smashing into other vehicles or veering off the road. The same cannot be said for trains.
So, what is the solution here? How can we reduce these toxic spills? Even ships are dangerous, as they can spill chemicals into the water and cause environmental disasters. At the end of the day, this is simply something that California residents need to be aware of.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney in California?
If you have been searching the California area for a qualified truck accident attorney, Mary Alexander & Associates is here to help. Speak with us during a consultation, and you can take your first steps toward justice. Injured victims deserve compensation, whether they were hurt in semi-truck accidents or harmed by the resulting toxic exposure. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and a wide range of other damages. You may also get compensated for medical testing, allowing you to keep a close eye on any adverse effects caused by toxic exposure without paying out of your own pocket. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.