Scary NM Trucking Accident: Driver Falls Asleep While Hauling Radioactive Material

- Mark Caruso

New Mexico Truck Driver Falls Asleep While Driving on I-40: Cargo is Radioactive Material—What Happens if Someone Was Hurt?

It’s a nightmare scenario that was luckily avoided.  News outlets are reporting that a truck driver on Interstate 40 feel asleep while driving.  He was driving a large commercial truck which left the roadway and rolled onto its side on the I-40 eastbound lane near mile marker 132.  The cargo was Cesium 137—a radioactive material.  Luckily no one was hurt, but this could have been catastrophic!

There are several liability issues here that are relevant to a person who could have been hurt in a New Mexico trucking accident.  As experienced New Mexico trucking crash attorneys from Albuquerque, New Mexico, we have handled many trucking collisions on Interstate 40.  If you or a loved one were hurt in an interstate trucking accident, call us for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn your rights today.

Dangerous Cargo and Trucking Accidents in New Mexico

This motor vehicle involved radioactive material.  This is a dangerous cargo.  While it is somewhat uncommon, radioactive material does get transported regularly.  However, there are many more dangerous types of cargo which can be just as deadly to victims.  Most of these are chemicals including acids or gasoline.  These are also very dangerous.

When a victim of a New Mexico trucking accident is injured in the collision, the chemicals and cargo can be just as damaging as the actually impact.  A trucking company and a truck driver are liable for the secondary damages caused by the cargo.

Commonly the cargo will result in a fire.  A fire is secondary to the impact of the trucking crash.  The fire can be just as deadly if not more deadly.  Fires easily kill or seriously injury.  Victims can suffer significant pain and suffering if they are trapped in the mangled wreck and cannot escape a fire which eventually consumes them.  The Caruso Law Offices, P.C., have handled many cases with similar facts and recovered compensation for the victims.

Truckers Who Fall Asleep at the Wheel are Negligent

As unbelievable as it sounds, a truck driver actually fell asleep while driving a truck with radioactive material.  Not only is this negligence as a matter of law under the common law, or judge-made law, but is just sounds reckless.  If anyone was injured due to the crash or the secondary damage caused by radioactive material, victims would absolutely be entitled to compensation.  A jury would be very unsympathetic to a truck driver in this situation.

This accident occurred on an interstate.  Because there are so many states that America’s interstates use, federal regulations apply to cover all states and set a minimum standard.  Driving while sleep impaired is covered in the federal regulations.

Under 49 CFR 392.3, “[n]o driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.”

Thus, victims of a trucking accident who are injured due to a driver who falls asleep, the victims will be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries under the federal regulations and under the common law.

Truck Drivers Who Fall Asleep While Driving on Interstates with Dangerous Cargo are Simply Negligent

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.