Our Miami truck accident lawyers report on a tractor-trailer truck fire that shut down Interstate 95 near Interstate 4 in Daytona Beach. The accident blocked all north and southbound lanes for several hours. Witnesses report large plumes of smoke billowing across the highway close to the site of the accident. Florida Highway Patrol reports that the driver was traveling from Miami to Missouri. The driver apparently drifted in and out of the lane for several minutes before hitting a guardrail. The fuel tank ruptured when struck by the guardrail and the driver barely escaped before the vehicle erupted into flames. Flames and heat damaged the roadway, necessitating shut down while repairs were made. Officers cited the truck driver for failure to maintain a single lane. Fortunately, our Miami truck accident attorneys are pleased to report that there were no injuries sustained in the accident.
How Often Do Trucks Catch Fire?
All large tractor trailers use diesel fuel. Diesel fuel is more difficult to ignite than regular fuel. Its flash point, or the point at which it catches fire, is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the flash point of regular gasoline is 35 degrees Fahrenheit. However, since large trucks typically carry some 100 gallons of diesel fuel, if the fuel is ignited, it can be catastrophic. Diesel fuel is generally heated by recirculation through the fuel pump. Due to the high flash point, it will take a large energy source to ignite even warm diesel fuel.
Unlike in passenger motor vehicle accidents, rupture of a truck’s fuel tank will not usually ignite diesel fuel through the hot exhaust or sparks. If the tractor trailer is carrying flammable materials this is a different scenario. Then, a rupture can easily ignite the flammable materials and provide the diesel fuel with a source of ignition. Absent flammable materials, the most likely cause of a diesel fuel fire in an accident or rollover is the battery box.
When a fuel tank ruptures and the battery box is crushed or shorted at the time same, a tremendous fire may ensue. To prevent this problem, the best solution is to move the battery. When the battery box is located within the frame rails or if it is placed behind the cab and in front of the fifth wheel, there is more of a chance that in a rollover or other accident, the batteries will cause the leaking diesel fuel to ignite.
If you have been injured in a truck accident involving a fire, consult with a truck accident attorney early on. Your truck accident attorney will investigate the crash and uncover evidence of negligence in support of your claim. Your attorney will fight to see that you obtain the compensation you deserve, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano: Put Our Over 130 Collective Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in South Florida, contact the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims across the state. From the moment you contact our firm, we will fight to see that your case receives the dedication and attention it deserves. We are honored to have received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald’s ranking as a top firm in South Florida. Put our exceptional truck accident lawyers to work on your case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.