crashBy Jena Williams

Truck crashes are devastating. Lives are lost, property is destroyed, loads are ruined. Sometimes the cost even extends to the environment. Spilled loads or fuel can contaminate soil and waterways. Sometimes, even when there are no major injuries to people, the trucking company may spend years paying for the costs to the environment.

One example is the horrific crash November 4th, that killed a dedicated truck driver and spilled aviation gasoline from his double tanker truck. The Department of Ecology reported that “all oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. A single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.” (reported by King 5 News)

I’ve talked with companies that had to provide bottled water to residences after crashes that might have impacted the water supply. One manager confided that a spill of herbicide cost their company over a half a million dollars to clean up. Thankfully, the driver walked away, but the load and truck were a loss.

More surprises.  This article suggests that maybe we should cry over spilt milk. Apparently even a substance as innocuous as milk can be disastrous to fish and wildlife.

So the point of this article…It’s just one more reason, though maybe not the most important one, to drive safely around trucks. Don’t text and drive. Give trucks space. And drivers, please stop and rest when you are tired.

What stories can you share on this topic? Please tell us in the comments below.

Useful links:

Distraction.gov: http://www.distraction.gov/index.html

Share the road: http://myata.truckline.com/str/bsdemo.htm

Effects of blood alcohol level: http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Impaired_Driving/bac.html

Driver fatigue: http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-and-safety-guideline/driver-fatigue-is-an-important-cause-of-road-crashes.html

*Photo from the Bellingham Herald, credit South King Fire & Rescue