What can oil soak up

Spilled oil on the street: what to do?

Various causes lead to oil leaking from a vehicle in the form of engine oil or transmission oil. The vehicle owner usually recognizes this problem when the warning that the oil level is too low appears on the on-board computer. The first rule is to pull to the right side of the road. Most owners realize that a towing service has to be hired. But who removes the oil stain and who pays for the costs? Is there a possible penalty?

Inform the fire brigade about oil

Even before hiring a towing service, it is advisable to inform the fire brigade about the leaked oil. Because they should be on site as soon as possible in order to contain consequential damage. While the towing service brings the vehicle to the workshop, the fire brigade removes the oil that has leaked from the road by applying a binding agent. This absorbs the highly toxic substance so that it can then be easily removed.

Costs are covered by liability insurance

The vehicle owner first receives the invoice for the fire service. But he doesn't have to pay it, although he is liable for the damage. Unless the fault can be proven to lie with a third party who can be claimed, the liability insurance of the vehicle owner pays the costs of the fire brigade. It would therefore be wrong to contact the vehicle manufacturer or the workshop that last inspected the vehicle directly. It is important to report the damage to the insurance company immediately, as this is one of the owner's obligations according to the insurance contract. Whether the insurance also pays if the vehicle owner caused the damage through gross negligence depends on the respective contract conditions. It does not apply to deliberate acts. The polluter must pay the bill for the use in these cases himself. Liability insurance may refuse to cover the damage. If the vehicle owner feels in the wrong, it is worth consulting a lawyer.

No penalty expected

Normally, a defective vehicle part causes engine or transmission oil to leak. The vehicle owner cannot do anything about that. That is why he goes unpunished for oil spills on the street. The prerequisite, however, is that he immediately takes care of the professional removal of the oil stain, otherwise there is a risk of a high fine or even a prison sentence. If the oil seeps into the road surface, it can get into the ground and contaminate the groundwater. This has fatal effects on fauna and flora and can also damage people's health. In order to keep the extent of the damage as low as possible, it makes sense for the vehicle owner to take the first steps to remove the oil stain himself before the fire brigade arrives. To do this, he can put blankets or cloths on the dirt so that the oil is absorbed. If available, cat litter or hemp litter serves as a binding agent. The police should only be informed if oil leaks from the vehicle if it is foreseeable that the following traffic will be in danger and must therefore be rerouted.

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