Truck Carrying Toilet Paper Crashes, Catches Fire Amid Nationwide Shortages

An 18-wheeler crashed on a Texas highway on Wednesday, sending a literal truckload of toilet paper scattering across the road. The gruesome crash set the wreckage on fire — and the toilet paper with it. Given the nation's current desperation for toilet paper, the scene was jarring to passersby.

The tractor-trailer truck crashed in Hutchins, Texas near Dallas early on Wednesday morning, according to a report by Huffington Post. The trailer was packed full of toilet paper, which has become a hot commodity in most of the U.S. this month. A lot of the toilet paper was scattered across Interstate 45, but some caught on fire with the truck as well. Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said that the driver was alright.

The toilet paper seemed to be the kind of large, industrial roles that are typically used in stores or restaurants. Still, for Americans nervously waiting for their local grocery store to restock the stuff, it was hard to watch all that perfectly good paper rolling away or burning up.

Toilet paper became hard to come by early last month, when the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. sparked a trend of "panic-buying" all over the country. Experts still say that there is no real shortage of toilet paper from manufacturing all the way down the supply line, but the uptick in purchases has caused some inconvenience for many people.

Manufacturers have reportedly ramped up production of toilet paper, as well as shipping schedules. Many big box stores like Walmart, Target and Costco are reportedly taking daily deliveries now in an attempt to keep up with the increase in shopping.

Even so, some people are getting creative when their toilet paper runs out. Two weeks ago, there was an extreme blockage in the sewer system of Redding, California, which almost caused a catastrophic spill. Experts believe it was the result of people flushing shredded t-shirts down the toilet after using them in place of toilet paper.

Others are looking to more sustainable options, such as the bidet — a fountain or nozzle that sprays water up onto the user at the toilet bowl to clean without paper. Bidets are popular in other countries, and when toilet paper became hard to come by in the U.S., sales surged here as well.

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The New York Times published an op-ed just this week, questioning whether it is "time for Americans to Embrace the Bidet?" If more trucks send their precious cargo careening across the freeway, we may need to answer that question soon.