Study on Hazmat Tanker Transportation in China Could Help U.S.
CHINA – A study performed by researchers at Chang’an University in Xi’an, China, looked into tankers transporting hazardous materials (hazmat) in China and found that the industry needs some safety improvements. The study, published online on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, analyzed several years of data from accidents involving hazmat tanker trucks in China.*
The goal of the study was to develop a survey on vehicle accidents in China involving tanker trucks that were transporting hazardous materials. These accidents are more disastrous than others because of the size of the tankers, the capacity of the tanks, and the materials being transported, according to the study.
Researchers looked at historical data to determine the causes of hazmat tanker truck accidents, the locations where these accidents occurred, the time of day when they occurred, the types of hazardous materials involved, and the outcomes of the crashes. They found that most hazmat tanker truck crashes happened during the early morning hours in locations in the eastern and southwestern parts of China.
The majority of the accidents involved the tanker trucks rolling over, running off the road, or being involved in rear-end crashes. More than 77 percent of the accidents analyzed by the researchers involved spills, and more than 61 percent involved large spills. In 55.5 percent of cases studied, the spills did not lead to additional consequences, but in some accidents, they led to fires and explosions.
The researchers suggested safety improvements including additional driver training, installing better delivery schedules, and enhanced vehicle inspection and maintenance. These steps could help prevent severe accidents in the future and help provide necessary insight to make hazmat tanker trucks safer not only in China but also in the United States.
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