You may recall reading news stories of trains derailing throughout the United States. However, there has also been troubling recent data concerning commercial trucks transporting hazardous chemicals throughout the United States, including California.
The alarming rise in trucks carrying hazardous materials
Fortunately, the number of fatalities involving hazmat trucks is decreasing. However, the lowered amount of deaths is often far more than rail-related fatalities. In most years, zero fatalities happen when trains carrying hazardous materials crash. That’s rarely the case for accidents involving commercial trucks happening on sometimes busy roadways.
It’s understandable to view the massive size of trains and assume they carry many chemicals. While that is sometimes the case, data shows that commercial trucks typically transport far more hazardous materials than larger trains. However, far more semi-truck accidents are happening than those involving rail or air travel.
Focusing only on rail transportation raises concerns
Placing a heavy focus on preventing rail accidents, including installing advanced braking systems and heat sensors is good to help stop train collisions. However, either option is likely to increase shipping costs for customers. Industry experts feel further shipping rate hikes for rail transportation will only push companies to choose commercial truck delivery options.
The immense toll of commercial truck accidents
Commercial trucking accidents involving hazardous chemicals aren’t only life-threatening, but they can also be extremely expensive. Punctured or otherwise damaged commercial truck tanks spill hazardous materials onto roadways, medians and other nearby areas. Certain commercial hazmat truck accidents can cost millions of dollars to repair fully.
Many people are calling for changes in the commercial trucking industry to reduce or prevent hazmat-related accidents. With human error being the leading cause of these collisions, experts are pushing for more in-depth training programs for commercial truck drivers.