Ohio Most Dangerous State for Hazardous Tractor Trailer Accidents
Analysis of national accident data shows that Ohio is the state with the highest number of tractor trailer accidents carrying hazardous chemicals.
A new report from the Cincinnati Enquirer shows that Ohio tractor trailer accidents are the most dangerous dumping ground for hazardous chemicals and toxic materials carried by Ohio tractor trailers. According to the report, millions of gallons of toxic materials, including explosive crude oil, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, xylenes, and other toxic chemicals are spread across Ohio highways, roads, and railways; putting Ohio citizens at risk. [http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/article/20140706/NEWS01/307060012?odyssey=mod%7Cmostcom, July 2014]
The report showed that Ohio is the leading state in hazardous material transportation accidents since the 1970s. A quarter of all of the tractor trailer accidents involving toxic waste occur in the Cincinnati area, the report found. This data is worrisome, since over 48 million people live within 300 feet of a major highway, railroad, or airport. Hazardous waste spilled during a tractor trailer accident has the potential to seriously harm Ohio residents living near state highways. According to the report, the reason Ohio has a higher number of hazardous tractor trailer accidents is simply due to geography. Thousands of trucks pass through Ohio’s highways each day carrying materials across the country. Richard R. Young, a professor of supply chain management for Penn State University-Harrisburg, told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “We are at our capacity on the highways and in many ways on the railroads as well as safer rail tank cars. This has meant a perfect storm for potential accidents.”
Environmental health professor Andrew Maier from the University of Cincinnati told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “People really don’t realize how much of this stuff actually is on our roads and how dangerous it can be.” He suggests that trucking companies notify local municipalities about the kinds of materials and chemicals traveling through their area on tractor trailers. According to Maier, “There is some nasty stuff there… The better prepared everyone is, the less likely we have a major event.”
Fortunately, most of the Ohio chemical spills in Cincinnati and the rest of Ohio have been mild in recent years. Many Ohio tractor trailer accidents result in a fuel leak during regular crashes. However, over the past three years, hazardous spills from tractor trailer accidents have increased in Ohio and across the country. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found that 34 hazardous spills occur each day in the United States. The Administration also reports that about 1 million shipments containing hazardous material is shipped each day. Over the past 10 years, Ohio has seen over 12,000 hazardous material accidents from tractor trailers and other transportation vehicles. Near Cincinnati, over 165 hazardous waste accidents have occurred since 1971. The most recent dangerous accident occurred in 2010, when a tractor trailer driver drove off the edge of a Cincinnati highway. The tanker truck was carrying liquid asphalt, which leaked out of the truck and onto the pavement where it dried instantly. The spill leaked asphalt over 25 feet away from the crash site. In 2005, an abandoned tractor trailer carrying styrene caused a panic when the styrene heated up and started leaking into the air.
Strangely, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found that these hazardous Ohio tractor trailer accidents are increasing in Ohio and across the nation. An increase in dangerous accidents has the Administration looking for new ways to reduce hazardous chemical spills. Safety administration spokesman Joe Delcambre told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “We are constantly looking for ways to improve safety when it comes to transporting hazardous materials.” In Ohio, shipping companies are not required to provide dangerous cargo listings to individual jurisdictions. This makes it difficult for Ohio cities to cut down on hazardous chemical accidents. Ohio drivers can cut down on their risk by reporting any suspicious spills or smells to local authorities.
Wright & Schulte LLC is an experienced Ohio auto accident attorneys severing the areas of Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. If you are a victim of an Ohio tractor trailer accident contact the Dayton personal injuries attorneys for a free legal consultation by calling 1-937-222-7477