Statistical modeling of cargo tank truck crashes: Rollover and release of hazardous materials

Amirfarrokh Iranitalab, Aemal Khattak, George Bahouth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Cargo Tank Trucks (CTTs) are a primary surface transportation carrier of hazardous materials (hazmat) in the United States and CTT rollover crashes are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities from hazmat transportation incidents. CTTs are susceptible to rollover crashes because of their size, distribution of weight, a higher center of gravity, and the surging and sloshing of liquid cargo during transportation. This study identified and quantified the effects of various factors on the probability of rollover and release of hazmat in traffic crashes where a CTT was involved. Method: Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA)-based logistic regression models were estimated with rollover and hazmat release as the binary response variables, and crash, truck, roadway, environment, and driver characteristics as the explanatory variables. 2010–2016 police-reported CTT-involved crash data from Nebraska and Kansas was utilized. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves confirmed appropriateness of the modeling approach for inference and prediction on the crash dataset. Results: CTTs are more likely to rollover in crashes while turning and changing lanes relative to going straight; side impacts (side collisions) and severe crosswinds increased the likelihood of rollovers; tractor and semi-trailer body style decreased the probability of rollover, while truck tractors are more prone to rollovers; collisions with fixed objects and higher posted speeds increased the rollover probability; rollovers and intersection crash locations increased the likelihood of hazmat release. Conclusions: The findings can assist stakeholders (policy-makers, private shippers, and CTT drivers) in restricting CTTs’ operations for safety; scheduling, routing, and fleet planning; and low-level decision-making (e.g., emergency stopping or local routing). Practical Applications: This study identified and quantified the effects of different factors on the conditional probability of rollover and release of hazmat in CTT-involved crashes. The findings may assist stakeholders in decision-making towards safe operations of CTTs for transportation of hazmat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Bayesian Model Averaging
  • Kansas
  • Logistic regression
  • Nebraska
  • Receiver Operating Characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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