Development of mitigation measures for safe transportation of hazardous materials

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


The number of hazardous materials transported by truck mode and also the quantities shipped continues to grow every year. In recognition of the potential disasters associated with the occurrence of the release of hazardous materials, several studies have been conducted on various aspects of the problem - assessment of risk, container safety, emergency response, disaster assistance, regulations, routing etc. The development of mitigation measures is a relatively new area in hazardous materials research in the sense that it has not been studied comprehensively.

The objective of this study is to determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of different steps to be taken to reduce either the likelihood of hazardous materials accidents/incidents or the damage which would ensue from a release for different hazardous materials. This work attempts to identify, or flag, potentially high-risk locations due to spills of hazardous materials, and to evaluate the alternatives to be designed and implemented in order to reduce risk. The appropriate type of roadway improvements for the safe transportation of hazardous material trucks and protective systems that might be incorporated into new or reconstructed highway segments in order to mitigate consequences are presented for various generalized scenarios. The output of mitigation is the reduced risk value.

This work forms a part of a comprehensive decision making framework integrating the risk identification, calculation, and mitigation that can apply to both urban and rural areas.