Current Hazardous Materials Transportation Research and Future Needs

While the private sector and a diverse mix of government agencies at all levels are responsible for the safe transport of hazardous materials, it is generally agreed that there has been a long-standing gap for conducting hazardous materials transportation safety and security research and sharing the results. In 2005, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) published Special Report 283: Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation, Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions, which recommended a trial of a national cooperative research program. The report also provided nine examples of projects that could be undertaken by a hazardous materials transportation cooperative research program. Congress also recognized the research gap and in 2005 authorized the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct the pilot stage of a Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP) through its TRB. The legislation, which was part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) specified that the program address the nine topics suggested in Special Report 283: (1) Assessment of opportunities to integrate and supplement safety and security measures for hazardous materials transportation. (2) Data on predominant traffic and highway geometric characteristics in large-truck crashes for use in risk analysis. (3) Recommendations for development of conditional release probabilities for bulk containers involved in transportation accidents. (4) Development of correlations between incident risks and consequences to aid in decision-making models. (5) Development of an environmental hazard assessment system for the transport of hazardous materials. (6) Recommendations for commercial transportation incident and commodity flow data collection and reporting. (7) Detailed information for conducting hazardous materials commodity flow studies. (8) National hazardous materials emergency response capability assessment. (9) Transportation emergency response guidelines for hazardous materials. In 2006, the HMCRP was established. In preparation for the initiation of the program, a study (see Special Note A) was commissioned to prioritize the nine topic areas through stakeholder interviews, and this prioritized listing has become the primary basis for the 13 projects selected for funding thus far. However, it is now time to step back and assess the state of current hazardous materials transportation research, compare the research with needs identified by stakeholders, and develop a prioritized list of potential research topics for the next phase of HMCRP. The objective of the research is to review and compile current and proposed hazardous materials transportation research and prioritize future research needs for HMCRP.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project HM-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

    U.S. Department of Transportation
    East Building, 2nd Floor 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Rogers, William

  • Performing Organizations:

    Visual Risk Technologies

  • Principal Investigators:


  • Start Date: 20100910
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25943

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463976
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project HM-10
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:33PM