PHMSA Hazardous Materials Incident Data



Between 2014 and 2015 the number of hazardous materials incidents decreased 3.9 %, from 17,400 to 16,711.  The number of Class 1 incidents decreased 4.4% from 45 to 43.  During the five-year period 2011-2015, the percentage of all incidents attributable to Class 1 material (196) was 0.25%.  16 states and the District of Columbia reported no Class 1 incidents. 

For the 2011-2015 there were 2,593 serious incidents2 attributable to hazardous materials, or which 8 (0.38%) involved Class 1 material.  During the same five-year period, the number of serious hazardous materials incidents fell 0.07 % and the number of serious Class 1 incidents fell 11% compared to the 2010-2014 reporting period. During the five-year period, 2011-2015, 45 states and the District of Columbia reported no serious Class 1 incidents. 

During the same five-year period, the number of Class 1 incidents resulting from rollover/derailment was 1.  The corresponding number of hazardous materials incidents attributable to accident/derailment was 701.    80% of Class 1 incidents (156) involved undeclared packages, while the undeclared package rate for all hazmat runs at 8.2%.  No undeclared packages involved commercial explosives.  During this timeframe, no fatalities were attributed to commercial explosives; 71 deaths have been attributed to other non-Class 1 hazardous material exposures.

From 2011-2015, 32.6% (64) of Class 1 incidents occurred during transportation-related storage, followed by 29.5% (58) en route, followed by 25% (49) during unloading, and  12.7% (25) during loading.  Correspondingly, 49.5% (39,963) of all hazardous materials incidents occurred during unloading, followed by 26.9% en route (21,734), and 19.9% during loading (16,072) and 3.5% (2,839) during temporary transportation-related storage.

During the five-year period 2011-2015, 63.2% (124) of all Class 1 incidents occurred in the air mode, followed by 33.6% (66) in the highway mode and 3% (6) in the water mode, and none (0) in the rail mode.  Correspondingly, 87.1% (70,268) of all hazardous materials incidents occurred in the highway mode, followed by 8.3% (6,729) by air, 4.1% (3,366) for rail, and 0.3% (275) by water.

Between 2011 and 2015, 87.1% of all hazardous materials serious incidents occurred in the highway mode. All 8 of the serious Class 1 incidents during this period occurred in this mode.  Five of the eight events involved commercial explosives.  None of the Class 1 incidents resulted in injuries or fatalities.


1 Hazardous Materials Information System, DOT, data released April 2015. Each person in physical possession of a hazardous material are required to report incidents in which there has been an unintentional release of hazardous material from a package, an evacuation of the general public occurs lasting one or more hours, a major transportation artery or facility is closed for one hour or more, the operational flight pattern or routine of an aircraft is altered, or a situation exists of such nature that in the judgment of the person it should be reported.

2 DOT defines a "serious" incident as one where the release of a hazardous material results in one or more of the following:  death, major injury resulting in a hospitalization, an evacuation of 25 or more persons, closure of a major transportation artery, alteration of an aircraft flight plan or operation, failure of a Type B radioactive packaging, release of over 11.9 gallons or 88.2 pounds of a severe marine pollutant, or release of a bulk quantity (over 119 gallons or 882 pounds) or a hazardous material.