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The dangers of increasing hazardous materials carriers

While inattentive drivers, distractions and alcohol can all contribute to more dangerous conditions on California’s state roads, there is another factor that is not as easily recognized by most drivers but can make commuting deadlier than it has been in the past. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently come out with a new report that shows an increase in the number of active hazardous materials carriers sharing the roads with passenger cars, meaning that the risk of exposure and incidents are even greater than they were before.


In the year 2012, the total number of hazardous materials carriers on the road was 71,367. That number has gradually increased each year as more and more companies have begun using large trucks to transport these dangerous liquids and chemicals. By the year 2016, the number of hazardous materials carriers increased to just over 88,000.


Ready.gov details the many different ways that hazardous materials can affect the lives of drivers and residents if there is an accident during transport. One of the most dangerous places to be is on the roads, close to the collision, but even those who are far from the highway can be affected, depending on the substance.


In some cases, residents in the surrounding areas may be asked to evacuate and seek temporary safe shelters. The recommended distance that one should be to be safely away from the danger is at least one-half mile. All ventilation systems, such as air conditioners, should also be shut off to prevent exposure. 

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