The transportation of crude oil may be under scrutiny following a series of high-profile train derailments, but as a new report shows, the safety of the cars used to haul this oil could have been called into question long before these latest media reports. At issue is the DOT-111A car, which has been around for decades but has reportedly not benefitted from the types of safety upgrades that could protect the casing of the cars in the event of a derailment. The worry is that this exterior could be perforated when a derailment occurs, causing the hazardous materials inside to escape and endanger a large swath of area around the site of the crash. The report lists numerous incidents between 1981 and 2001 in which this danger has presented itself.
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