This term was redefined in 2000. PHMSA developed a new definition of a hazardous materials "serious incident." The in redefining "serious incident" is to identify a subset of all reported incidents that can be used to measure our performance over time, and to identify a subset of all reported incidents that require more intense scrutiny and, potentially, programmatic response.
For the sake of comparison, years prior to 2002 will include two sets of "Serious Incident" reports, one using the original definition and one using the new definition.
Incidents occurring prior to 2002, PHMSA defined "serious incident" as follows:
PHMSA defines serious incidents as incidents that involve: a fatality or major injury due to a hazardous material; closure of a major transportation artery or facility or evacuation of six or more persons due to the presence of a hazardous material; or a vehicle accident or derailment resulting in the release of a hazardous material.
Visit the Incident Statistics page.