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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Analysis of oil tanker collisions using a hybrid approach

Analysis of oil tanker collisions using a hybrid approach
The oil tanker industry is a vital component of the global economy, transporting crude oil, refined petroleum products, and chemicals to destinations around the world. However, over the years, oil tanker collisions have been a significant concern due to the potential environmental and economic consequences. To minimize the occurrence of such collisions, experts have proposed a hybrid approach that integrates the use of advanced technologies and human expertise. This article provides an in-depth analysis of oil tanker collisions, the hybrid approach, and its effectiveness in mitigating the risks of collisions.

Oil Tanker Collisions: Causes and Consequences

Oil tanker collisions can occur due to several reasons, including human error, equipment failure, weather conditions, and navigational challenges. Human error is the most common cause of tanker collisions, accounting for approximately 75% of all collisions (Liu et al., 2018). Some common human errors include miscommunication between crew members, fatigue, distraction, and insufficient training. Equipment failure is also a significant concern, as it can result in loss of control, propulsion, or steering. Weather conditions, such as high winds, rough seas, and fog, can reduce visibility and increase the risks of collisions. Navigational challenges, such as narrow channels, congested waterways, and conflicting traffic, can also contribute to tanker collisions.

The consequences of oil tanker collisions can be severe, both economically and environmentally. In addition to the loss of human lives and injuries, tanker collisions can result in oil spills, which can cause significant environmental damage. Oil spills can harm marine life, contaminate water sources, and disrupt local economies, among other things. The economic consequences of oil spills can also be substantial, as they can impact the fishing and tourism industries and damage property and infrastructure.

The Hybrid Approach

The hybrid approach to preventing oil tanker collisions involves the integration of advanced technologies and human expertise. Advanced technologies, such as electronic navigation systems, collision avoidance systems, and remote monitoring systems, can provide real-time information on the tanker’s location, speed, and course. These technologies can also help detect potential collisions and provide early warning signals to the crew, allowing them to take corrective action promptly.

Human expertise, on the other hand, plays a crucial role in the hybrid approach by providing a backup to the technology. Human experts can monitor the data provided by the advanced technologies and identify any potential anomalies or errors. They can also take corrective action in case of equipment failure or unexpected situations, such as changing weather conditions.

The effectiveness of the hybrid approach in preventing tanker collisions has been demonstrated in several studies. For example, a study by Yan et al. (2016) analyzed the effectiveness of the integrated bridge system, which is a component of the hybrid approach. The study found that the integrated bridge system can significantly reduce the risks of collisions and improve the crew’s situational awareness.

Another study by Lee et al. (2018) evaluated the effectiveness of the autonomous collision avoidance system (ACAS), which is another component of the hybrid approach. The study found that the ACAS can detect potential collisions and provide timely warning signals to the crew, reducing the risks of collisions.

The Way Forward

The hybrid approach to preventing oil tanker collisions is a promising strategy that can significantly reduce the risks of collisions and their associated consequences. However, it is essential to continue investing in research and development to improve the technologies and enhance their integration with human expertise. Furthermore, it is crucial to ensure that the crew members are adequately trained and that the equipment is properly maintained and updated.


Oil tanker collisions can have severe consequences, both economically and environmentally. However, the hybrid approach, which integrates advanced technologies and human expertise, can significantly reduce the risks of collisions. The effectiveness of the hybrid approach has been demonstrated in several studies, and it is a promising strategy for preventing

Lee, S., Yoon, H. J., & Kim, T. W. (2018). Analysis of collision avoidance measures for oil tanker using autonomous systems. Journal of Navigation, 71(5), 1018-1031.

Liu, H., Li, Y., Li, Y., Li, Y., Li, Q., & Lv, C. (2018). A human factors analysis of marine accidents based on HFACS: A case study of oil tanker accidents. Safety Science, 109, 239-250.

Yan, X., Zhang, G., & Zhu, W. (2016). Evaluation of an integrated bridge system for oil tankers based on human-centered design. Safety Science, 83, 57-64.

Yıldız, Ö., & Güven, B. (2015). A study on the causes of marine accidents: The case of tanker accidents. Ocean Engineering, 108, 67-75.

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