From 2009 to 2013, traffic deaths involving commercial trucks increased by 51% in Texas. Since the fracking and drilling boom, accident rates continue to climb in our state at a terrifying rate. Long hours, shoddy mechanics, and negligent hiring, among other factors, have all contributed to oilfield trucking accidents in Texas.
Wyatt Law Firm is a passionate advocate for the wrongfully injured. If you or a loved one was hit by an oilfield truck, we invite you to contact our San Antonio trucking accident lawyers today.
Accidents in the Permian Basin
The Permian Basin is an area in Texas and part of New Mexico that spans 59 counties and 75,000 square miles. The area is rich in rock deposits that oil companies flock to for hydraulic fracturing or " fracking" and drilling for oil extraction. In counties that contain the Eagle Ford shale and Barnett Shale, deaths rose by 11 percent from 2009-2013.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a 15% increase in accidents in the Permian Basin between 2012 and 2013. This is due in large part to the oil boom and the increased oilfield trucking traffic. Some statistics even suggest that there is an average of one fatality per day in this area.
Consider some of the accident statistics (2009-2013) coming from other shale-heavy counties:
- Midland County – fatalities increased 47%
- Bexar County – fatalities increased 24%
Harris County – fatalities increased 8%
Long Hours = Increased Accidents
Many of these accidents have likely been caused by the exorbitantly long shifts oilfield employees are asked to work. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict Hours of Service standards that truckers must abide by, but many drivers exceed driving limits and skip mandatory resting breaks because they are under immense pressure from their employers to speed up delivery.
The oil boom has also led to many cut corners. Many trucking companies have a huge need for oilfield truck drivers, so they hire people who do not have the proper licensing, proper experience, or adequate insurance. Texas’ Department of Public Safety conducted a road check recently and found that as many as 30% of Texas commercial truckers shouldn’t even be on the road due to factors like:
- Driver intoxication
- Low tread / overworn tires
- Bad brakes
Accident rates in the Permian Basin and other oil-heavy areas of Texas have continued to increase despite increased efforts by the Department of Public Safety, which has doubled its audits and truck inspections since the fracking boom started.
Accident Trends Continue to Rise in Texas
While accident trends have largely been on the decline in the U.S., they have experienced a steady increase in Texas due to the oil drilling and fracking boom initiated in 2008. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, trucking accident fatalities are higher in Texas than in any other state.
Wyatt Law Firm is ready to fight for justice on behalf of oilfield trucking accident victims. If you would like to request more information regarding legal representation, fill out our free case review form today.