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Study: Over 1,600 traffic fatalities in major Texas oil regions in single year

by | May 23, 2019 | Auto Accidents, Oilfield Accidents, Truck Accidents, Workplace Accidents | 0 comments

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently released a study on 2017 crash statistics in Texas’s five primary oil- and gas-producing regions: the year tallied over 194,000 crashes with 7,422 serious injuries and 1,614 deaths. The personal injury lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm have dealt with many automobile and commercial trucking accident cases from this region.

This profitable area of West Texas known as the “Permian Basin” contains rich deposits of petroleum, natural gas, and potassium; business has surged tremendously within the past few years. Nevertheless, the economic boom has also plagued the region with deadly consequences, especially on the roads.

What makes the Permian Basin, Midland, Odessa, and Eagle Ford Shale regions so abnormal is how unproportional their traffic accident statistics are to their relative populations. Counties in the Permian Basin, for example, have some of the highest fatal DWI statistics per capita in the state of Texas, resembling those of larger cities like Houston and San Antonio with only a fraction of the population.

At the hub of all the commotion, cities Odessa and Midland have experienced massive increases in traffic and traffic-related deaths. Primary veins of the oil industry I-20 and US 285 bear crash statistics that attract national attention, and locals have even branded US 285 as “Death Highway.” Deaths on these roads wax and wane in sync with oil prices, but the recent boom has fueled steady energy-related expansion.

As the prosperity entices inexperienced drivers to fill the labor shortage, 18-wheeler and commercial vehicle accidents have skyrocketed alongside the proliferation of new drilling sites. These drivers understand that time is money, and the lucrative business prompts drivers to speed, drive while fatigued, and drive aggressively. Local law enforcement agencies have also expressed concerns over increased incidents of commercial trucker intoxication. Poor commercial driving in combination with unprepared, underserviced infrastructure and the swelling driver population have turned these roads-less-travelled into perilous thoroughfares. The automobile and trucking accident lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm understand the potentially life-threatening ramifications of such deadly combinations.

Although TxDOT and other government agencies have initiated both highway construction projects and safe driving campaigns to alleviate some of these problems, the booming oil market and demand for commercial truck drivers will continue to encourage dangerous driving from interested parties.

If you or a loved one have been affected by an 18-wheeler or commercial automobile accident in the Permian Basin, in the Odessa-Midland area, or in the Eagle Ford Shale region, call Wyatt Law Firm at 210-340-5550 for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers seek maximum compensation for people throughout Texas and the nation, including the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Laredo, and Corpus Christi. We will fight for you.

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For additional information on the state of trucking, traffic studies, and economic expansion in the Texas Permian Basin, check out these links: