How the Expanding Gas and Oil Extraction Industry in Texas Has Fueled More Truck Accidents
Fortunately, the United States has experienced a steady decline in highway deaths for decades now, as seat belts, child safety seats, and airbags have become the norm for passenger vehicles. Texas, however, has experienced an uptick in motor vehicle deaths due to the state’s increase in gas and oil extraction.
Texas Traffic Accidents Increase
The oil and gas business is booming in Texas right now, but that success comes at an enormous human cost. There has been a huge spike in traffic accidents due to a substantial increase in the quantity of large trucks and drilling equipment crowding Texas streets and highways. According to the Associated Press, in 21 Texas counties where drilling operations have boomed, deaths per 100,000 people have increased by an average of 18 percent. For the rest of the state, these deaths are down by 20 percent.
Gas and Oil Extraction Traffic Booms
While oil booms have long been a part of Texas history, this one is different. That’s because traditional drilling techniques have been supplanted by the hydraulic fracturing process. This process extracts oil and gas by injecting pressurized liquid into the ground, and it requires trucks to make 2,300 to 4,000 trips per well to deliver these fluids. Conventional drilling techniques, on the other hand, only required one-third to one-half as many trips per well. This dramatic increase in truck traffic often exceeds the ability of communities to construct better roads and bridges, and install more traffic signals.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Many Texans are aware that interstate truck drivers are required to follow certain rules regarding when and how much they are allowed to drive. Shockingly, these rules don’t apply to workers in the energy sector, due to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service oilfield exception. Drivers may therefore be pressured to work extremely long hours, and fatigued truck operators are at a higher risk of collisions.
If you’ve been injured due to a truck driver’s negligence, you deserve compensation. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.