Truck Collisions Escalate in Texas

Partner Mike Davis is following the rise in wrecks and fatalities involving trucks, particularly around Texas’ oil development sites, for example the Cline Shale in West Texas and Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. Eagle Ford was recently named the most active shale play in the world with over 200 rigs.

“Despite new legislation, regular inspections, new monitoring technology and driver safety campaigns, wrecks and fatalities involving trucks continue to plague the country. South Texas near Eagle Ford Shale seems to be particularly vulnerable,” states Mr. Davis.

More trucks are lining up each day to make deliveries to the shale areas. In comparison to 2012, the Eagle Ford Shale area saw a 40 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents last year with 3,430 fatal and serious injury crashes and 236 traffic fatalities, according to the Department of Transportation. More than 2,723 injury and fatal crashes and 248 traffic fatalities occurred in 2012.

Oil companies often use an Oilfield Exemption to require truck drivers to work longer hours, and this is a possible contributing factor to these rising statistics. “No one can deny that the oil boom is benefiting the state economically, but the steep price is that a lot of people are landing in hospitals,” added Mr. Davis.

The national carnage, not only near shale sites, shows no signs of easing up despite legislation in place that requires carriers to monitor the amount of time truck drivers spend behind the wheel and theoretically lessens the chances of fatigued drivers.

To learn more about the factors behind the rise in truck collisions, contact Mike Davis or call (512) 764-5744.

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