Oil and Gas Truck Accidents in Texas and New Mexico
Oil Truck Accidents in the Permian Basin
The Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico is known for its rich deposits of petroleum, natural gas, and potassium. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, it covers an area approximately 300 miles long and 250 miles wide and contains more than 7,000 fields in West Texas.
New, improved hydraulic fracturing or fracking techniques are allowing oil companies to reach deposits that were not economically viable previously. This new technology has significantly increased drilling and created an oil and gas boom in the Permian Basin – but also increased deadly Texas oil truck accidents.
Why Oil Truck Crash Rates Have Skyrocketed in Texas
Intensive oil exploration and drilling in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, and Barnett Shale regions of the state have clogged rural highways designed for much lighter traffic with trucks and heavy machinery. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in commercial vehicle crashes over the past decade. Modern hydraulic fracturing and drilling is a highly industrialized process that places an enormous strain on rural infrastructure and roads. Since the inception of new techniques, oil truck crashes have increased dramatically in and around the Permian Basin, and in the South Texas Eagle Ford Shale region.
Longer Hours and Inexperienced Drivers Mean More Crashes
Oil field employees often work very long shifts. As the work is lucrative, workers often volunteer to work as many hours as possible. Despite the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service regulations, drivers may skip mandatory rest breaks or exceed hours of service driving limits because of pressure from their employers to speed up delivery.
With the oil and gas boom in progress, trucking companies have an enormous demand for oilfield truck drivers. As a result, they may hire drivers who lack experience or the proper licensing, or who have strikes against them, such as a previous DUI.
Causes of Texas Oil Truck Accidents
Oil truck wrecks can wreak havoc on the road, cause highways to be closed off for hours, and catastrophically or fatally injure passenger-vehicle occupants. Common ways in which oil tankers cause crashes include:
- Driver errors: Fatigued driving, distracted driving, inexperience, unfamiliarity with the roadway, speeding, recklessness, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to check blind spots.
- Company negligence: Failure to provide the driver with safety training, failure to do a thorough background check, failure to make sure loads are properly secured, failing to maintain a truck or equipment that malfunctions.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Texas Oil Truck Crash
If you have been seriously injured in a crash involving an oil truck, you need an experienced Texas truck accident attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve. You are not likely to get a fair settlement if you work directly with an insurance adjuster.
Truck accident claims are complicated cases involving federal regulations and multiple potentially liable parties. A collision with a loaded 18-wheeler or tank truck can cause catastrophic injuries, due to the sheer size and weight of the truck. This means a case with higher stakes, which the trucking company won’t want to lose – and they have teams of lawyers to protect them.
After a serious oil truck accident, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced Texas trucking accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP at (903) 228-3299 to find out how we can help. We offer personalized, client-centered legal services and will travel to meet you if you are unable to come to us. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you. Your consultation is free, so call today.