Prosperity has increased risk of truck accidents in Eagle Ford Shale area

With the oil boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area, the risk of truck accidents has increased.

In recent years, many areas of the state of Texas have boomed because of energy price increases. One of such areas is the Eagle Ford Shale, which encompasses many areas in South Texas, including Houston, Corpus Christi and Laredo. However, with economic prosperity has come tragedy, as the area is now a hotspot for motor vehicle accidents, especially ones involving 18-wheeler trucks.

This rise in oil production has brought a high demand for tools, heavy machinery and transportation of workers and other materials. Commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers are brought in to fill this demand, as well as transport oil and waste water used in fracking out of the area. Although simple mathematics will tell you that more trucks on the road will mean more truck accidents, the problem is more complicated than that. Since oil prices are currently high, oil companies have a vested interest to get the oil to market as soon as possible. With this haste, comes carelessness.

One of the major causes of truck accidents in the area is driver fatigue. Truck drivers, who are often inexperienced to begin with, often work around the clock to transport items to and from the oilfields in the area. Although there are many safety regulations in the trucking industry, such as limits on how long a truck driver may work, many oil companies pressure drivers to work longer than the limits allow. As studies have shown that fatigued drivers pose as much of a danger to other motorists as intoxicated drivers, those traveling in the area are needlessly put at a risk of harm.

In addition to driver fatigue, the rapid explosion of additional cars, trucks and heavy vehicles in the Eagle Ford Shale area has quickly put a strain on the local infrastructure. Since the roads and bridges in the area were not designed to handle this level of traffic, they can quickly become overtaxed and worn down. Since local governments have struggled to keep up with infrastructure upgrades, drivers of trucks and other motor vehicles in the area are at a greater risk of having an accident.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the problem in the area is getting worse. In 2012, the department found there were approximately 3,000 accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale area that resulted in a fatality or serious injury. In 2013, this number had increased seven percent to about 3,500 collisions.

An attorney can help

Due to the great difference in weight between trucks and passenger vehicles, any time the two meet is likely to result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Although many factors can cause a truck accident, they often are caused by negligence such as improper maintenance, driver fatigue or improper loading. Fortunately, under Texas law, victims of truck accidents that were caused by negligence can hold the party responsible, whether it is the driver, trucking company or truck manufacturer, for damages resulting from the accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed following a truck accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the circumstances of the accident and work to recover the compensation that you are due under law.

Keywords: truck accidents, car accidents, negligence