Will trucking accidents increase amid the oil boom in West Texas?
In recent years, the oil production surge in West Texas’ Permian Basin has increased oil drilling in the state to levels reminiscent of the 1980s. But, even though this particular boom has injected much needed money into this region’s economy, it will likely strain many of the area’s roads with increased trucking traffic.
Sadly, given that many of the Texas roads in this region were not designed to handle such high levels of trucking congestion, truck accidents almost seem inevitable.
Rise in West Texas oil production
According to a recent article by The Dallas Morning News, oil production in the Permian Basin is up more than 30 percent in the last year alone – placing current estimated production at 1.2 million barrels of oil a day.
Unfortunately, the region’s infrastructure is proving insufficient to handle the demands of this increased oil activity. In fact, even as new pipelines are being built to transport the oil, some oil producers are resorting to long-haul trucks as a means of getting the oil out of West Texas – thus placing even more trucks on the road.
Regrettably, the collective increases to trucking traffic due to oil transport, oil drilling and pipeline construction will likely take its toll on local roads in West Texas. For instance, in a recent editorial two Texas state Senators claim that a road used for drilling a single well will sustain the wear and tear equal to 8 million cars traveling on it – further illustrating the problems associated with increased trucking in the region.
Increased West Texas traffic and its potential impact on trucking accidents
With such drastic and rapid increases to commercial trucking on Texas roads – roads that used to only handle local traffic – trucking accidents are bound to occur.
Also, given the breakneck pace at which companies are drilling wells and transporting oil, it is quite conceivable that truck drivers may be tempted to work longer hours for additional economic benefits; thus increasing the chances of truck driver fatigue on Texas roads. Although it likely goes without saying, it is extremely dangerous to mix sleepy truck drivers with other motorists on the road.
If you or a loved one has already been injured by a negligent or fatigued truck driver, it is generally advisable to speak with an experienced truck accident injury attorney. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can not only assist with investigating the cause of the trucking accident but also help ensure your rights are protected.