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Texas Oil Workers May Be at Risk of Dangerous Driving

by Francisco Guerra, IV. on 06/18/2012

Semi Oil Tanker Trucks

Oil and gas workers toil in one of the most forbidding and hostile working environments in the country.  However, the danger to many of them may come not while they're at work, but while they are on their way home from work.  Over the past 10 years, as many as 300 oil and gas workers have been killed in highway accidents.  In fact, highway accidents, and not workplace-related accidents account for the single biggest cause of fatalities in the industry.

The New York Times recently published a piece designed to draw attention to this much- neglected problem.  Many of the highway accidents involving oil and gas workers comprise accidents caused by fatigued truckers.  A work-hour exemption on truckers in the industry allows these truckers to work longer hours than truckers in other sectors.  Not surprisingly, so many of the accidents that kill oil and gas workers in Texas every year occur because drivers are fatigued and doze off at the wheel.

The exemptions to the working hours for truck drivers make no sense to any San Antonio trucking accident lawyer.  It's not as if the oil and gas industry exempts truck drivers from fatigue or sleepiness.  These workers are just as much at risk of drowsiness at the end of a long work day as other drivers. When they're driving home in such a state of fatigue, they're much more likely to lose control of their vehicle.

The federal administration has been aware of these risks.  In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board warned that these exemptions for truck drivers in the industry increased the risk of accidents.

As the onshore oil and gas drilling activity in Texas picks up, accident risks are also likely to spike.  On many of these sites, drilling companies use a technique called fracking, which required the presence of more trucks on the road, increasing accident risks further.

If you or someone you care about need legal advice about a trucking accident, a workplace injury, or an issue related to the oil and gas development in the Eagle Ford Shale, contact Watts Guerra Craft today.

Tags: Oil and Gas Law, Trucking Accidents, San Antonio

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