South Texas Oil Boom Brings Potential for Truck Accidents
Eagle Ford Shale has created an economic boom across South Texas. A number of energy companies are sending equipment and workers to cash is on what is arguably the most abundant pocket of untapped oil and natural gas in the United States. With so many new business opportunities, 18-wheelers are becoming more common on Texas highways and rural roads. Unfortunately, the oil boom presents a new set of dangers with the number of semi-trucks on the road-tractor-trailer accidents.
Due to the increase, there has been a number of fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers. This has prompted law enforcement to look closely at these big trucks to make sure the drivers are following the law. Speed, weight and equipment violations are the most common type of infractions that occur with big trucks.
Because of their sheer size and weight, semi-trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on the road. The average truck weighs nearly twenty times the size of the average passenger car, which increases the likelihood that people riding in a car will die in a truck accident.
The boom has also sparked a need for new truck drivers to haul supplies. According to a Houston Chronicle report, these drivers can earn up to $80,000 per year and many are signing up for the opportunity. However, the increase in truck drivers with little to no experience only creates more concern.
With more trucks on the road, together with inexperienced truck drivers, authorities are keeping a close eye on these big wheelers in hopes of preventing future tragedies from occurring in the region.
Source: Pro News8.com "DPS Cracks Down on Speeding Truck Drivers", July 9, 2012; Houston Chronicle, "Truckers Wanted for Eagle Ford Shale Jobs", April 12, 2012