Multiple Fatality Crashes and Natural Gas Extraction in Texas

Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported on the disturbing link between multiple-fatality crashes and the boom in natural gas extraction across the state. Specifically, they reported on “triple tragedies,” where three people are killed in one motor vehicle crash. According to the Houston Chronicle, in 2010, there were 72 fatalities from crashes that took at least three lives, and in 2013, 148 people died in “triple tragedy” crashes across the state.

Deadly Roadways in Texas

The article is quick to point out that while the number of crash fatalities is down across the country, Texas has had a steady increase in roadway fatalities since 2008, which also coincides with the natural gas extraction and drilling boom.

Interstate 20 is one of the most dangerous roadways in Texas, followed by Interstate 10, and Interstate 45. These roadways serve a variety of locations and towns that rely heavily on the oil and gas extraction industry. Smaller local highways between oil patches have seen an increase in fatal crashes too. Texas 72 in Live Oak County is known as “Death Row” to locals, because of how many triple and even quadruple tragedies have occurred on it since 2011.

Overworked on the Oil Field

An alarming increase in crashes involving overworked, fatigued oil field workers is happening on roadways across the state. After working 24-hour shifts or multiple 12-hour shifts for days on end, workers are too fatigued to drive home or to anywhere they can comfortably and safely get some rest.

Many of these “triple tragedy” crashes occur when overworked exhausted oil-field workers get behind the wheel. Because they’re often car-pooling with their colleagues, there may be four or more of them in a car, truck or van at anytime. Driving while fatigued and drunk driving have similar impacts on a person’s ability to safely get behind the wheel.

Workplace Injuries and the Oil Field

When you think about workplace injuries and deaths on an oil field, you most likely think of explosions, fires and incidents involving large heavy pieces of machinery, but what you should be thinking about are transportation-related fatalities. In 2013, roughly half of all oil field workers killed in Texas, died in transportation-related incidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil field accident, or you have lost a loved one in a car crash involving a fatigued oil field worker, contact the experienced team at Altman Legal Group for a free case consultation.