Fatal car wrecks in Midland-Odessa have been making the news just about every couple of days. KXWT West Texas Public Radio recently reported on the link between the oil-booming Permian Basin and an increase in traffic crash fatalities in the region. The Texas department of Transportation reports that the area has seen as 13 percent increase in crash fatalities from 2012 to 2013. Midland County alone is now averaging one fatal crash per week. A recent panel discussion held by a victims’ rights coalition addressed the area’s increasingly dangerous roadways.
Drugs, Drinking and Distracted Driving
Although organizers said that most of these fatal wrecks have been attributed to the “Three D’s,” the booming oil and gas extraction industry can’t be ignored as a contributing factor to the increase in fatal traffic crashes in Midland and Odessa. The “Three D’s,” also known as drugs, drinking and distracted driving, are all certainly preventable causes for fatal crashes happening across the state. Many local law enforcement agencies have been stepping up efforts to reduce crashes involving impaired and distracted driving.
More Large Trucks, Inexperienced Drivers and Heavier Traffic
The booming oil and gas extraction industry is has created a need for more commercial trucks in the area, which has also created a need for more drivers. According to KXWT, Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter has voiced his concern about inexperienced truck drivers getting behind the wheels of big rigs. Although heavier commercial traffic in the region isn’t being directly related to more fatal crashes, it is being recognized as a contributing factor of a more hazardous driving environment. Last year, the Midland Police Department even set up a special unit to focus on commercial fleets. In addition to focusing on increased enforcement and high-visibility campaigns, they’ve also instructed companies on how to ensure drivers are trained and practicing safe habits behind the wheel.
Commercial Trucking Regulations
Even though there are many new big-rig drivers on the Midland-Odessa roadways, they still have to adhere to a special set of rules and regulations. There are hundreds of federally enacted laws that apply just to the commercial trucking industry. A case involving a big rig is much more complicated than a case involving traditional passenger occupant vehicles. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash involving a tractor trailer, contact the experienced team at the Altman Legal Group at 800-772-0828 for a free consultation today.