Why Are Oilfield Truck Wrecks Happening?
The oil and gas industry is a major part of the Texas economy. It’s not uncommon to see numerous oilfield trucks on the freeways morning and night, commuting to and from oil fields, refineries and pipelines. Oilfield truck wrecks, however, have been and continue to be a serious problem. When a tanker-trailer crashes, the sheer size of the vehicle is likely to lead to catastrophic injuries. To make matters worse, they are carrying hydrocarbons, which are toxic, flammable and explosive.
Why do oil rig truck wrecks keep happening? Read on for a discussion of the leading causes of oilfield truck crashes, and if you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident in Texas, call a seasoned Beaumont truck accident injury lawyer at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for help.
One of the leading causes of big rig accidents is driver fatigue, and it’s no different with oil rig truckers. In fact, commercial truck drivers are limited by the number of hours they can operate a tanker trailer.
Distracted or drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Safety experts estimate that drivers who operate a vehicle after 18 hours awake perform with deficiencies comparable to people with a 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC); drivers who have been working for long hours can perform as a driver the equivalent of a person with a 0.10% BAC, well over the legal limit.
Driving a tanker-trailer rig requires a significant amount of training and experience. Driving any large commercial vehicle is already more challenging than driving a passenger vehicle. However, when a liquid load is moving about in the tanker-trailer, the weight is shifted about and it is even more unstable. Some sites hire workers with more limited experience or training because there is a high demand for oil truck drivers, but well-trained drivers are in short supply. An inexperienced driver is much more likely to make a mistake, especially on the way home after a long shift.
Unsecured or Uneven Loads
A leading cause of large truck accidents is unsecured or uneven loads, which upsets the weight and balance of the trailer. Operating an oilfield truck that is only partially filled with oil or gas can be even more imbalanced and unstable as the weight in the trailer shifts. The truck can tip or swerve into other lanes of traffic if the driver lacks the skill or the attention to maintain perfect control. If the driver is hauling other items that are unsecured, not only will the driver have more limited control, but the load could come loose and fall from the truck, creating a hazard for everyone on the road.
Long working hours can intensify the effects of a long drive. Drivers who text, talk on the phone, read, watch videos, or even eat or drink while operating a tanker-trailer become distracted and are incapable of devoting their full attention to the task of driving. Distracted driving greatly increases the chances of collisions resulting in serious injuries or even death.
Call for Help Recovering Compensation After a Tanker-Trailer Crash in Texas
Our firm has successfully concluded hundreds of commercial vehicle or truck accident injury claims by trial or settlement involving hundreds of millions of dollars over our 90+ years of representing victims of negligent drivers and their families. If you’ve been hurt in a collision with an oil rig, eighteen-wheeler, or other commercial vehicle, contact the zealous and diligent Beaumont personal injury lawyers at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices for a free consultation on your case at 409-835-3000.