According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2003-2013, the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry experienced remarkable growth leading to a doubling of its workforce and an increase in the number of drilling rigs by 71%.
Amid this rapid growth came the discovery of oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale. Eagle Ford Shale is located along a geological formation that straddles the heartland of Texas’ central-southern regions. Its brittle sedimentary structure is extracted through hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of smashing rocks with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to release small pockets of oil and gas.
Stretching across the brush country of South Texas, from Madisonville all the way to the western rural regions of Carrizo Springs and Crystal City, the Eagle Ford Shale has been the most oil-and-gas-rich geological formation in the state. Since its discovery in 2008, this oil and gas-rich area produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day.
At roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long, the Eagle Ford Shale is home to nearly 30 counties. Here thousands of locals, oil, and gas professionals have settled, with the promise of steady employment. Similar to the eruption that occurred in the Permian Basin of West Texas, these counties have witnessed an alarming spike in truck accidents. You see, as the industry produces higher volumes of commercial freight, this increases the number of truck accidents.
Local officials and state lawmakers are pushing for additional funding to improve road infrastructure as oilfield traffic continues to rise.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2013 nearly 4,000 people were killed in crashes involving 18-wheelers. Texas leads the nation in large truck road fatalities at 536, almost doubling the next closest state. That’s an increase of 52% from 352 fatalities in 2009.
Is the spike in big rig accidents related to the oil boom that took place in the Eagle Ford Shale?
In 2015 the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) reported that the amount of drilling activity in an area strongly correlated with the number of rural commercial truck crashes. When oil production activity increases, the number of reported road accidents involving big rigs increases as well. Conversely, when drilling activity declines, so does the number of road accidents.
Get the Justice You Deserve
Road fatalities and injuries involving 18-wheelers are serious realities for both truck drivers and regular vehicle passengers. This is especially so on the treacherous roads of the Eagle Ford Shale. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in eagle ford truck accident injury cases. William Hart law firm can help you get the justice that you or your family deserves.