In the last 10 years, at least 300 oil and gas workers were killed on our highways. These fatality rates are seven times the national average, if all industries are included in the statistics. The truth behind this statistic is that safety limits for driving and sleeping are being ignored because of some oil field exemptions. A recent New York Times article makes it clear that these exemptions have deadly consequences.
Accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel
After working 17 hours straight, Timothy Roth and three co-workers began a four-hour drive back to their drilling company in West Virginia. Just minutes from their destination, the driver fell asleep at the wheel and the truck crashed onto its side, killing Roth.
Two months before this accident, Roth was in a similar crash when a co-worker fell asleep at the wheel after a long shift and crashed into a pole.
Employer had history of pushing workers to violate driving limits
In 2009, Roth's employer was penalized in three different states for violations including permitting oil field truckers to drive after working the legal limit of 14-hours.
The New York Times reports that over 300 oil and gas workers died in highway crashes in the past 10 years. Highway safety laws are in place to safeguard against workers exceeding safe driving limits, but certain oil field exemptions allow truckers to work longer hours than workers in other industries.
For drivers, these exemptions mean they can work longer and drive longer hours, ultimately putting more money in their pocket. But the risks of pushing safe driving limits can outweigh any monetary benefit, especially if employers are pressuring employees to work longer hours.
Have you been injured in a trucking accident?
Nearly half a million 18-wheeler accidents occur every year. Almost 12 percent of these involve a fatality. This is at least ninety people every day who are either killed or injured in the U.S. in 18-wheeler accidents. If you have been injured in a trucking accident you should contact a Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyer to investigate the facts of your case.
If you would like to start a free case review with one of our trucking accident lawyers you may contact us toll-free: 1-877-342-2020. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means if we do not make a recovery in your case you owe us nothing.