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Why Permian Basin Truck Wrecks Are on the Rise

Why Permian Basin Truck Wrecks Are on the Rise

Within six years, the Permian Basin is expected to produce more oil than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined.1 While this boom brings a lot of wealth and benefits to the region, it’s not without some drawbacks.

In fact, one of the biggest downsides to the Permian Basin oil boom has been the surge in serious and deadly truck accidents in the region.

A Closer Look at the Rise in Permian Basin Truck Accidents: The Statistics

Checking out the most recent data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sheds some more light on just how dramatically trucking wrecks have surged in the Permian Basin. According to the TxDOT:2

  • In 2017, about 11 percent of all traffic-related deaths in Texas occurred in the Permian Basin, which is home to only about 2 percent of the state’s population.
  • The Permian Basin is one of five oil-producing regions in the state where catastrophic and deadly trucking wrecks have been steadily increasing in recent years.
  • Every day in 2017, the Permian Basin, along with the other four oil-producing areas in Texas, saw an average of 532 wrecks.
  • About 5 percent of these accidents resulted in severe or deadly injuries for those involved.

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Why Have Traffic & Trucking Wrecks Been Increasing in the Permian Basin?

This is the question that transportation safety experts are now trying to answer so they can take action to bring these numbers down and save lives. While there are no fast and easy answers here, there are some key factors contributing to the surge:

  • Increased traffic in the region: Oil booms can transform an area overnight, attracting many new residents while sparking new local businesses to support those residents’ needs. While that can revolutionize a local economy, it also congests roadways. And more people on the roads almost always means a greater risk of wrecks.
  • Poor roadway conditions: The roads in the Permian Basin were not necessarily built to support the volume of traffic they’re now handling. And the increased level of traffic has resulted in far more day-to-day wear and tear, causing anything from potholes and missing lane markers to broken signage, damaged guardrails, and more. While TxDOT has allotted about $3.4 billion to improve the Permian Basin’s roads, these improvements are planned to occur over the next decade. So, poor roadway conditions in different parts of the area will continue to be an issue for years to come.
  • Long shifts for oil industry workers: Many of those working in the Permian Basin are oil workers who regularly have shifts up to 17 hours (or sometimes longer). Sometimes, these workers are then getting behind the wheel of 18-wheelers carrying oil. The combination of driver fatigue and highly combustible materials as cargo can – and has been – a recipe for disaster on the roads.
  • Other drivers: Even if oil truck drivers are alert, focused, and correctly operating vehicles, other motorists are not always well behaved on the roads. In fact, other motorists’ failures to pay attention, comply with traffic laws, and/or drive sober can and often do contribute to truck wrecks on Permian Basin roads.

At the Amaro Law Firm, our attorneys are highly skilled at investigating truck wrecks, determining the causes, and identifying the liable parties. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident in the Permian Basin – or anywhere across the state of Texas, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re ready to help you get on the road to recovery.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm for Superior Representation

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During your FREE consultation, we will explain your legal options. Free virtual and mobile consultations are available to anyone who cannot visit our offices.

Truck Wreck Attorneys of The Amaro Law Firm’s record of success and exceptional advocacy in truck accident cases has earned us 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook, glowing testimonials from former clients, and a 10 rating on Avvo.


1: According to this report


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