As the shale boom continues to draw truck traffic to the South Texas oil patches, the increase in these large workhorses on rural farm to market roads present new dangers of serious and even fatal commercial vehicle accidents. The Consumer Energy Alliance, along with several oil and gas companies and truck associations, recently launched a road safety campaign to help promote safety for truck drivers and other who drive through the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale Play.
The safety campaign includes recommendations for transporters, producers and the general public on how to safely share the road with large tanker trucks, trucks carrying drill pipe, frac tanks, rig components or oil and gas workers.
Transporters are encouraged to:
- Obey all traffic laws and regulations, including posted speed limits, hours of service rules, cargo securing, etc.
- Ensure that drivers are properly trained and have the appropriate credentials, including continuing training beyond the initial period required to obtain a commercial drivers license
- Register with the appropriate federal agency, such as the FMCSA or the PHMSA
- Partner with local governments and law enforcement, including preparing for emergency response to hazardous spills and rollover accidents
The general public is encouraged to:
- Allow plenty of distance between your vehicle and a truck
- Always pass on the left, if possible
- Never stay next to a truck for too long, the driver may not see you
- Look for the trucks sideview mirrors, if you can’t see them the truck driver likely cannot see you
- Give trucks additional room at intersections for wide turns
If you are injured in a truck accident on the Eagle Ford Shale, you should contact an attorney right away to discuss your rights. In the meantime, practicing defensive driving and observing the recommendations above may help avoid serious or fatal accidents caused by oil and gas truck traffic.
Source: Midland Reporter-Telegram, “Task force focuses on oil field trucking,” April 25, 2013