Since 2008, Texas experienced an oil and gas boom with an increase in highway deaths related to drilling activities.
The Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media recently discovered that between 2009 and 2013, while traffic deaths across the country were declining, fatalities involving trucks and other large vehicles in shale drilling and urban locations in Texas rose 8 percent and deaths linked to commercial vehicle crashes rose by 51 percent. Ted Houston, chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, said the evidence was “gut-wrenching.”
Texas has also seen a steady increase in the number of crashes involving multiple victims, where three or more people were killed. Many of the reported accidents involve drivers falling asleep behind the wheel after working long shifts, sometimes as long as 24 hours.
Reports show that the Department of Public Safety is under-staffed as many of its troopers have been assigned to non-traffic related areas. Meanwhile, several fatal accidents involved trucking companies with failed inspections or repeated ticket violations.
Last year, the State legislature attempted to alleviate the problem by allocating $225 million to counties around the state. County officials complained at a hearing before the Texas Senate Transportation Committee that the money was not nearly enough.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car accident, truck accident, or other related crash, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner today by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-870-8584.