In several areas of Texas, the gas and oil fields have become an important source for energy field production jobs. Along with this growth in the industry has come a greater demand on the highways and roads in and around the five major production fields with the state. Sadly, along with the rise in energy-related jobs, there has also been increases in motor vehicle accidents and lives lost.
In March of 2018, a young mother was traveling along U.S. 287 when she smashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was attempting to back up along the highway. The 23-year-old woman died in that wreck while the trucker was sentenced to 45 days in a local jail. This was a condition for his probation after his two-year prison sentence for manslaughter was suspended. Unfortunately, this woman was just one of the more than 1,670 other victims of accidents that have occurred around one of the busiest oil and shale fields.
Officials have attributed the rise in fatal accidents to several factors. The Texas Department of Transportation still lists speeding as the most frequent cause of accidents, though heavy congestion on smaller roads is also considered to be a contributing factor. Though accidents involving tractor-trailers are only a small fraction of the overall accident rate, they tend to garner the most attention and do the most damage.
State officials are working to improve the road systems and are working with the trucking industry to increase public safety through safe driving campaigns. Unfortunately, serious motor vehicle accidents will likely continue to take a tragic toll on both residents and others who travel through the state. When families lose a loved one through the negligence of another motorist, the physical loss is often compounded by the financial damages that are incurred as a result of an untimely and unexpected death. A successfully navigated wrongful death or personal injury civil suit may help families obtain relief from their documented damages.