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Fatigue linked to deadly truck accidents

Technological advances have led to a boom in oil production in Texas and across the country. Oil production hit a 44-year high in April of 2016 and there are signs that production will continue to be high in the coming years, CNN reports.

One unexpected consequence of the country's oil boom is that our roads are more dangerous. Traffic accidents are the largest cause of fatalities in the oil and gas industry, according to The New York Times. Over 300 oil and gas workers were killed in wrecks during the past decade, and many of these crashes are attributable to fatigue. These accidents also impact individuals who are not connected to the energy industry because a fatigued driver can easily crash into other vehicles. 

Oil companies have an exemption from general trucking safety rules that limit how many hours a truck driver can work. The purpose of these rules is to prevent fatigued drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. The Times reports that some oil and gas field workers have shifts that can stretch past 20 hours, which is one of the reasons why oil fatigue truckers may be driving while drowsy.

Oil and gas trucks are going to become ubiquitous on American roads if current production trends hold. Federal officials estimate that there will be 200,000 additional oil and gas wells nationwide in the coming decade. The vast majority of these wells use a drilling technique called "hydraulic fracturing," which requires from 500 to 1,500 truck trips for every well.

Know the legal terrain

Individuals who are injured in an accident involving an oil field truck may have several legal options to receive compensation from their injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the circumstan ces of a particular accident and identify possible liable parties. In addition to the negligent truck driver who causes an accident, an oil company may also be held liable for the actions of their employee.

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