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Possible trucker error leading to increased accidents in Texas

While the oil boom has been wonderful for the local economy, it hasn't been without its negative side-effects. According to the sheriff of Karnes County, Texas, local police officers have been swamped by a significant increase in serious accidents. These accidents are believed to be the result of what could be a regular motorist or trucker error.

The increase in oil production has brought a great deal of jobs to the community; however, an increase in jobs typically means a rise in traffic. So, not only are residents seeing more trucks on the road hauling oil and oilfield equipment, they are seeing a jump in the number of motorists overall. It has been reported that, in areas where drilling has expanded in Texas, deaths per 100,000 have risen approximately 18 percent.

For Karnes County, this increase has led to the need to transport victims via air ambulance an average of three times per week. In the last year, between two different drilling regions in Texas, 259 people were killed in serious car accidents. While truck drivers are not to blame for all of these incidents, there certainly has been an overall uptick in accidents resulting from a trucker error.

Monetary and emotional losses that result from a serious accident can devastate families. Texas residents who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to trucker error do retain the right to pursue civil actions against the driver and possibly the driver's employer. If the truck driver and/or the employer are found to have been negligent in the cause of the crash, a civil court could award the victim and his or her family members financial compensation for the losses they have encountered.

Source: CBS DFW, "Texas Seeing Deadly Side Effect To Fracking Boom", , May 5, 2014

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