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Does oil price decline mean fewer fatal truck accidents?

Texas is not just an oil state. It is perhaps the oil state of America. According to the State Historical Association, Texans have been pulling petroleum out of the ground for hundreds of years, and producing it in quantity since the middle of the 19th century.

In more recent years, oil and gas drilling enjoyed a new boom as production stepped up in places like the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin Shale regions. The economic windfall was not without its downsides. As we noted in an article on our site not long ago, the boom has meant a major increase in fatal truck accidents

The problem has gotten so bad that the Department of Transportation has had to impose emergency speed limit restrictions to reduce the number of deaths being recorded in the state. And based on the latest numbers from the DOT, it may have had the desired effect. Statistics for 2013 reveal that traffic deaths were down slightly from the year before.

Over the course of this past year, the price of oil has plunged. That has resulted in production cutbacks and layoffs. The San Antonio Express-News recently offered a slice-of-life story about how towns like Kenedy are being affected. The report noted that while city officials see no let-up in development and construction projects, some field workers are feeling the pinch. And some businesses predict revenues will be down in the first quarter of the year.

The question that might be worth asking is whether the changes being felt in the field will translate into fewer of those deadly truck accidents on our roads? No one has a hard answer to the question, though the news story reported that traffic around Kenedy "remains perilous because of careening oil-field trucks."

What that seems to suggest is that companies are feeling pressure to do more with fewer resources. And that means the chances of deadly crashes with large tractor-trailer trucks remain high. When such accidents happen, serious and catastrophic injury usually results. For the protection of rights and pursuit of due compensation, injury victims should always consult an experienced attorney. 

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