Automobile accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Additionally, auto accidents are one of the top causes of oilfield fatalities, research shows. While a small percentage of traffic collisions are the result of unforeseen or unavoidable situations, most are caused by one overarching problem: human error.
Workplace safety – including automobile safety – starts with employees and employers who are mutually committed to establishing and following proper safety guidelines. But these guidelines can’t replace good judgment.
Motor Vehicle Accidents Are a Top Cause of Oil & Gas Industry Deaths
Between 2003 and 2012, 40% of all deaths in the oil and gas extraction industry were the result of traffic collisions. Twenty six percent of fatalities were caused by equipment injuries, and only 15% were the result of explosions and fires. Other fatalities were attributed to slips, falls, and toxic exposure.
The Oil & Gas Industry Poses Unique Hazards
Operating trucks and other vehicles is innately dangerous, especially in rural areas. In many cases, oil and gas workers drive large trucks for long distances, often on remote roads. These roads don’t offer the same safety features as a highway (lighting, reflectors, etc.), which can heightens the chance of a serious accident.
Safety Tips for Oil & Gas Workers
- Always wear a seatbelt. 38% of vehicle fatalities involved drivers / passengers who didn’t wear a seatbelt.
- Do not drive distracted. This includes cellphone use, reading, adjusting the radio, eating, and texting.
- Only drive when you are well rested. Fatigued driving is more than a bad idea; it can be a deadly one.
- Be a defensive driver. You can’t control road conditions or the weather, but you can control the way you operate a vehicle.
- Manage your travel time wisely. Take traffic, weather, and miles traveled into consideration to create a safe plan.
When it Comes to Safe Driving, Nothing is Worth the Risk
Never take risks behind the wheel of a large vehicle. Risks, like driving without a seatbelt, driving distracted, speeding, and driving while fatigued. These risks may not always lead to an accident, but the dangers far outweigh any perceived benefits. Instead, make safety your priority and avoid unnecessary and harmful risks.
If you sustained an injury while driving on the job, call our Houston personal injury attorneys today. We will review your case for free and can help you seek the compensation you deserve.