TEXARKANA, Texas. The headlines are staggering and tragic. According to the New York Times, in Pakistan, 146 people were killed when an oil truck exploded. Initial reports indicate that the accident may have occurred after the vehicle’s tire failed. After the accident, individuals tried to gather fuel spilled by the tanker. Later, when the tanker caught fire, the people in the general vicinity were injured and killed. According to reports, police attempted to clear people from the area, noting the risk of a fire.
Could an accident like this happen in the U.S.? While it isn’t likely that civilians would stop to gather oil if a tanker were to explode after an accident, an accident could still cause injuries if it occurred in a largely populated area or on a traffic dense road. In Pakistan, people stopped to gather oil because it is quite valuable in a society where most people live off of $3 a day.
However, transporting oil remains quite dangerous in the U.S. According to the Wall Street Journal, as domestic oil production has increased, so have the risks that everyday drivers will find themselves in an accident with an oil truck. Oil trucks have increased risk of fires due to their volatile cargo. The Wall Street Journal notes that 152 million barrels of oil are delivered by trucks. However, of all the methods oil companies use to transport oil, trucks are the most dangerous because they bring the oil closest to the general population. Even a small mistake behind the wheel on the part of a fatigued or overworked driver can mean serious injuries for oil field workers or for drivers who share the road with these trucks.
While trucks allow companies to move oil more easily, unencumbered by pipes, boats, or trains, trucks may also operate on roads where they could pose a risk to the general public. Workers may experience pressure from employers to move crude oil faster, putting both workers and the public at risk. Some critics claim that the industry should do more to protect workers and the public.
Given Texas’s large oil industry, the risk individuals face from oil trucks may be greater. All it takes is a blown tire, a failed brake, or a truck wreck to put many people in danger. Truck accidents are serious matters because of the toxic cargo being carried and because of the large weights trucks may be transporting. While the law does offer protections to those injured in truck accidents, these laws offer compensation for losses incurred, not prevention for accidents before they take place.
However, sometimes litigation results in positive changes. When companies have to pay after oil truck accidents, they may be more likely to take measures to be safer in the future. The Texarkana, Texas truck accident lawyers at the Cooper Law Firm work closely with victims and their families to help them seek justice after a truck accident. If you’ve been seriously injured, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Visit us at www.cooper-law-firm.com/ to learn more.