Dallas Law Firm Blog

Trucker Shortage Amid Oil Boom in Texas: Workers Beware

The oil business is booming again in Texas as oil prices and production are on the rise. With the rise in demand comes a need for more truck drivers.

Texas truck-driving academy owner Jerry Terry stated last month that he receives calls every day from companies that need new truck drivers. Terry added that his family in the oil-rich town of Odessa tells him it is very challenging to find drivers.

There definitely is a shortage of truck drivers in Texas, added John Esparza, president of the Texas Trucking Association. As oil production continues to grow with the fracking business expansion, the shortage will be compounded over the next decade.

The lack of truck drivers is affecting the country at large, as well. The trucking industry needed more than 50,000 new drivers by the end of 2017 and did not meet its target.

Terry said there is an increased need in Texas for freight haulers, in addition to oil truck drivers.

Dangers of New Truck Drivers on Texas Roads

One of the concerns with the increased number of new truck drivers is that some of them lack significant over-the-road experience. At Guajardo & Marks, our personal injury attorneys have found that many new truck drivers lack the experience and training to be safe drivers. Trucking companies always seek ways to increase profits, and they may do this by hiring inexperienced drivers and not training them properly.

Even when properly trained, new truck drivers are not as familiar with the rules of the road and the challenges of driving a huge, 80,000-pound tractor trailer. Some of the most common reasons for tractor trailer accidents, according to the Department of Transportation, are:

  • Loss of control of vehicle after a tire blowout
  • Poor road conditions
  • Traveling too fast for road conditions
  • Shifting cargo
  • Lane drifting
  • Driving off edge of road
  • Rear-end crashes
  • Driver fatigue
  • Improper truck maneuvering.

DOT also found that it was common for truck drivers to suffer some type of disabling event behind the wheel, such as a heart attack, seizure or even falling asleep. Truckers also were found to get distracted behind the wheel, and to make poor decisions and/or fail to control the direction of the rig.

The less experienced the truck driver, the more likely these types of accidents are.  And deadly tractor trailer accidents are very common. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found there were 3,986 people killed in large truck accidents in 2016. Seventeen percent of them were the occupants of the truck and 66% were occupants of other vehicles. Sixteen percent were pedestrians, bikers or motorcyclists.

In Texas, there were 417 big rig crashes in 2014, and 3,180 crashes in the Dallas area, causing 26 deaths and 98 injuries. If you or a loved one is injured by a new truck driver in Texas, you could suffer serious injuries and be out of work for months. What would you do? How would you provide for your family?

Injured in a Tractor Trailer Accident? Contact Guajardo & Marks Today.

The personal injury attorneys of Guajardo & Marks understand the serious injuries that can result from a tractor trailer accident. These serious crashes can cause massive injuries and sometimes death. If the truck driver or company played a role in your accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost earnings. Please contact our Dallas personal injury law office today at 972-774-9800 for a complimentary consultation about your tractor trailer accident.