Dallas Law Firm Blog

Driver Fatigue Is a Major Safety Risk in Oil & Gas Industry

Oil and gas workers are enjoying strong demand for their services in the United States as the country becomes more energy independent. But drivers for oil and gas companies frequently work long hours, and their lengthy commutes can lead to more motor vehicle accidents, according to a new industry fact sheet produced by the CDC.

Oil and gas workers face several problems that enhance their risk of driving while drowsy: long hours awake with no breaks, monotonous road environments and work shifts that involve working all night.

The CDC fact sheet details a case where three workers decided to drive 10 hours home after working a 20-hour shift that ended before 12 a.m. None of the workers had their seatbelts on when the driver nodded off behind the wheel about 25 miles into the trip. The vehicle veered off the road and rolled. Everyone was ejected and two workers died.

If you are an oil and gas worker who works long hours, it is important to be aware of signs that you are falling asleep while driving. Yawning often, having a feeling of heavy eyelids, drifting into another lane and forgetting the last few miles driven are signs that you are about to fall asleep behind the wheel.

To avoid fatigued driving, experts recommend the following tips:

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Drinking coffee or rolling down the window will not help to keep you awake nearly as well as good rest.
  • Use rest stops and lounging locations when possible when you are waiting at a work site.
  • Make sure you eat right, exercise and sleep on a regular basis.
  • Use your stop-work authority if you think it is not safe to continue driving. Intervene if you think one of your co-workers is too tired to drive or work.
  • If you must keep driving, drink a cup of coffee and pull over to rest for at least 15 minutes; but remember, there is never a substitute for sleep.

Oil Field and Drilling Accidents in Texas

As attorneys in Dallas, Guajardo & Marks knows Texas leads the country in oil and gas production. Oil and gas workers in Texas work long, tough hours in poor conditions, and sometimes they work well beyond their ability to do their jobs safely. Our attorneys often represent workers who are injured on the job in oil and gas fields. But sometimes these workers get behind the wheel when they are exhausted and get in car accidents that injure others. In that case, our personal injury attorneys stand ready to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the person injured by fatigued drivers so they can get the compensation they deserve.

Have You Been Injured By a Fatigued Driver?  Talk to a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Today

Sometimes oil and gas workers drive their rigs far beyond their physical limits when they are tired. This type of dangerous driving can lead to serious and fatal accidents. If you have been injured or had a loved one killed by a fatigued oil and gas worker, you may have suffered terrible financial and emotional trauma. Guajardo & Marks are accomplished legal advisers who will do everything possible to make sure you get the most compensation for your accident injuries or for the loss of your loved one. Please contact us for a free discussion about your case.