In recent news, the Texas Department of Transportation has said that the Permian Basin has seen a 13% increase in roadside deaths from 2012-2013. The Permian Basin is a sedimentary basin in the western part of Texas and the southeastern part of New Mexico. It contains one of the world's thickest deposits of rocks and potassium salts. It also produces large quantities of oil and natural gas.
According to a victim's rights coalition in Midland, most of these fatal wrecks stemmed from the "three deadly Ds": drugs, drinking, and distracted driving.
Drugged / Drunk Truck Driver Statistics
According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety:
- 15% of truck drivers had marijuana in their systems
- 12% had non-prescription stimulants in their systems
- 5% had prescription stimulant drugs in their systems
- 2% had cocaine in their systems
- 1% had alcohol in their systems
In another study of 168 fatally injured truck drivers in eight states, 33% tested positive for psychoactive drugs or alcohol. When a truck driver is drugged, drunk or distracted behind the wheel of a big rig, this affects their concentration, reaction times and perception—which can easily lead to a collision.
Inexperienced Truck Drivers on the Road Near the Permian Basin
The oil and gas boom in the area has not helped matters either. According to the Midland County sheriff, it is hard to keep the roads surrounding the Basin safe because of the increasing number of inexperienced drivers getting behind the wheels of big trucks. The oil and gas production levels have demanded a high number of truck drivers to transport the barrels and the truck companies have complied.
If a truck driver was distracted, drugged or drunk, or if a truck company hired an inexperienced driver and failed to give him the proper training, this can constitute negligence in a truck accident case. If you believe you were injured because of a truck driver's negligence, our team at Arnold & Itkin is prepared to fight for you.