All across the country, oil and gas companies are busy engaged in a practice known as fracking, which is the process of injecting mixtures of water, chemicals, sand or gravel into the earth under high-pressure to extract oil and gas. While the industry is lucrative and even necessary to supply the world’s energy needs, the practice of fracking comes with an unfortunate price — a major increase in traffic-related deaths.
According to information culled from census data involving six drilling states and an Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths, traffic fatalities have increased more than four-fold since 2004. Key information in the report shows that while traffic deaths rise due to population increases, the current figures in drilling states is out of step with a natural rise. In other words, traffic fatalities are rising in these states faster than their populations increase.
Why does fracking increase car accidents, truck accidents and deaths? According to the report, the current hydraulic-fracturing process requires 2,300 to 4,000 trucking trips for each well to deliver the necessary chemical and fluid ingredients for fracking. The drilling techniques of by-gone days only required one-third to one-half as many truck trips. The news article also claims some experts believe regulatory loopholes add to the problem, as federal requirements for how long truckers can remain behind the wheel are less rigid for drivers employed in the oil and gas industry.
Anytime a car accident occurs in a construction zone or in a fracking area, it leads people to think of wrongful death, and many times wrongful death is indeed the case. One way to make sure the problem receives the scrutiny it needs to find resolution is by pursing justice in an American court of law. Car accident and personal injury attorneys can fill a major role in American’s quest to find a solution for traffic fatalities related to fracking.
Source: Wisconsin Gazette, “Deadly side effect to fracking boom” Kevin Begos and Jonathan Fahey, May. 06, 2014