For the most part, accidents don’t happen often. Lightning doesn’t strike, airplanes don’t crash, and many people drive for years without even a fender-bender. The same holds true for Oklahoma’s trucking industry; of the 350 companies licensed in the state, most have excellent safety records and only a handful are responsible for minor accidents. However, when lightning does strike in the trucking industry, it often has disastrous consequences. Truck accidents involve vehicles weighing thousands of pounds, often hauling dangerous substances and traveling at high speeds; in a crowded, loud and busy oilfield, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Who is responsible for oilfield truck accidents?
Early this year, a joint investigation by News On 6 and The Frontier revealed that only two dozen trucking companies are responsible for most of the fatal accidents in Oklahoma. News On 6 reported, “Rick’s is just one of two dozen companies with trucks involved in at least 36 deadly crashes in the state since 2007. Nine of those companies had two deadly accidents, each… The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rates trucking companies on safety. Seven of the 24 companies involved in those deadly crashes have conditional ratings – the lowest rating a company can have and still be in operation” [emphasis added].
Big trucks are a vital part of the gas and oil industry infrastructure, and oilfields are positively crawling with them. Many of these trucks are in a disastrous state of disrepair; bad brakes, loads that are thousands of pounds over the limit and compromised safety systems combined with distracted drivers spell doom for innocent bystanders. When these accidents aren’t fatal, they often leave victims seriously injured.
Real people suffer serious injuries
One such accident changed 25-year-old Kyle Randall’s life forever. An overweight truck hauling wastewater blew a stop sign; the vehicle that Randall was driving was struck on the driver’s side, leaving him pinned under the truck for more than an hour. Randall’s arm was rebuilt with a metal rod, his foot is paralyzed and a traumatic brain injury has left him unable to drive and struggling to remember even simple things. An investigation obtained a dispatch recording from the trucking company: “With the lights not working and the steering wheel broken… it’s really not that bad of a truck.”
“Not that bad” of a truck has claimed dozens of lives in the past few years and left dozens more seriously injured. Oilfield workers have enough hazards to deal with on the job; trucking companies that neglect even basic maintenance shouldn’t be one of them.
If you or your loved one was injured on the oilfield, legal action could help you recover from debilitating injuries or death. The experienced Oklahoma oilfield truck accident lawyers at Stipe Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call (918) 505-7741 or contact us today for a free consultation.