In recent years, New Mexico has become the nation’s sixth-largest oil producer. The boom in the petroleum industry has benefited New Mexico’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs, mostly in the southeast corner of the state. According to a report by Southern California Public Radio broadcaster KPCC, the growth of New Mexico’s oil industry has stretched the services thin in many rural New Mexico towns and contributed to a sharp increase in semi-truck traffic surrounding the oil fields and refining facilities.
According to the article, semi-truck tractor trailers hauling long cylinder tanks and heavy machinery are running non-stop on weekday mornings between Carlsbad and Hobbs in Eddy County. Several crashes between these trucks and other vehicles have occurred this year. Traffic has increased elsewhere as well, leading to a sharp uptick in traffic-related fatalities in the oil-producing regions of the state. So far in 2014, 10 people have been killed in traffic accidents. At least five of those fatalities have involved semi-trucks.
Truck drivers work long hours, often without enough rest. The repetitive nature of the driving, as well as the sheer number of large vehicles that have recently appeared in certain areas of the state, have increased the likelihood of dangerous accidents. The roads in the oil-producing parts of the state were not necessarily designed to handle large trucks, especially at the volume that they handle now. Rural New Mexico drivers have not previously had to worry about this type of traffic, and the sudden increase has caught many by surprise. In southeastern New Mexico, a coalition of towns has formed a task force to address the increase in traffic-related deaths. Additionally, the state legislature is considering legislation to fund highway improvements in the oil-producing counties.
Hopefully these measures that are being taken to address the increased dangers reduce the amount of accidents and deaths in New Mexico’s oil-producing regions, but the increase in traffic will probably increase the danger on certain New Mexico roads permanently. Drivers need to be prepared for this situation by using more caution on rural roads and increasing the insurance coverage that they have. If a semi-truck driver is responsible for an accident, they should be held responsible, but it is best for drivers to have all of the coverage they can afford just in case.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck, The Fine Law Firm would like to talk about your case. Our dedicated New Mexico accident attorneys know how to try the toughest accident cases, and we have the skill that is needed to seek compensation for victims of semi-truck accidents. We handle a variety of New Mexico personal injury cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case. Call us at (505) 889-3463 to schedule a no-obligation consultation, or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Semi-Truck Crash near Albuquerque Ruptures Tanker, Closes Interstate 40, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 4, 2014.
Two Accidents involving Semi-Trucks Cause Three Deaths in Eddy County in A Matter of Days, New Mexico Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, April 23, 2014.