Five men were killed in a fire last Thursday after their van crashed into a crude oil tanker truck.
The oil tanker truck was traveling on a highway in a South Texas oil field when the pickup in front of it made a left hand turn off the highway. The oil truck driver swerved to avoid the pickup, but lost control and flipped. That’s when the two cars carrying the five men struck the overturned tanker.
Flames exploded and the resulting fire killed the five men, who are believed to be oil field workers.
The wreck happened in fracking fields southwest of San Antonio.
Car and truck wrecks are an unforeseen side effect of the fracking boom in rural Texas; it’s led to a huge increase in truck traffic on “outback” roads that weren’t built to hold tractor trailers.
Another contributing factor to collisions is the overtime worked by many oil field workers. Since there isn’t much housing near where fracking is done, workers must travel great distances to get to work. To help ease this driving burden, many oil field employees work 12-hour shifts three days a week in order to spend less time on the road per hour on the fields.
Unfortunately, this means many employees leave work and drive home feeling exhausted.
It may seem like an insubstantial cause for worry, but drowsy driving is no laughing matter; in fact, it’s just as dangerous as drunk driving. The CDC estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of 100,000 accidents nationwide each year. Even with federal laws that limit the number of hours drivers can work, accidents still happen every day.