Georgia readers may have heard that hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking,”can cause environmental issues. However, according to a new study, the controversial procedure may also increase the risk of large truck accidents.
For the study, which was co-authored by an environmental economics expert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers compared crash data in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota between 2006 and 2014 with a schedule of fracking operations that took place near area roads over the same period of time. They found that fatal truck accidents increased by 8% on road segments that were within six miles of a post-fracking well. They also discovered that per capita crash costs were 7.1% higher in these areas.
Experts say that fracking generates a great deal of wastewater, which often needs to be carried to disposal sites by large trucks, increasing the risk of collisions with other vehicles. In addition, many fracking sites are in areas that don’t have the proper road infrastructure to support heavy trucks, which further increases the chances of fatal collisions. To address this issue, the authors of the study urged oil and gas companies to develop ways to improve workplace safety and reduce traffic hazards around fracking sites. They also suggest that local governments tax fracking wells and collect road tolls to offset the negative impact of fracking.
Victims of big rig accidents might benefit from contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. After assessing the case, the attorney may suggest filing a lawsuit against the truck driver and trucking company involved in the collision. This action could lead to a settlement that compensates the victim for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish and other losses.