Oilfield driving represents an intersection between two dangerous types of jobs. Jobs in the transportation industry generally rank among the most dangerous. Commercial truckers present an excellent example of this. The same holds true of workers in the oil industry. So, it comes as no surprise that oilfield driving ranks among the most dangerous. The real question is: exactly how dangerous is it?
One MarketPlace article estimates that oil industry workers, in general, face risks at five times that of the general work population. The report also identified transportation as the deadliest part of the job.
What makes oilfield driving dangerous
Workers often travel through rural roads with no seatbelts on. They also suffer from fatigue after working long hours. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. When this happens, not only do workers risk injuries and death, but civilians on the road may also suffer the same risks. The vehicles also offer limited visibility.
What oilfield companies do to reduce these incidents
Oilfield companies need to change the entire system and work process to make oil a safer industry. However, this would take years and billions of dollars to accomplish. In the interim, companies rely on technology. They install monitors inside the vehicles that track signs of distraction and aggressive driving.
U.S. News shares that the dangers of oilfield driving create a dilemma for Texas residents. On the one hand, residents feel grateful for a booming economy and the availability of jobs. On the other hand, oil-related fatalities run high. In 2018, more than 1,600 people died while traveling along U.S. 287, which is one of the busiest routes for the oil and gas industry in Texas.