Study Links Fracking to Fatal Car Accidents: Is Your Pennsylvania Car Crash the Fracking Company’s Fault?

Because of improvements in vehicle safety, fatal traffic accidents in the United States are at the lowest level since the 1960’s. This is great news; however, there are a few states where traffic accidents are still increasing. Texas is one of those states.

The Houston Chronicle recently published a report linking the increase in Texas accident fatalities to fracking activity. This conclusion supports anecdotal data from emergency personnel who claim they’ve seen a surge in serious accidents since the beginning of the fracking boom.

8 Reasons Fracking Increases Road Accident Deaths:

  1. It takes 2,000 to 4,000 truck trips per well to deliver the sand and other materials needed for hydraulic fracturing.
  2. The large trucks that deliver these materials travel on rural roads that are not designed for heavy traffic.
  3. The heavy trucks may damage roads or spill sand on roads making them dangerous for passenger vehicles.
  4. Federal rules that regulate truckers and trucking do not apply to the oil and gas industry.
  5. Many trucking operations are run by small, unlicensed companies that use outdated or poorly maintained vehicles.
  6. Many oil and gas workers receive minimal or no training before operating heavy vehicles.
  7. Trucks are often operated by sleep deprived drivers. It is not unusual for oil and gas employees to work 24 hour shifts without breaks for sleep.
  8. Accidents involving fracking trucks are more likely to be fatal than accidents involving only passenger vehicles.


Vilma Marenco is just one of the many Texans whose accident deaths are linked to fracking. Mrs. Marenco was returning home from her shift at a local restaurant when oilfield hauling truck ran a red light and crashed into the side of her Chevy Cavalier. Mrs. Marenco died immediately. The trucking company was operating illegally. The truck was unlicensed and unroadworthy. Neither the company nor the driver carried insurance. Mrs. Marenco’s husband and daughter recently filed a lawsuit against the driver and the company.

Unfortunately, stories like this one aren’t limited to Texas. Fatal accidents have increased in drilling districts in West Virginia, North Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, traffic fatalities in fracking counties have increased by four percent since 2009. The fatality rate for the state overall dropped 19 percent during that time period.

Some states are working to regulate trucking companies and improve roads in fracking communities. But, these changes take time. In the meantime, motorists remain at risk.

Ostroff Fracking Injury Law is investigating claims of accidents involving fracking trucks in Pennsylvania. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a fracking vehicle, please call us at 855-880-6667. We’d like to help you understand your legal rights. There’s no charge for the call and there’s no obligation.