As Jennifer Hiller reports for San Antonio Express-News, another fatal truck wreck happened on Sunday, ending the life of a 26-year-old oil tanker driver. The driver of a second oil tanker failed to yield on Texas 16. This is the latest wreck in August. In July, an 18-wheeler crossed the center line and caused a fatal accident killing two people. And in June – well, some local residents are saying it seems as though there’s a fatal wreck every week now.
The cause, as everyone’s been saying for months, is increased truck traffic from the Eagle Ford Shale oil boom. McMullen County in South Texas has been hit particularly hard by it, in terms of the traffic congestion and accidents.
Part of it has to do with the driving habits of the truckers. “Big trucks will pass you in the dark like you’re standing still,” as Hiller quotes one resident. Not only is there speeding, failure to yield, crossing the center line, and so on, but there is the fact of traffic congestion, which in some cases is substantially increasing the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B.
One person’s commute went from a reasonable 25 minutes to more than 45 minutes – and it’s probably just going to keep getting worse.