Safe driving advocate says program could aid transporters in Texas oilfield sector


West Texas roads are becoming treacherous for commercial drivers

Oilfield production in Texas continues to reach new heights as businesses in the region rely on advanced drilling technology – such as artificial lift – to draw more oil from wells. In fact, high levels of activity in the Permian Basin have yielded more oil production and stronger economic activity in West Texas, according to an analysis from economist Harold Hunt at Texas A&M University.

However, the boom has also produced logistical challenges to residents and workers in the area, not the least of which concerns traffic. A report from the Midland Reporter-Telegram noted that it's common for everyday motorists to share the roads in West Texas with massive oilfield industry trucks and vehicles, creating safety implications for local residents and industry employees alike.

To address the issue and consider steps to improve road safety, the Permian Basin Petroleum Association will host Vince Easevoli of the Stay Alive From Education (S.A.F.E.) program at its upcoming annual meeting, according to the Reporter-Telegram.

Easevoli is a paramedic and firefighter in Florida, and he founded the S.A.F.E. program in 1988 as a way to educate communities and businesses on the dangers of the road and implement measures to combat dangerous driving. Commercial drivers are particularly at risk, Easevoli notes, and companies should take steps to protect against risks such as distracted driving.

"Our programs are targeted to the audience, so with oil companies we'd talk about fatigue and distracted driving," Easevoli told the newspaper.

Driver safety should be a priority for oilfield companies in the Permian Basin, as ineffective or unsafe driving can also negatively affect overall productivity at a time in which opportunity is high in the industry.