Safety Tips For Driving In The Bakken
The once obscure state of North Dakota has gotten a lot of attention in the past five years, thanks to the oil boom taking place in the Bakken Shale formation. Many people have come to the state looking for work and if you drive the roadways anywhere in the Bakken, there are some things you will want to keep in mind.
Traffic Fatalities on the Rise
While North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, there has been a downside to the influx of people coming to the state. Due to the increase in population, traffic and number of trucks on the road, the state has seen highest number of traffic deaths it has ever seen. Many of these traffic fatalities involve trucks traveling along the highway to deliver crude oil or fresh water from one location to another. More often than not, the truck driver is not injured but the passengers in the other vehicle are usually not so lucky.
If you want to do your part to keep driving in the Bakken as safe as possible there are some things you can do.
Make sure your headlights are on at all times - Having your headlights on after the sun goes down or in inclement or foggy weather is always a must. But having your low beams on at all times ensures oncoming traffic sees you. Along with making sure your headlights are on at all times, you will also want to make sure all of your turn signal lights and taillights are in proper working order. All of this makes it easier for trucks to see you and to know what you are doing.
Avoid driving in inclement weather - While it's not always possible to do this, it is in your best interest to avoid driving in inclement weather in the Bakken. If you spin out on ice, chances are you will swerve right into an oncoming truck. If the visibility is poor, you might be better off pulling onto a side road or the next town until things clear up.
Pay attention - It is important as a driver in the Bakken to pay attention to your whereabouts at all time. It is easy to get distracted by something alongside the road or by talking on the cell phone. The more vigilant you are, the less chance you have of getting hit by a big rig.
If you do happen to get into an accident in the Bakken and it involves an 18-wheeler, don't hesitate to call a truck accident attorney (like those at Fonvielle, Lewis, Foote & Messer).