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Exposed Gas Meters Pose Risk to Texas Drivers

Severely damaged vehicle after an auto accident with an ambulance in the foreground.

Pipeline safety experts have expressed concern over traffic accidents involving gas meters throughout Texas.

Alarming Number of Accidents Involving Exposed Meters

According to The Dallas Morning News, Texas drivers have damaged over 3,600 gas meters since 2010, resulting in 400 accidents per year. One such accident occurred in 2017 when a mother driving her two 9-year-old sons swerved to avoid a car, striking a gas meter in front of a house. The mother, Michelle Gilmartin, was able to pull her sons and herself to safety. Other accidents have been fatal, such as in 2006 when a Central Texas woman backed over a gas meter which triggered an explosion.

Federal Guidelines Are Hazy

Federal safety experts from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have expressed a growing concern over gas meters near roads and alleys. While experts believe gas companies should move the meters to safer spots, federal guidelines don’t specifically prohibit meter placement near roads.

After accidents involving gas meters have occurred in neighborhoods, some residents report a delay in response from gas companies.

Largest Gas Operator in Texas Responds to Concerns

The largest gas operator in Texas is Atmos Energy. The company claims it takes damage to gas meters seriously, stressing its commitment to making emergency repairs after accidents. If damage is substantial, Atmos promises to build barriers around meters or move them to other locations.

Contributing Factors

A report from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that 1,031 of the 3,600 traffic accidents involving gas meters since  2010 had no contributing  factors. Speeding was found to be the most common contributing factor, accounting for 808 accidents.

Contact an Experienced Automobile Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced auto accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

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