Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. oil and gas extraction industry, resulting in approximately thirty worker fatalities every year. Many oil and gas extraction companies have developed comprehensive motor vehicle safety programs; some have described the impact of those programs at industry conferences, in industry magazines, or in trade journals. The purpose of this paper was to conduct a systematic review of the motor vehicle safety initiatives that have been published in this industry. This paper will summarize the reported effectiveness of these initiatives, identify the research gaps in the literature, and describe recommendations to enhance future motor vehicle safety research in the oil and gas extraction industry.


To be included in this review, articles had to meet the following criteria: 1) available in an online database; 2) published during 1990-2012; 3) describe a motor vehicle safety initiative within an oil and gas extraction company; and 4) objectively measure the effectiveness of at least one component of a motor vehicle safety initiative.


The authors identified 38 articles that met the criteria above. Oil and gas extraction companies have employed a variety of interventions to improve motor vehicle safety among their workforce; the most common found in this review were in-vehicle monitoring, journey management, driver training and qualification, and driver fitness and alertness.


There is a need to improve the quality of research articles examining motor vehicle safety in the oil and gas extraction industry. The authors’ systematic review found a limited number of published articles describing motor vehicle safety initiatives in the oil and gas extraction industry, particularly in the U.S. In addition, the articles often suffered from a weak study design and did not evaluate the long-term impact of their initiatives over time. There is a continued need for oil and gas extraction companies to evaluate the impact of their motor vehicle safety initiatives and publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals to enhance the dissemination of effective strategies.

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