Traffic fatalities are down but the number of wrecks has risen in a 23-county area of South Texas where oil drilling has boomed in recent years.
The San Antonio Express News reports there were 236 fatalities in 2013, a drop from 248 the year before. But the Texas Department of Transportation says there was a 26 percent jump – to 3,430 – in the number of crashes that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities in the region where companies are drilling in the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale.
As companies flock to the area, there are more cars and heavy trucks on the roads.
The department is pushing a safety campaign. Department spokesman Mark Cross says the oil boom is “affecting the state in a big way, good and bad.”