Traffic Crashes in Texas Energy-Producing Areas Continue to Increase

October 22, 2020

Texas transportation officials report that the number of traffic crashes in the energy-producing regions of Texas continues to rise.

Last year, there were more than 205,000 crashes in counties defined as the Texas energy sector by the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC), which includes large portions of West Texas, South Texas and even extends into metropolitan areas like Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

These crashes, which represent a 3% increase from 2018, resulted in 1,638 traffic fatalities in the state’s Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin.

The list of energy sector counties is determined and compiled by the TRC. TxDOT said the information contained in its report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of Sept. 9, 2020.

“Heavy trucks and work crews on state and county roads continue to create a challenging driving environment. That’s why we’re urging every motorist to slow down, drive smart and obey traffic laws to prevent crashes,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said in a media release.

Drivers can expect to see a variety of common-sense safety reminders on TV, radio, social media, billboards and gas pumps as TxDOT kicks off its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign in the state’s energy-producing regions. In addition, Texas Mutual Insurance Co., which helps employers prevent on-the-job incidents, is working with TxDOT to distribute educational materials to promote safe driving.

The campaign asks drivers to:

  • Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions and weather.
  • Focus 100% on driving and put the phone away; no talking or texting when behind the wheel.
  • Give large trucks plenty of space, be patient, and pass only when it’s safe and legal to do so.
  • Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Always buckle up—drivers and passengers, day and night.

The TxDOT is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail and public transportation across the state.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation

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