Officials: Nearly Half of all Texas Traffic Deaths Occur in Energy-Producing Areas

Texas continues to lead the nation in oil and gas production, creating jobs and prosperity statewide, but communities in the state’s main energy production areas have also seen a rise in deaths on the road accounting for close to half of all traffic fatalities in Texas, according to the state’s transportation department.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says in 2018, 1,673 people died and more than 6,000 were seriously injured in crashes in the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale, and Permian Basin, where oil and gas exploration is under way.

Traffic deaths in these areas are up by 4% compared with 2017. Crash reports point to failure to control speed as the most-often cited factor in traffic crashes, followed by driver inattention because of actions such as looking at a cell phone.

“Driving conditions have changed dramatically in many parts of Texas,” TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said in a media release. “A big increase in the number of heavy trucks and traffic on state and county roads adds to the complexity of driving—something we always need to give our full attention to, while also obeying traffic laws. That’s why we are urging every motorist to drive smart and take simple precautions to prevent crashes.”

Read the full story here.

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