While higher energy production has brought jobs and economic growth to communities throughout the state, it has also brought a rise in traffic injuries and fatalities.
In 2017, more than 194,000 crashes – roughly 532 a day in the state’s five main oil and gas production regions – resulted in over 1,600 deaths and 7,400 serious injuries, a slight uptick over the previous year.
TxDOT officials cite driver inattention and a failure to control speed as the main reasons for increased traffic accidents, in areas like the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin. Driving under the influence of alcohol is also a major factor in these fatal crashes.
Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New said driving conditions are changing in many parts of the state, due to the increase traffic and number of large, heavy vehicles. He said TxDOT is working to address safety and congestion, and drivers are being reminded to stay cautious around the many water, sand and heavy equipment trucks coming through these areas.
As TxDOT begins its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” safety campaign, drivers are urged to take precautions when sharing roads with heavy trucks. TxDOT will also be hosting community events this month in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, and has maintained its commitment to improve roads in the state’s energy-production areas.
The information contained in this report represents data collected from the Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of November 26, 2018.