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Half of traffic deaths in Texas come from energy-producing areas including the Permian Basin

Places like the Permian Basin have seen a rise in traffic deaths over the past few years due to the growth of the oil and gas industry.
Credit: stevepb

TEXAS, USA — As the oil and gas industry continues to thrive in Texas, the number of deadly accidents has also continued to grow.

Nearly half of all traffic deaths in Texas took place in major energy production areas such as the Permian Basin and the Barnett Shale.

In 2018, there were 1,673 deaths and over 6,000 more injuries in these areas. This is a 4% increase over 2017.

Crash reports list failure to control speed as the most common cause for traffic causes, though driver inattention due to cell phones and other distractions are common as well.

“Driving conditions have changed dramatically in many parts of Texas,” said Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director James Bass. 

“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.”

To help reduce deadly crashes across the state, TxDOT uses an annual "Be Safe. Drive Smart." campaign to reminder drivers of the following safety tips:

  • Always buckle up—drivers and all passengers, day and night.
  • Drive a safe speed that takes into account the amount of traffic, road conditions, and weather.         
  • Focus 100 percent on driving and put your phone away: no talking or texting when you’re 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.

For more information on the study or how to #EndTheStreak of driving deaths in Texas you can visit TxDOT's website.

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