TxDOT warns people to drive safely in oil and gas production areas as traffic deaths rise

There has not been a deathless day on Texas roads since November 2000

The Texas Department of Transportation released a report that says nearly 25% of our state’s total traffic deaths happened in the state’s five main energy sectors.

The five main energy sectors include the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale. The sector closest to San Antonio is the Eagle Ford Shale. Some counties in that area include Atascosa, Frio, McMullen and Wilson.

In 2022, there were more than 78,000 traffic crashes in those five sectors resulting in 1,072 deaths.

In the Eagle Ford Shale sector alone, there were 13,711 crashes, 186 deaths and 590 serious injuries.

TxDOT says from 2021 to 2022, there was a 31.9% increase in traffic deaths.

TxDOT hopes through their statewide “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign that drivers will be more alert while driving through our state’s oil and gas producing areas.

TxDOT says the main reasons these areas see a higher rate of crashes is due to speeding and driver inattention.

“Drivers need to be able to pay attention to the road and weather conditions and traffic around them, especially with these huge 18-wheelers that are driving along these energy sectors,” said Laura Lopez, Spokesperson for TxDOT.

Lopez says there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Follow the speed limit
  • Stay focused, put your phone away
  • Give large trucks plenty of space
  • Only pass large trucks safely and legally
  • Maintain a safe distance
  • Obey stop signs and traffic signals

About the Author:

Halee Powers is a KSAT producer primarily focused on digital newscasts and events.