PERMIAN BASIN (KMID/KPEJ) – The five main energy regions across the state saw more than 78,000 traffic crashes combined, resulting in 1,072 deaths in 2022. Traffic deaths in these regions accounted for nearly a quarter of Texas’s total traffic fatalities, despite a 3.8% decrease from 2022.

The five main energy producing regions in Texas include the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin, and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale.

According to a release by the Texas Department of Transportation. failure to control speed and driver inattention are ranked as the top two contributing factors in crashes in the main energy sectors.

TxDOT says oil and gas activity brings increased traffic and more large trucks sharing the road with passenger vehicles. Drivers should be aware that large tankers can limit visibility, leaving less room to maneuver. Increased truck traffic also leads to more wear and tear on roads, posing challenges to drivers.

TxDOT is reminding the public of a few safety reminders for motorists:

  • Follow posted speed limits, adjusting to road conditions.
  • Stay focused on driving. Put your phone away, no talking or texting when driving.
  • Give large trucks plenty of space, being patient and only passing when safe and legal to do so.
  • Maintain a safe following distance.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
  • Always wear a seatbelt: drivers, passengers, day, night, every ride, every time.

The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign will be bringing its interactive traffic safety exhibit to high school football games in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. Featuring quizzes, interactive games, and video displays, reminding motorists to stay focused and be careful when driving in these energy production areas.

TxDOT says they are also investing heavily to improve mobility and safety on roadways impacted by traffic in the state’s five energy regions. Over the next 10 years, TxDOT is planning to invest $19.2 billion in rural areas through the 2024 Unified Transportation Program. TxDOT says this shows their commitment to building and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system throughout the entire state.