Fatalities on Eagle Ford Permian Basin Roads Continue to Rise
The recent increase in oil and gas production across Texas has been a boon for the state’s economy by adding thousands of jobs in many new energy-producing areas. At the same time, however, it has also significantly increased the traffic on the roads used to reach these areas, many of which are not equipped to handle the influx of drivers and commercial vehicles. The areas hit the hardest include the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin. The Eagle Ford Shale energy sector is a 26-county region that stretches from Laredo to Madisonville. The Permian Basin region is a 59-county region that covers 75,000 square miles.
In 2014, the number of fatal and serious traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin regions increased. There were 696 drivers killed across both regions and more than 8,600 accidents with a fatal or serious injury. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 272 people died in traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford in 2014, which represents a 13% increase from the previous year when there were 240 fatal accidents. In the Permian Basin region, 424 people died in traffic accidents. This is a 16% increase from the previous year when there were 356 fatalities.
Traffic accidents overall also increased. In 2014, there were 3,658 traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford region, compared to 3,446 the previous year. In the Permian Basin, there were 5,029 accidents overall in which someone was killed or seriously injured in 2014. This also marked an increase from the previous year, in which there were 4,398 accidents. Factors contributing to the rise in accidents include damaged roads, increased traffic, and a higher volume of heavy commercial trucks and other vehicles.
Texas Department of Transportation Increases Safety Efforts
The Texas Department of Transportation recognizes the significant dangers in these areas and is taking efforts to make these areas safer for drivers. TxDOT has launched “Be Safe. Drive Smart.,” which is a public education campaign to remind motorists to use extra caution when driving through energy work zones. TxDOT has partnered with oil and gas companies, the Texas Department of Public Safety and communities to promote safe roadway driving in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale areas.
As part of the campaign, TxDOT is encouraging drivers to employ basic safety precautions, which drivers often forget or disregard. These include buckling up; driving a safe speed; passing carefully; always stopping at red lights and stop signs; and avoiding using cell phones while driving. In addition, TxDOT has also been making numerous road improvements throughout the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin regions to increase roadway safety.
Contact Zehl & Associates’ Texas Oil Field Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in an oil field trucking accident, Zehl & Associates’ oil field trucking accident attorneys can help you understand your rights and legal options.
Contact Zehl & Associates’ Texas oil field trucking accident attorneys today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call us today at 1-888-603-3636 to find out how our oil field trucking accident attorneys can help you.