Our South Texas truck accident lawyers have posted several articles about the massive increase in truck traffic and road accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale area. We should also point out a similar increase in traffic accidents in the Permian Basin oil boom area. And some of those West Texas accidents are particularly devastating.
The increases in road hazards and traffic accidents in Texas economic oil boom regions have not escaped the notice of TxDOT. The agency recently prepared a traffic accident report covering the 23-county area of the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas development for 2012.
Take a look at some of the alarming numbers that TxDOT reported:
- The Eagle Ford Shale area experienced 248 traffic fatalities in 2012, up from 177 in 2011. (Our South Texas truck accident lawyers note that comparing 2012 to 2011 data doesn’t necessarily present the full picture. Road hazards and traffic fatalities have surged more than 1,000 percent in the Eagle Ford Shale area beginning around 2008 when the shale oil fracking boom really took off there.)
- Approximately two-thirds of those suffering the traffic accidents were male.
- The most dangerous time to drive the roads of the Eagle Ford Shale area is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on average.
- The number of wrecks involving both fatal and serious injury rose from 2,673 in 2011 to 2,723 in 2012.
- Overall, fatal traffic accidents increased about 40% in the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas development region in 2012.
About 9% of the fatal wrecks involve commercial vehicles like gas trucks. And according to the President and CEO of the Texas Motor Vehicle Association, around 84% of the crashes involving passenger vehicles were caused by the drivers of the passenger vehicles. Wrecks involving commercial trucks have increased 1,000% in Karnes, Dimmit, and La Salle Counties.
Narrow two-lane rural roads that once used to carry 200 vehicles per day now often carry more than 10 times that amount of traffic. (Source: Jennifer Hiller, Houston Chronicle, 3/15/13) And our South Texas truck accident lawyers emphasize that much of the new traffic consists of the heavily loaded trucks necessary for oil and gas extraction and distribution activities.
TxDOT has launched a “Be Safe. Drive Smart“ campaign targeting drivers in the oil boom regions of the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale. The goal is to remind drivers to use extra caution in driving through energy work zones (in the case of the Eagle Ford Shale area, that would be a sizable 23-county area). Click here to read about the “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign.
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