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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Nearly Half Of All Texas Traffic Deaths Come From Energy Producing Areas

Public Domain via PxHere

Texas continues to lead the nation in oil and gas production, but communities in the state’s main energy production areas have also seen a rise in deaths on the road. 

In fact, energy producing regions, like much of the Panhandle, account for close to half of all traffic fatalities in Texas. 

According to a recent press release from the Texas Department of Transportation, almost 1,700 people died last year — and more than 6,000 were seriously injured — in crashes in energy-rich areas such as the Permian Basin, Barnett ShaleEagle Ford Shale and Granite Wash.

In 2018 alone, almost 9,000 traffic crashes occurred in the 26-county Granite Wash region, which includes Amarillo.

Those crashes resulted in 86 fatalities and 324 serious injuries. That was a 4 percent increase in the number of accidents, over the year before.

TXDoT encourages all Texas drivers to:

  • 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.