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TxDOT: 25% of TX Traffic Deaths Occur in Energy-Producing Areas (including Angelina, Smith & Gregg Counties


Nearly one-quarter of Texas traffic deaths occur in energy production areas  


The Issue

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



●          Texas’ five main energy regions—the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale—saw more than 78,000 traffic crashes, resulting in 1,072 fatalities in 2022. Despite a 3.8% decrease from the previous year, traffic deaths in these regions accounted for nearly one-quarter of the state’s total traffic fatalities.

●          Failure to control speed and driver inattention are ranked as the top two contributing factors in crashes in the five main energy regions.


Safety Tips

TxDOT offers these important safety reminders for motorists:

●          Follow posted speed limits and adjust your driving to match road conditions. In some situations, the only safe speed may be below the posted speed limit.

●          Stay focused on driving and put your phone away: no talking or texting when behind the wheel.

●          Give large trucks plenty of space. Be patient and pass only when it’s 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 buckle up—drivers and passengers, day and night, every ride, every time.


To spread these messages, TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign will bring its interactive traffic safety exhibit to high school football games in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale. These events will feature quizzes, interactive games and video displays that remind motorists to stay focused and be careful when driving in energy production areas.


TxDOT is also investing heavily to improve mobility and safety on roadways impacted by traffic in the state’s five energy producing regions. Over the next 10 years, TxDOT is planning to invest a historic level of $19.2 billion in rural areas through the 2024 Unified Transportation Program (UTP). This shows TxDOT’s commitment to building and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system in all parts of the state.


Be Safe. Drive Smart. is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.


The information contained in this report represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). This information was received and processed by the department as of August 9, 2023. To view additional traffic safety data, visit TxDOT’s Traffic Safety Data Portal online.




The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail and public transportation across the state.


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