The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) reports there were more than 205,000 crashes in counties defined as the Texas Energy Sector by the Texas Railroad Commission, which includes large portions of West Texas, South Texas and even extends into metropolitan areas like Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso.
The crashes are a three percent increase from 2018 and resulted in 1,638 fatalities in the Texas’ Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin.
“Heavy trucks and work crews on state and county roads continue to create a challenging driving environment. That’s why we’re urging every motorist to slow down, drive smart and obey traffic laws to prevent crashes,” TXDOT Executive Director James Bass said.
Drivers can expect to see a variety of common sense safety reminders on TV, radio, social media, billboards, and gas pumps as the transportation department kicks off its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign in Texas’ energy-producing regions.
The Texas Mutual Insurance Company, which helps employers prevent on-the-job incidents, is working with the state transportation department to distribute educational materials to promote safe driving. The campaign will ask motorists all across the state to:
- Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions and weather.
- Focus 100% on driving and put the 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.
- Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Always buckle up—drivers and passengers, day and night.
According to the state transportation department, the last day without a deathless day on a Texas roadway was Nov. 7, 2000. The #EndTheStreakTX campaign asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.