The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is reminding drivers to make safety a top priority when they are behind the wheel, particularly in areas where oil and gas activity brings increased traffic and large trucks to rural areas and adjacent communities.
According to TXDOT, in 2020, nearly 70,000 crashes occurred in Texas’ five major energy production areas — the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin and Haynesville/Bossier Shale — resulting in 932 fatalities. Failure to control speed and driver inattention were the chief reasons for crashes in these areas.
Here are some tips the transportation department offers when driving in energy-production areas:
- Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions and weather.
- Focus 100% 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.
- 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.
Drivers should also remember the “Move Over or Slow Down” law, requiring motorists to move over a lane or slow to 20 MPH below the posted speed limit when approaching an emergency vehicle, law enforcement, TXDOT vehicle, tow truck, or utility vehicle stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside.
The last day without a deathless day on Texas roads on Nov. 7, 2000. The transportation department’s #EndTheStreakTX campaign on broader social media and word-of-mouth is designed to ask Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths.