Be Safe. Drive Smart.

Texas is a big energy-producing state with a lot of big trucks. Semis, trailers and tankers mix with rural farmers and ranchers to produce heavy truck traffic in the state’s energy sectors. The Energy Sector Safety Campaign is under the umbrella of Be Safe. Drive Smart. The campaign focuses on reminding drivers to be extra cautious when driving through energy sector areas.

Crash Data

Motorists traveling through energy sectors make up a large number of the state’s fatalities. In 2016, there were 25,293 fatal & serious injury crashes and 1,487 fatalities in the state’s six energy sectors. The leading contributors for those crashes were failure to control speed and driver inattention. Below is a breakdown of crashes per energy region for 2016:

  • Barnett Shale: there were 18,356 fatal and serious injury crashes and 745 fatalities.
  • Cline Shale: there were 638 fatal and serious injury crashes and 37 fatalities.
  • Eagle Ford Shale: there were 3,452 fatal and serious injury crashes and 278 fatalities.
  • Granite Wash: there were 168 fatal and serious injury crashes and 20 fatalities.
  • Haynesville/Bossier Shale: there were 1,577 fatal and serious injury crashes and 118 fatalities.
  • Permian Basin: there were 4,212 fatal and serious injury crashes and 289 fatalities.

Although some of the shale areas, such as the Cline Shale, are seeing a decrease in crashes and fatalities, others such as the Barnett Shale are seeing an increase. A reduction in crashes and fatalities is always welcome news, but clearly, we are still seeing a tragic and unnecessary loss of lives in all these areas. Areas of increased activity are seeing an increase in crashes.

Safety Tips

Drivers are urged to use extra caution when driving through energy sector areas. Drivers should expect the unexpected by staying alert and watching out for other vehicles, especially heavy trucks that have limited sight or move at a slower speed, and who may also require a greater distance to make a full stop. Following these basic safety precautions may help to save a life:

  • Always buckle up
  • Pay attention (put phone away – no talking or texting)
  • Give trucks space
  • Obey speed limits
  • Stop for all stop signs and red lights
  • Pass carefully when allowed

Drivers are reminded to never drive while under the influence alcohol or other drugs or consuming medications that may cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Remember to always drive to conditions; slowing down and following posted limits; pass only when it’s legal and safe, and move over or slow down when there are flashing lights on a law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, tow truck or TxDOT vehicle that may be stopped along the side of the road.