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.
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:
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.
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:
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.