SPEED AND DRIVER INATTENTION ARE TOP FACTORS IN TRAFFIC CRASHES IN ENERGY-PRODUCING AREAS

TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign urges drivers to slow down and stay alert in oil and gas production and exploration regions

AUSTIN ­– TxDOT is urging motorists to make safety a priority when they’re behind the wheel, especially in areas where oil and gas activity often brings increased traffic and large trucks to rural areas and adjacent communities.

In 2020, nearly 70,000 crashes occurred in the state’s 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 top reasons for crashes in these areas.  

TxDOT offers these tips 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.

“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 such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths.

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