Increasing development of energy resources in Texas significantly contributes to the economies of many of our local communities and to our state as a whole. Energy companies provide employment to thousands of Texans and are vital sources of jobs in areas that may be economically disadvantaged. There are specific counties in Texas known as the Texas Energy Sector, where energy companies tend to group and work alongside each other. These counties include large parts of West Texas, South Texas, and even extend into cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, and El Paso. There are challenges, though, in these areas where oil and gas drilling activities occur, as there are increased numbers of workers and travelers driving through these areas of Texas along roads not always designed or equipped to support them.
In 2019, there were more than 205,000 car accidents in the Texas Energy Sector. These car accidents, which increased by 3% from 2018, sadly involved 1,638 crash fatalities in the state’s Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale, and Permian Basin. The roads in the Energy Sector can be long, lonely, and have long stretches with high speed limits. It may be tempting to speed along a dark highway or get distracted by messaging someone with your cell phone. Unfortunately, speeding and driver inattention contributed to an increase in Energy Sector car crashes in 2019. “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,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. Drivers speeding by or not paying attention while driving are dangerous in general, but with the added dangers of slow-moving construction vehicles, work caravans, and/or large cargo trucks on the road, it can be deadly.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is doing its best to make drivers more aware of the dangers of speeding and driving while distracted. Texas drivers can expect to see a variety of safety reminders on billboards, social media, TV, and even at gas pumps. TxDOT’s campaign “Be Safe. Drive Smart” is specifically targeting the state’s energy-producing counties to help decrease the number of accidents each year. The campaign specifically asks drivers to:
- Drive a safe speed and take into account all traffic, road conditions, and weather ahead.
- Focus on driving 100% of the time. Put the phone away and do not talk or text while behind the wheel.
- Give large trucks and construction vehicles a good amount of space. Be patient with these vehicles and only pass when it is safe and legal to do so.
- Obey all traffic signals, stop signs, and traffic laws.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Always buckle up, including the driver and all passengers, day and night. It is Texas law.
The production of energy from oil, natural gas, and wind has had a significant impact on the transportation infrastructure in the Energy Sector. Many roads were not designed for the amount of larger vehicles and construction machinery that are traveling across the state. Over time, this increased volume of heavy truck traffic has caused damage to the roads and bridges in the area. Drivers must drive at a safe speed, remain alert and attentive, and be able to spot any issues in the road ahead to avoid getting into a dangerous car crash.
Energy Sector Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents caused by speeding or driver inattention can be absolutely devastating, but victims don’t have to handle them by themselves. By selecting knowledgeable legal representation, the injured won’t have to worry as much about their next steps. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, contact the South Texas car accident lawyers at Ezequiel Reyna, Jr. Law Office today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following a motor vehicle accident in Texas, so don’t delay.