Texas DOT Emphasizes Road Safety in State’s Energy Sector

The Texas Department of Transportation is gearing up for its annual road safety campaign – dubbed “Be Safe, Drive Smart” – within the state’s oil and gas production regions.

The agency noted that in 2019, more than 205,000 crashes occurred in counties defined as the “Texas Energy Sector” by the Texas Railroad Commission, which includes large portions of West Texas, South Texas and even extends into metropolitan areas like Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso.

Those crashes, which represent a 3 percent increase from 2018, resulted in 1,638 traffic fatalities in the state’s Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin regions, the agency said.

As with its 2019 campaign, TxDOT noted that failure to control speed is the most-often cited factor in those fatal crashes, followed by “driver inattention” caused by things such as looking at a cell phone.

James Bass

“Heavy trucks and work crews on state and county roads continue to create a challenging driving environment,” stressed James Bass, TxDOT’s executive director, in a statement. “That’s why we’re urging every motorist to slow down, drive smart and obey traffic laws to prevent crashes.”

He said Texas motorists should expect to see a variety of “common-sense safety reminders” on television, radio, social media, billboards and gas pumps as part of TxDOT’s annual “Be Safe, Drive Smart” campaign in the state’s energy-producing regions.

Additionally, Texas Mutual Insurance Company – which helps employers prevent on-the-job incidents – is joining forces working with TxDOT to distribute educational materials to promote safe driving.

TxDOT added that the “Be Safe, Drive Smart” campaign 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.

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