AUSTIN, TX –– As a part of its "Be Safe. Drive Smart" campaign, the Texas Department of Transportation is asking motorists to be safe where oil and gas production is prevalent.
According to TxDOT, these types of industries result in increased traffic and large trucks commuting in rural areas and adjacent communities.
Last year nearly 70,000 crashes were reported in the state’s five major energy production areas—the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin, and Haynesville/Bossier Shale.
This resulted in more than 900 fatalities –– with failure to control speed and driver inattention identified as the top reasons for crashes in the area.
As a result, TxDOT offers the following tips when traveling iN energy-production areas.
- Drive at 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.
“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," SAID TxDOT in a press release. "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."
Drivers are also reminded to adhere to the "Move Over or Slow Down” law that requires 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.