Page Options
Up Arrow

Be Safe. Drive Smart.

Texas is a big energy-producing state with lots of big trucks.  Semis, trailers and tankers produce heavy truck traffic in the state’s energy sectors to warrant caution.  The Be Safe. Drive Smart. campaign is a year-long public education and awareness effort aimed at saving lives and reducing crashes. The campaign also focuses on reminding drivers to be extra cautious when driving through energy sector areas. 

Crash Data

Motorists traveling through energy sectors make up a large number of the state’s fatalities. In 2015, there were 26,077 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 1,450 fatalities in the state’s six energy sectors. The leading contributors for those crashes were failure to control speed, driver inattention. Below is a breakdown of crashes per energy region for 2015:

  • Barnett Shale: there were 16,344 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 647 fatalities. By comparison, there were 15,787 of these crashes and 615 fatalities in 2014.
  • Cline Shale: there were 696 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 64 fatalities. By comparison, there were 824 of these crashes and 69 fatalities in 2014.
  • Eagle Ford Shale: there were 3,337 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 247 fatalities. By comparison, there were 3,656 of these crashes and 269 fatalities in 2014. A reduction in crashes and fatalities is always welcome news, but clearly, we are still losing lives in this area.
  • Granite Wash: there were 165 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 24 fatalities. By comparison, there were 205 of these crashes and 29 fatalities in 2014. Again, a reduction in crashes and fatalities is always welcome news, but clearly, we are still losing lives in this area.
  • Haynesville/Bossier Shale: there were 1,609 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 130 fatalities. By comparison, there were 1,506 of these crashes and 111 fatalities in 2014.
  • Permian Basin: there were 4,622 fatal, incapacitating, and non-incapacitating crashes and 402 fatalities. By comparison, there were 5,040 of these crashes and 428 fatalities in 2014. This reduction in crashes and fatalities is welcome news, but clearly, we are still losing lives in this area.

Safety Tips

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:

  • always buckle up
  • pay attention (put phone away – no talking or texting)
  • give trucks space
  • obey speed limits
  • stop for all stop signs and red lights
  • pass carefully when allowed.

Other driver tips include never driving 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.