Crashes in the Texas Energy Sector

Crashes in the Texas Energy Sector

Texas is a hub for the oil and gas industry as well as energy production, with these industries bringing increased traffic and trucks to the surrounding areas. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2020, close to 70,000 crashes occurred in Texas’ energy sector, composed of the five major energy production areas in Texas. These accidents resulted in 2,791 serious injuries, and 932 fatalities. Furthermore, traffic deaths in these areas accounted for almost a quarter of traffic deaths across the state of Texas.

Regional Breakdown

The five major energy regions are Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Anadarko Basin, Haynesville/Bossier Shale, and Permian Basin.

Barnett Shale:

Located in the Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin on the north side of Texas near the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the Barnett Shale is one of the largest onshore natural gas fields in the country. It stretches east and west from Abilene to Dallas, and north and south from Wichita Falls almost to Round Rock, and covers 17 counties. In 2020, the Department of Transportation reported there were 17,921 traffic accidents there, resulting in 797 serious injuries and 223 deaths.

Eagle Ford Shale:

The Eagle Ford Shale is a sedimentary belt that stretches diagonally from Burleson, Texas down to Webb, Texas. It covers 26 counties. TxDOT reported 11,275 crashes occurred there in 2020. The crashes resulted in 409 people suffering serious injuries, and 138 people suffering fatal injuries.

Anadarko Basin:

The Anadarko Basin is located on the north side of Texas and runs into the western part of Oklahoma. It covers approximately 50,000 square miles, and is one of the largest natural gas producers in the country. In 2020, the Department of Transportation reported there were 639 accidents there, resulting in 21 serious injuries and 8 fatalities.

Haynesville/Bossier Shale:

Located in east Texas and stretching into west Louisiana, the Haynesville/Bossier Shale covers about 9,000 square miles. TxDOT data reports 16,490 traffic accidents occurred there, which left 757 people seriously injured and 243 fatally injured.

Permian Basin:

The Permian Basin is a large sedimentary basin known for its petroleum and natural gas deposits. Located in west Texas, the Permian Basin runs into east New Mexico. It is made up of three components—the eastern Midland Basin, the Central Basin Platform, and the western Delaware Basin, and covers 86,000 square miles. In 2020, the Permian Basin saw 23,100 accidents, which resulted in 320 fatalities and 807 serious injuries.

Determining The Cause

The Texas Department of Transportation reported that the most common cause of crashes in the Texas energy sector was failure to control speed, followed by driver inattention. As part of a campaign to promote safe driving habits, they recommend the following safe driving tips:

  • Always buckle up- drivers and all passengers- day and night.
  • Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions, and weather.
  • Focus 100 percent on driving and put your phone away; now talking or texting when behind the wheel.
  • Give large trucks plenty of space, be patient, and pass only when it is safe and legal to do so.
  • Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Additionally, they emphasize the importance of the “Move Over, Slow Down” law—drivers should either change lanes or slow down 20 mph beneath the speed limit when approaching a vehicle on the side of the road in order to prevent accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us to speak with one of our Texas Personal Injury Lawyers. We have been successfully representing injured people and their families for over 25 years, and we can help you too. Call 713-224-9000, or fill out our contact form here.