Question & Answer: Has the Eagle Ford Activity Increased Traffic Fatalities?
Answer: Since the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas boom started around 2008, the number of Eagle Ford Shale trucking and traffic accidents and fatalities has skyrocketed.
Anyone whom has driven in and around the Eagle Ford Shale region over the past five years can personally attest to the traffic increase, road destruction, and other dangers associated with the oil field services vehicle traffic that has descended upon these once forgotten and struggling towns. Now, the economic boom has also lead to a boom in roadway dangers. These roadway dangers have, as expected, lead to an increase in traffic, traffic accidents, traffic related injuries, and traffic fatalities. The statistics paint a very clear picture of an extreme public safety risk that is getting worse every year.
In 2012, fatal traffic accidents increased forty percent from 2011 in the Eagle Ford Shale communities. This is according to initial estimates released by the Texas Department of Transportation. According to the Texas Department of Transportation there were more than 2,723 fatal and/or catastrophic injury accident, and almost 250 fatality accidents in 2012 in Eagle Ford Shale region. Further, the increase in commercial motor vehicle accidents from 2008 to 2011 is even more disturbing. By county, the following 3-year increases in commercial motor vehicle accidents are as follows:
- Atascosa: +56%
- DeWitt: +67%
- Dimmit: +175%
- Frio: +200%
- Gonzalez: +204%
- Karnes: +1,050%
- La Salle: +418%
- Maverick: +100%
- McMullen: +1,050%
That literally means that in the three year period from 2008 to 2011, Karnes County, Texas experienced an increase of over 1,000% in commercial motor vehicle accidents.
If you live in and around the Eagle Ford Shale, drive safely, watch your speed, look out for dangerous drivers, be mindful of large commercial motor vehicles, and if possible, limit your time on the roads shared with the large oil field services vehicles.