The boom in power generation has created jobs and economic gains for communities across Texas, but also an unintended consequence with an increase in the number of road fatalities and injuries.
The Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers in these areas to be careful. Drive smart when you share the road with increased traffic, work crews, and heavy commercial trucks.
Motorists can expect to see a variety of recalls in the coming weeks as TxDOT launches its “Be careful. Drive smart” security campaign.
This campaign urges drivers to take precautions when sharing the road with heavy trucks and work crews in energy-producing regions that cover more than half of the state’s 254 counties.
âTexas is the national leader in oil and gas production, and with that, we are seeing an increase in truck traffic. And unfortunately, we are also seeing an increase in accidents and fatalities on our roads, âsaid Texas Department of Transportation public information officer Ricky Dailey.
Increased traffic and larger, heavier vehicles are changing driving conditions not only here in South Texas, but in many areas of the state.
âWhat we’re asking people to do is just use a little common sense to be safe on the road,â Dailey said. âSlow down, be aware of the traffic conditions, slow down on wet roads and always fasten your seat belt. And if you get on heavy trucks, give them plenty of room, only overtake them when necessary. “
The “Be careful. Drive smart. âThe campaign is a key part of #EndTheStreakTX, which is a larger local effort that empowers drivers to make safer choices on the road.
âThis means that starting on November 7, 2000, one person died on the roads of Texas every day. What we strive to do at End The Streak Texas is promote road safety to remind drivers to be careful. We want a day without death on the roads of Texas, âsaid Dailey.
It is up to Texas drivers to help achieve this goal.
According to law enforcement, the main causes of accidents in the area were lack of speed control and driver inattention. The most dangerous hours of the day were around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
In 2017, more than 194,000 accidents – an average of 532 per day in the state’s five major oil and gas producing regions – resulted in 1,614 deaths and 7,422 serious injuries, a slight increase from the previous year. ‘last year.
Be careful of TxDOT. The Drive Smart campaign offers the following common sense tips to drivers to help them reduce their risk of becoming an accident statistic:
- Always buckle up.
- Be careful, which means not talking or texting on cell phones or engaging in any other distracting behavior.
- Give the trucks space.
- Drive at a safe speed that takes into account traffic, road conditions and weather.
- Stop for all stop signs and red lights.
- Proceed carefully.
Here are some additional tips for driving in heavy traffic:
- Do not tailgate or flash your lights to another driver. Maintain a safe distance from other drivers so that you can stop within the available stopping distance.
- If an accident is the cause of traffic jams, do not slow down and observe the scene as you pass by.
- Stay on the same path. When vehicles are constantly changing lanes, the flow of traffic is repeatedly interrupted, preventing the possibility of a constant pace.
- Stay focused on driving. Don’t use slow momentum as an opportunity to multitask or check your emails.
Fog in your area? Use these tips to be safe:
- Slow down and don’t drive faster than your field of vision. Use windshield wipers and a defroster as needed to maximize visibility.
- Increase the tracking distance to ensure sufficient reaction time and stopping distance. When using your brakes, don’t stop suddenly.
- Turn on your lights, including your hazard lights. Use low beam and fog lights if you have them. Do not use high beam headlights.
- Use the straight edge of the road or road reflectors as a guide. If you cannot see, pull off the road completely, preferably at a rest stop or truck stop, and immediately turn on your hazard lights.