The number of serious car wrecks continues to rise in the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas. The 23-county area, stretching from Laredo to the eastern edge of the play near Huntsville, saw 236 fatalities in 2013, down from 248 the year before, but there were 3,430 crashes that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, a 26 percent jump from 2012.
In March of 2014, the Texas Workforce Commission said 3,200 oil and gas related jobs were added in January, for a total of 15,800 jobs over the year and an annual growth rate of 5.6%. The oil boom in Eagle Ford has put more cars and heavy trucks on a rural network of badly deteriorating roads. The most unsafe times of day to drive in the Eagle Ford are around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., meaning most crashes occur in broad daylight.
Speeding and driver inattention were the two issues that local law enforcement have reported leading to most of the crashes. The “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign urges drivers to take their time and give large trucks plenty of room to maneuver. A spokeswoman from the Texas Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to use extra caution in energy-producing areas and avoid texting and talking on the cellphone.
Counties across South Texas have tried to add emergency responders to their staffs. In DeWitt County, sheriff’s deputies used to handle bailiff duties at the courthouse, but now the county has hired two bailiffs so deputies can instead respond to the increased number of emergency calls.
Last year in a list of potential threats to the state of Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) pinpointed traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford Shale region in a list that included drug cartels, human trafficking and natural disasters. The DPS said that crashes were expected to continue rising in the South Texas oil patch as more people, cars and trucks flow into the rural area.
Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have been in a car accident or have any questions about your personal injury case, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.