Crashes Linked to Oil & Gas Activity

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An increase in deadly crashes in Eagle Ford counties are connected to oil and gas activity, according to new study.

Related: Eagle Ford Traffic Deaths Increase 13%

The Texas Transportation Institute released new findings this week that confirm a correlation between increased oil and gas drilling activity and vehicle crashes across the state of Texas. In the Eagle Ford Shale region, the number of rural crashes increased by 4 percent, and a 61 percent increase in rural areas involving commercial vehicles.

The study gathered and processed crash data to document locations and trends of crashes between two time periods:2006 to 2009 and 2010 to 2013. Not only did they find that there were more crashes, but they were more serious.

In the Eagle Ford Shale region, there was a 74 percent increase in the crash rate for fatal, incapacitating, and nonincapacitating injury crashes (compared to a 65 percent increase for all crashes). For fatal crashes, the increase was 75 percent.

The study goes on to say that in the Eagle Ford, there was a strong correlation between the number of new horizontal wells and the number of rural CMV crashes.

In March, TxDOT reported that Texas oil regions saw a surge in traffic deaths in 2014 including 272 people who died  in traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford. This represented an increase of 13 percent over 2013, where 240 people were killed in the 26-county region.