Production of oil and gas is not the only thing on the rise in South Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal traffic wrecks have increased by 40 percent since last year in the Eagle Ford Shale region, a 20,000 square-mile area that runs from the Mexican border across 20 counties in South Texas. One of the major reasons for this increase, TxDOT officials report, is because of the large number of cars and commercial trucks that now occupy many of the deteriorating roads without shoulders that connect this rural region. Traffic Operations Division Director for TxDOT, Carol Rawson, estimates that roads that once carried 200 vehicles per day now have 2,400 vehicles traveling on them, most of which are 80,000 pound 18-wheeler trucks.
Karee Clark, a resident who lives along the northern edge of the Eagle Ford Shale region, says she regularly sees passenger cars be passed and even run off the road by large 18-wheeler trucks. Making matters worse, many counties still lack the number of roadside emergency responders to address the region’s increase in traffic accidents. La Salle County, nearly 1,500 square-miles located in the heart of Eagle Ford country, has only three to four EMS responders that service the entire area.
With 5,000 new wells expected to be built by 2020, Eagle Ford Shale may bring 68,000 new full-time jobs to the state and generate as much as $21.5 billion in economic output. While an increase in state jobs and dollars is a welcome addition to South Texas, it does raise concerns about the future for an already grim traffic fatality report in this region.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident with a commercial vehicle, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211.