Wells, Purcell & Kraatz

Texas and Drilling: The Deadly Side Effects

An Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths and U.S. census data in six drilling states shows that in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004 — a period when most American roads have become much safer even as the population has grown.

In 21 Texas counties where drilling has recently expanded, deaths per 100,000 people are up an average of 18 percent. Across the rest of Texas, they are down by 20 percent. In two Texas drilling regions, 259 people were killed last year, compared with 148 a decade ago. An average of 100 more people were killed in vehicle accidents in each of the last two years compared with before the boom.

Vehicle crashes are the single biggest cause of fatalities to oil and gas workers, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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