Traffic Fatalities Still on the Rise in West Texas as Drilling Surges

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the oil-booming Permian Basin saw a 13 percent increase in roadside deaths from 2012-2013. Last week, a victims’ rights coalition in Midland held a panel discussion on how to deal with the region’s increasingly dangerous roads. Organizers of the event say most of those wrecks stem from the “3 D’s” – drugs, drinking and distracted driving. But the oil and gas boom in the Basin is compounding those dangers. Mdland County Sheriff Gary Painter says it’s hard to keep the roads safe because of the number of inexperienced drivers getting behind the wheels of big trucks. 

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