LUBBOCK, Texas — Over 1,000 fatalities in 2022 were attributed to unsafe driving practices in Texas’ five main energy regions — one of which includes Lubbock County, according to the Sherry Matthews Group.

Failure to control speed and driver inattention were cited as the top two contributing factors in crashes in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Anadarko Basin and the Haynesville/Bossier Shale regions. According to the press release, nearly 25% of Texas traffic deaths occur in energy production areas such as these.

In 2022, there were 26,031 traffic crashes in the 49-county Permian Basin region (which includes Lubbock county), resulting in 394 fatalities and 889 serious injuries, according to the press release — a 3.1% increase in traffic fatalities over the previous year.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching its new statewide “Be Safe. Drive Smart” campaign. TxDOT offered the following safety tips:

  • Follow posted speed limits and adjust your driving to match road conditions. In some situations, the only safe speed may be below the posted speed limit.
  • Stay focused on driving and put your phone away: no talking or texting when behind the wheel.
  • Give large trucks plenty of space. Be patient and pass only when it’s safe and legal to do so.
  • Maintain a safe following distance.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
  • Always buckle up—drivers and passengers, day and night, every ride, every time.

TxDOT said its campaign will bring its interactive traffic safety exhibit to high school football games in the Permian Basin. TxDOT is also investing heavily to improve mobility and safety on roadways as it plans to invest a historic level of $19.2 billion in rural areas through the 2024 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) over the next 10 years.

November 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways, according to TxDOT.