A joint investigation by the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media shines a light on one of the fracking boom's lesser known impacts: traffic deaths.
With several shale fields in play—including Eagle Ford and Permian Basin, which together are pumping out over 3.2 million barrels per day—Texas has contributed heavily to the fracked oil boom. Apparently, motorists have paid a heavy price for that oil.
Since the state's fracking boom began in 2008, Texas has bucked the national trend and seen its traffic fatality numbers going up, leading the country in motor vehicle deaths every year.
The police don't note in accident reports whether or not a particular vehicle involved in a crash belonged to an oil company or who the driver at fault worked for, so it's nearly impossible to actually quantify the oil industry's responsibility for traffic deaths.
But the joint investigation finds that the shocking 51% increase in accidents involving commercial vehicles correlates closely to counties where fracking operations are concentrated:
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