Oil boom linked to more traffic crashesThe boom in North Dakota’s Oil Patch has generated a dramatic increase in traffic – and in road accidents.
The boom in North Dakota’s Oil Patch has generated a dramatic increase in traffic – and in road accidents.
Two-thirds of the state’s 17 oil and gas counties exceed the state’s average for crash risk, according to an analysis by the Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University.
The estimated property cost of traffic crashes in the Oil Patch increased by a third from 2006 to 2010, from $90.9 million to $121.8 million, according to the study.
The share of crashes involving large trucks doubled over five years, from 2006 to 2010. Trucks, pickups and vans now comprise more than 70 percent of crashes in oil counties.
Weather, speeding and driving too fast were among the most common factors in Oil Patch crashes.
A year-by-year summary of oil county crashes, injuries and fatalities:
2006: 2,320 crashes, 504 injuries, 34 fatalities.
2007: 2,669 crashes, 602 injuries, 31 fatalities.
2008: 2,662 crashes, 652 injuries, 38 fatalities.
2009: 3,203 crashes, 725 injuries, 46 fatalities.
2010: 3,909 crashes, 847 injuries, 33 fatalities.