AP: Highways Deaths Rise Where Fracking Happens

In Pennsylvania, a 4 percent rise in traffic deaths.

AP reports that areas where the fracking industry thrives also report higher rates of highway deaths — including in Pennsylvania:

The average rate of deaths per 100,000 people — a key mortality measurement that accounts for population growth — in North Dakota drilling areas climbed 148 percent on average from 2009 to 2013, compared with the average of the previous five years, the AP found. In the rest of the state, deaths per 100,000 people fell 1 percent over the same period.

Traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania drilling counties rose 4 percent over that time frame, while in the rest of the state they fell 19 percent. New Mexico’s traffic fatalities fell 29 percent, except in drilling counties, where they only fell 5 percent.

AP adds: “Not all of the crashes involved trucks from drilling projects, and the accidents have been blamed on both ordinary motorists and heavy equipment drivers. But the frenzy of drilling activity contributes heavily to the flood of traffic of all kinds that has overwhelmed many communities.”

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  • Bob Dobolino

    Is that deaths per 100,000 population, or 100,000 drivers? Increased traffic on roads in areas that remain similarly populated could be the reason. Is it a big surprise that increased traffic leads to an increase in accidents? Any type of commerce that increases traffic would then have the same net effect on accidents in an area that remains similarly populated. Should any type of commerce that increases traffic be lumped along with Fracking then as something that is bad?