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Crash numbers continue to climb
by Joe Baker
Feb 28, 2013 | 3346 views | 7 7 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The chart above, based on data from the Texas Department of Transportation, shows that the number of traffic accidents that happen in Karnes County is continuing to rise. 2012 saw a 34 percent increase in the total number of traffic accidents.
The chart above, based on data from the Texas Department of Transportation, shows that the number of traffic accidents that happen in Karnes County is continuing to rise. 2012 saw a 34 percent increase in the total number of traffic accidents.
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KARNES COUNTY – Data recently released by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shows that the number and severity of vehicle accidents that happen across Karnes County is continuing to increase.

In response to a request from The Karnes Countywide, the report indicates that the total number of crashes for the year 2012 was 411, an increase of 34 percent over the total amount recorded in 2011, which was 306 crashes.

Between the years 2011 and 2012, fatal crashes in Karnes County increased from four to 10. Fatalities increased from five to 13, the number of incapacitating crashes increased from 11 to 26 and the number of incapacitating injuries increased from 22 to 44.

Kenedy Police Chief Duane DuBose said that over the past year, the total number of traffic accidents in the City of Kenedy has roughly doubled.

DuBose said that there are many factors that have led to a situation where local roadways are less safe than they once were.

The speed of traffic, driver impatience and driver inattention all contribute to many accidents that his department and other local law enforcement agencies investigate.

“Everybody needs to get somewhere and they need to get there now,” DuBose said. “That causes a problem. You have people who live here, commuters, people that are coming through who are looking for addresses and may not know really know where they are going. Everybody is either on the phone or trying to adjust this or do that in the vehicles and they are not paying attention to what they are doing.

DuBose had some advice for all drivers who use the Karnes County streets, roads and highways.

“Leave early,” DuBose said. “Know where you are going, if you can. Don’t try to be somewhere in ten minutes. Give yourself enough time and don’t get in a rush.”

Most importantly, DuBose recommends all drivers pay close attention and stay focused on the task of safely driving the vehicle.

“When you are driving, pay attention to what you are doing,” DuBose said. “I know it is tough, but put the phone down. Even if you have the hands free devices, when you are talking on the phone with somebody, you are still thinking about what you are saying to them, you are thinking about everything else. Eliminate that – tell them that you will call back when you get to wherever you are getting. Just drive and pay attention to everything going on around you.”
Comments
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RDYSTNO
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March 03, 2013
HAAA!!! Chief Dubose is saying that all of the citizens of Karnes County are at fault and to blame for being on the phone and in a hurry?? Did I get that correct?? Just drive down the street and you will see his patrol officers on the phone constantly. As for Karnes County law enforcement speeding, well it is just not even commentable it is such a waste of time if that is what the Chief of Police in Kenedy Texas HONESTLY believes. WOW.
feelark
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March 01, 2013
Wonderful idea, Mr. Baker. I would suggest including what the oilfield might do as well. The speed limit in Pettus is 35 mph, and I have seen them whiz through with no regard to it. It will take EVERYBODY'S cooperation to reduce fatalities.
feelark
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March 01, 2013
Thank you, Mr. Baker, for the additional information. I am concerned about the "boom" excitement eclipsing the prices paid, namely traffic accidents, deaths, and torn up roads. Some of these trucks have little regard for speed limits in the smaller towns along Hwy 181--I have witnessed this many times. The law enforcement agencies seem to look the other way rather than set up speed traps to catch some of these offenders.

There are a lot of freshly hired, inexperienced drivers on the road working long hours, and the combination of both leads to problems.

How about a story on this side of the issue? Some may find it informative.
Joe_Baker
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March 01, 2013
We have had several stories like that -- will see if I can find the links for you so you can read them. One of the things that Chief DuBose said, which in hindsight I should have probably included, is that more often than not, the driver to blame in these accidents is a local person who is not used to driving in heavy traffic. He said the typical accident does not involve an 18-wheeler but instead involves one of the typically white oilfield industry pickup trucks and a local driver who was not paying attention. It probably would be a good idea to do an in depth article of this kind again, and we are currently working on a video that focuses on what local drivers need to know to stay safe on busy highways and roads. Thanks for your input!
feelark
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February 28, 2013
Mr. Baker, I find it a mite curious that some information may have been left out of your statistics....would you care to mention how many of the accidents are Eagle Ford driver-related? It seems as though the timeline chart runs concurrent with the "economic boom" in the area.
Joe_Baker
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February 28, 2013
Feelark, I don't think TxDOT tracks accident data by industry -- the data we received was for "all" accidents. I can tell you that of the many accident stories I have written over the past two year, probably about two thirds have involved energy company vehicles.