Impact of Energy Sector Growth on Perceived Transportation Safety in the Seventeen-County Oil Region of Western North Dakota: A Follow-Up Study

The sharp increase in travel volumes, shift in traffic mix, and large increases in crashes have transformed the travel environment in the oil region of western North Dakota. Roads once used for local access and agricultural purposes now mostly serve expanding oil production. Oil companies, workers, commercial trucks, and industrial equipment associated with oil extraction use these roads to access oil drilling and production sites. This has led to a larger number of overweight and oversized vehicles on the road. A survey questionnaire was sent to drivers to better understand perceptions and behaviors of road users in this region. County-level crash data were gathered for the state of North Dakota to understand changes in driving conditions during the latest oil boom – specifically between 2004 and 2013. This study addresses two goals for improving traffic safety in the region: first, to examine public perceptions of traffic safety issues and priorities; and, second, to address crash trends and possible intervention strategies. Survey results indicate that drivers perceive the region to be dangerous. Crash data reveal that overall crash events are growing at near exponential rates, and some metrics are worsening even when factoring for changes in vehicle miles traveled and population growth.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 56p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01544632
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC-14-271
  • Contract Numbers: MPC-423
  • Created Date: Nov 24 2014 3:28PM