Fracking boom contributes to more traffic, deaths on some US roads

{} CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- Booming production of oil and natural is contributing to a spike in traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are now choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment.

{}{} An Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths and U.S. census data in six drilling states shows that in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004 -- a period when most American roads have become much safer even as the population has grown.

{}{} The drilling technique being used, known as fracking, requires large numbers of vehicles to transport water and other materials, leading to increased traffic.

{}{} The industry acknowledges the problem, and traffic agencies and oil companies say they are taking steps to improve safety. But no one imagines that the risks will be eliminated quickly or easily.

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