The main route from Fort Worth to Midland/Odessa is I-20. As you get closer to Fort Worth, you can jump onto I-30. Either way, this stretch of road is a nice road. It seems like a pleasant drive and it really is. Every time I drive out to my office in West Texas, I enjoy the trip. However, what lies behind the scenes is a deadly road capable of turning your life upside down in an instant.
What Is the Issue?
There are a couple of issues that I'm going to cover in this article. First, the fact that the drive is so smooth and the speed limit in most places is 75 mph, drivers feel they have the need for speed. However, that conflicts with the fact that this isn't a normal stretch of road between two cities in Texas. This is The Oil and Gas Highway, which leads me to my second point.
The main reason this stretch of road is so dangerous is the increasing amount of big trucks and commercial vehicles on the road. As the oil and gas boom comes back into full swing, the road gets packed. It is almost like driving in the city the entire way. Big trucks passing each other, tons of cars on the road going 75+ mph. Almost every person for themself.
Is It Really That Bad?
Let's put it this way, turn on the news in Midland/Odessa and the surrounding counties and you will likely see a major car crash almost every day. You will likely hear about a death from a truck wreck every few days. To put it in context, right before the recent oil crash, deaths from wrecks increased 12-13% between 2012-2013. It got so bad that victims and their families got together to protest and figure out what could be done about this. As the oil and gas market picks up in 2017 and beyond, these deaths will inevitably skyrocket again.
What Happened to Safety Rules?
The safety rules are still in place, but they tend to go out the window during a spike in the oil and gas industry. Time is money for these businesses, and they can't afford to be lagging behind the competition. Not every company adopts this mentality, but the ones that do usually lead to serious injuries and deaths of people in our community.
Regardless of an oil boom, company truck drivers must follow the hours-of-service rules as well as be adequately qualified, trained, and supervised. Yet, a common slip-up occurs. The companies need manpower in other areas, so safety takes a back seat.
In order to meet the demand for drivers, these companies begin hiring younger and younger drivers to get their CDL. Then, without much experience at all, they get a crash course on the job and behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound wrecking ball. They want to drive hard to satisfy their bosses and make them money.
What Can Be Done?
Like I've always said, there are a few bad apples out there doing most of the harm. Don't support their behavior or believe that is the way business has to be done in order to be successful. Many companies do great and really do put safety first.
What can be done is to hold these bad apple companies accountable? The ones that put profits over safety and destroy the lives of the neighbors, children, families, and hard-working parents of our community. This is where we come in. We want safety to be the goal of the case because if nothing happens, then they get a pass and think that behavior is okay. How many more lives need to be lost before people begin to stand up again?
Answers To Your Questions
You may just be browsing, or you may be looking for answers. The last thing you want to do is have some salesperson try to sell you on what to do. This is why I personally believe in providing you with all the information regarding the process, your rights, and information on your specific case. If you'd like to set an appointment up with my team and me to discuss your Texas truck wreck case for free, call our Midland office at 432-203-0060 or email us. Better than that, if you want more information, download my free book called The Essential Guide For Your Texas Injury Case. We are here for you!