The 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?
Well, there are a couple issues that I'm going to write about. 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 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 man for himself or herself.
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 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 can be done. As the oil and gas market picks up in 2017 and beyond, these deaths will skyrocket again.
What Happened To Safety Rules?
The safety rules are still there, 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 the serious injuries and deaths caused to our community.
Regardless of an oil boom, company truck drivers must follow the hours-of-service rules as well as being qualified, trained, and supervised. This is where the slip up occurs. The companies need man power in other areas, so safety takes a hit.
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 a 80,000 lbs 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 to be successful. Many companies do great and really do put safety first.
The next thing that can be done is hold the companies accountable. The ones that put profits over safety and destroy the lives of our neighbors, kids, teachers, doctors, and hard-working parents. 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 are looking for answers. The last thing you want to do is have some sales person 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. Call our Midland office at 432-203-0060 or email us to set an appointment up with my team and I to discuss your Texas truck wreck case for free. 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.