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Fatal Truck Accidents Have Doubled on the “Death Highway” to West Texas Oil Fields

Fatal Truck Accidents Have Doubled on the “Death Highway” to West Texas Oil Fields

One of the main roads used to take supplies to and from West Texas’s oil fields has been dubbed the “Death Highway.” Route 285 earned this ominous nickname due to the dramatic surge in deadly truck accidents that have occurred on its lanes in recent years. In fact, 93 people were killed in trucking wrecks on Route 285 in 2017, whereas 43 truck accident fatalities were recorded just 5 years earlier.1

With oil production in the region showing no signs of slowing down:

  • Many locals do their best to avoid driving on Route 285.
  • There’s been a shortage of truckers available to transport goods to and from the oil fields in West Texas, and some companies are offering more than $110,000 annual salaries to try to attract new drivers.
  • Some are now wondering what can be done to reverse this deadly trend and save lives.

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Why Are There So Many 18-Wheeler Accidents & Deaths on Route 285 in West Texas?

Poor road conditions and driver-related factors are two of the biggest factors contributing to fatal truck accidents on West Texas’s Route 285.

In terms of poor road conditions, even relatively minor highway problems can cause truckers to lose control of vehicles and be in catastrophic wrecks. On Route 285, some of the roadway problems that have likely played a role in causing 18-wheeler crashes include:

  • Sinkholes: Some of these are several feet wide, making it difficult (if not impossible) to avoid them while traveling on Route 285. It’s widely believed that local fracking operations have contributed to these sinkholes, and road repair crews simply haven’t been able to keep up with repairing them.
  • A road not built to handle 18-wheelers or the volume of traffic: Route 285 was not designed or constructed to be able to withstand heavy 18-wheelers, let alone the amount of them that are traveling on it every day. This highway simply isn’t wide or durable enough for that level and type of traffic, causing more wear and tear – and exacerbating the already poor road conditions.

In terms of driver-related factors, these issues are at play all too often, causing serious accidents:

  • Little to no training for 18-wheeler drivers: The serious need for truckers in this area has led some companies to start cutting corners in the hiring and training process. That can mean that truckers with the necessary training are put behind the wheel of large heavy trucks before they’re able or skilled enough to safely operate them.
  • Speeding: While local speed limits have been reduced, many truckers continue to drive away too fast on Route 285. In some cases, such speeding may be directly related to the policies, schedules, and/or incentives set by oil and trucking companies. For instance, unrealistic delivery deadlines and bonuses for early delivery can mean far more speeding on Route 285.
  • Driver impairment: This can include both driver fatigue and driver intoxication. Oil workers regularly work shifts that are 12 to 17 hours (or maybe even longer); then, they’ll get behind the wheel. While some are simply too exhausted to safely operate an 18-wheeler after these long shifts (especially with the poor conditions of Route 285), others may be impaired by substances in an effort to stay awake. Either way, it’s a setup for disaster and death.

Texas’s Death Highway: The Bottom Line

When it comes to Route 285, the bottom line is that truck accidents and deaths that have occurred on this highway are:

  • Occurring at an extremely alarming rate
  • Often caused by preventable negligence.

At the Amaro Law Firm, our lawyers are dedicated to helping truck accident survivors and families pursue the recoveries and justice they deserve when they’ve been hurt by others’ negligence.

If you’ve been in a truck accident that was not your fault, contact the attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm for a free case evaluation. It can be the first step in the road to recovery.

A Truck Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm Can Help You Recover: Contact Us

The truck accident attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm are ready to explain your legal options and answer your questions.

Call (713) 955-5521 or Contact Us
for a Free, Confidential, No-Obligation Case Evaluation

Searching for a “truck accident lawyer near me” won’t guarantee you’ll find the best truck accident attorney to represent you. When you want to be confident you’re working with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer who can help you position your case for success, you want the Amaro Law Firm.

Known for providing superior representation and exceptional service, we always strive to get our clients the highest recoveries and the best outcomes possible. While we know that compensation cannot reverse permanent harm and losses, we also know that the recoveries from trucking wreck cases can help restore lives.

Truck Wreck Attorneys of The Amaro Law Firm’s record of success and exceptional advocacy in truck accident cases has earned us 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook, glowing testimonials from former clients, and a 10 rating on Avvo.


1: According to this recent report


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