After the frequency of
trucking accidents along Interstate 20 in the Midland-Odessa stretch was found to be unreasonably
higher than most other highways in Texas, officials have finally made
a move to improve the situation. 38 miles of the I-20 will have a reduced
speed limit, down to 65 miles per hour from 75.
Data collected by the Texas Department of Transportation discovered that
between 2011 and 2014, the affected 38 miles of highway saw twice as many
trucking accidents as similar areas in the state. In the heart of the
statistics, the number of crashes that occurred during 2013 was more than
200% greater than the average for other rural zones. While spokespersons
for the Department of Transportation admitted that it is up to drivers
and truckers to reduce the number of collisions, lowering the speed limit
should at least reduce the severity of crashes, sparing lives.
Why is the I-20 So Dangerous?
Part of the Interstate 20’s apparently inherent danger comes from
the fact that much of it is a two-lane freeway congested with commercial
trucks in a ratio about 1:1 with smaller vehicles. Put that many cars
interacting with that many 18-wheelers in such a confined space, and trouble
is sure to follow. Additionally, a truck coming onto the highway from
an onramp generally tops its speed at 20 miles per hour, creating a sudden
blockage for drivers racing along at 75+ mph.
The area around Midland-Odessa is also considerably rich with
oil refineries. All of those
industrial sites means putting big trucks on a small highway at all hours of the day. To
make matters worse, some truckers may be working long shifts, outside
federal trucking safety regulations, or even speeding to make their routes
on time. With the drop in miles per hour permitted on this stretch, it
should be interesting to see how many truckers are cited in the near future.
If you would like to learn more about the government’s decision to
drop the Interstate 20 speed limit in Texas, a full article from the
Midland Reporter-Telegram can be read
here. If you have been in a trucking accident and require professional legal
assistance for an injury claim,
contact our Midland trucking accident lawyer from Dean Law Firm.