In West Texas, US Route 285 is known locally as “Death Highway” due to the high number of truck accidents
that happen along that stretch of road. In fact, even though that region of Texas, also known as the Permian Basin, is home to only 1.6% of the state’s population, fully 12% of all traffic fatalities in Texas occur there.
Why is Route 285 so dangerous? And what should you do if you’re in a trucking accident on Route 285? Read on to find out.
Why is US Route 285 the “Death Highway?”
Route 285 runs from Denver in the north down to the West Texas oil fields in the south. It’s a primary route for class A trucks hauling fuel, sand, water, and other supplies for the oil-mining effort. When the price of crude oil rises, the traffic on Route 285 increases, and leads to more accidents and deaths along that highway.
However, crude oil isn’t the only cause of all the deaths on Route 285. It’s also a poor road for all the traffic on it, due to the following reasons:
- Built in 1926, Route 285 wasn’t intended to carry multi-ton commercial trucks and heavy traffic. The huge 18-wheelers from the oil fields barely fit on the road, and they create potholes that endanger other vehicles. Much-needed repairs are still pending.
- High demand for Texan crude means oil and trucking companies are desperate for drivers. This means they’re offering high salaries—up to $120,000 a year—for less-experienced drivers who aren’t used to driving on rural roads.
- The high demand also disincentivizes truckers from taking required breaks, leading to driver fatigue, which impairs drivers worse than driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Trucking companies tend to be lax on their fleets’ required maintenance, causing trucks to break down more often on the road. To make up for lost time due to breakdowns, drivers rush to make up time, and drive more recklessly.
- Just like everyone else, truck drivers have more distractions than ever before.
All of these factors add up to a very dangerous highway. Texas’s DOT has implemented some changes to ameliorate the conditions, such as an 18-mile safety corridor with doubled fines, but until the road is rebuilt and modernized, it will likely continue being one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the nation.
What Should I Do If Injured on US Route 285?
If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in a trucking accident on Route 285, you might believe you’ll be treated fairly by the trucking company’s insurance. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Commercial insurance companies are concerned about protecting their clients’ interests and profits, meaning they’ll try to pay out as little as possible.
To receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, you need a Texas personal injury attorney who knows the law, and knows the common tactics of trucking companies and their insurance firms. The attorneys practicing with Sloan Firm have years of experience helping the people of Texas get back on their feet after a major accident. Give us a call immediately after calling 911 for help, so we can start on your case right away.
Why Choose Sloan Firm for Your Texas Injury Case
At Sloan Firm, we know our clients are coming to us at a very difficult time in their lives. You’re suffering, or watching a family member suffering, due to someone else’s carelessness. That’s why we do more than just represent your case—we act as your legal advocate, your counselor, and your friend.
We also have the experience to take the fight for your just compensation to the big rig companies behind your injury. We’ll make sure to negotiate a fair settlement plan, or even take your case to court if necessary.
Give us a call today for a free lawyer consultation
, where our injury attorneys will listen to your side of the story and inform you of your legal options. Once you’re our client, we’ll compile evidence and prepare your accident injury
claim, making sure it’s as strong as possible before filing it. Then, we’ll continue advocating for you until you get the compensation you deserve.
You can be confident in our abilities because we don’t charge a fee unless we win your case, and our results
speak for themselves. Give us a call today to get started on your healing journey.