Route 285 in Texas, otherwise known as “Death Highway,” is among the most dangerous roads in the country. This highway has earned its moniker due to the high number of truck-related fatalities that occur on its roads. According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, there were 93 fatal collisions involving trucks on Highway 285 in 2017, which is a more than 40% increase from 2012.
Drivers who use this route should understand what makes this road so dangerous and what they can do to protect themselves and their passengers.
What makes Route 285 so dangerous?
Route 285 is one of the primary roads used for vehicles traveling to and from the oil fields in Texas and New Mexico. Large trucks carry heavy loads of fuel, sand, water and other supplies. Though the sheer volume of tractor-trailers on the road poses a risk to passenger vehicles, there are additional factors that magnify the dangers of these roads.
The engineers who designed this rural road in 1926 did not anticipate the number of large trucks that would use it today. Heavy use has degraded its conditions, and the roads require many repairs.
How can motorists stay safe?
When drivers cannot avoid using Route 285 altogether, they should utilize best practices for sharing the road with large trucks. These include:
- Allow plenty of room between their car and any large vehicles
- Stay out of the truck drivers’ blind spots
- Pass on the left
- Dim bright beams
Truck accidents are much more likely to cause serious damage or injuries. A strong case may be necessary to ensure victims receive the financial compensation they need to recover.