ODESSA, Texas (ABC Big 2/Fox 24) – A string of deadly crashes on local highways comes just as the state launches a new initiative. This time, the department of transportation is putting a big focus on trucker safety.
Driving on the highways of West Texas can be tricky. Large tractor-trailer, pickup trucks, and passenger sedans. And, somewhere in that picture, you.
So this week, a new campaign is rolling out with an all too familiar message. Be safe and drive smart.
“It’s a good sign if everything is picking back up.”
Things are picking back up here. You can tell just by looking at the highways. This week, TX-Dot is beefing up their awareness about commercial vehicles on the road.
It’s called “Be Safe, Drive Smart.” A campaign that’s based on the fact there, hasn’t been one day in 20 years without a highway death.
“You see a lot of crazy drivers over here,” said one driver.
“Everyday there’s an accident everywhere you go and everywhere you look, there’s always an accident somewhere,” said Patrick Sweetin, a commercial driver.
“I’ve been in plenty of wrecks down there on I-20 by Midland, so it gets pretty hectic sometimes,” said Michael Valero.
Patrick Parker just came from California and with him, a big load of hay and a friendly passenger.
“You’re a whole lot longer than everybody on the road and weight three times as much,” said Parker.
These 18-wheelers and big rigs require more time to speed up and even more time to slow down.
“These things can’t stop on a dime,” said Sweetin.
So, what does it take to avoid a deadly crash?
“The key thing is you got to be humble down these highways and these byways with these truck drivers thinking we got to move out the way for them but they know they got to be cautious of us,” said another driver.
“Make sure everything is up to par. Your tires, your brakes, your paperwork. They’ll get ya,” said DJ Yates.
“Don’t be afraid to pull over. No load is worth your life,” said Parker.