This Dangerous Texas Highway Is Known As “Death Highway”
There are many dangerous roads throughout Texas. Texas roads can be so dangerous that the Texas Department of Transportation has started a campaign to raise awareness of traffic deaths on Texas Roads. According to TxDOT in November of 2023, there has been at least one traffic fatality each day for the past 23 years.
As bad as some Texas roadways can be, only one carries the infamous name as "Death Highway".
US-285, also known as Route 285, also known as Death Highway is located in West Texas in Permian Basin. It's been known as Death Highway since at least 2018 when the Dallas Morning News published a piece about how dangerous the road was. In 2017, 93 people had died just on the Texas portion of Route 285.
One of the reasons behind the traffic fatalities seems to be from a road that is overcrowded, in part because of the traffic from the oilfields. The website for Attorney Dead Boyd listed truck drivers without the experience or training and drivers and employees working long hours with little sleep as two of the reasons why so many accidents occur.
Of course there are also drivers who are districted or under the influence who cause accidents on Route 285. According to the Dallas Morning News, driving defensively in 285 is a need.
Route 285, which runs through Pecos, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico, may be "the deadliest highway in the United States," said Ralph McIngvale, a partner at Permian Lodging, which builds and runs so-called man camps in the region. "You've got to be very defensive. You've got to look as much in your rear-view window as your front windshield."
But help is on the way. Slowly. TxDOT officials have already lowered speed limits along 285 and an expansion project is in the works on 285 between Pecos and Fort Stockton. That particular part of the Death Highway has seen 463 crashes between 2016 and 2020. The project will upgrade US 285 from a two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway.
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