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Deadly crashes on the rise in West Texas

The City of Midland has seen 11 fatal crashes, compared to seven this time last year. TxDOT has seen nine deadly crashes in just nine days in West Texas.

MIDLAND, Texas — In just six months into the year, Midland police have seen 1,170 crashes in the City of Midland. 

"We’re about 100 crashes further ahead than what we were this time last year," said Derek Whitefield, with the Midland Police Department.

Of those crashes, 11 have been fatal. Most of them being caused by speeding or driving while intoxicated.

"A lot of people are just in a hurry, and to get nowhere fast," said Whitefield. "Take your time, slow down, pay attention to what’s going on around you. A lot of situational awareness can end a lot of these crashes."

Midland police have noticed many of these accidents happen near construction.

"Especially with the construction zones, we’re seeing that people aren’t even adjusting their speed going through construction zones, and when you’re speeding going through those construction zones and there’s a lane shift or the lane gets more narrow, those are places where we’re having crashes and it’s due to people not slowing down," said Whitefield. 

This has not only been a problem in Midland.

Gene Powell with the Texas Department of Transportation's Odessa District said there has been nine crashes in nine days.

"We’re way above what we would normally see in June," said Powell. "We’ve seen, of those nine, three have been pedestrians, four have been no seatbelts, at least two have been high speeds, excessive speeding, a couple have been crossing over the center line and being on the wrong side of the road."

Powell said it is not the roads causing the accidents, but the driver.

"If it was the road causing the crash, then everybody would have the same crash in the same location, it’s driver behavior," said Powell. "It’s incumbent upon us each and every time we get in the car to do the right thing, and not put ourselves at risk, and not put our loved ones at risk, and not put other drivers at risk."

The main way to help prevent these numbers from going up is to pay attention while driving.

"Situational awareness can stop a lot of these crashes, so if you’re situationally aware, and you’re scanning ahead, and you’re looking twice for vehicles, you’re gonna see that motorcycle and also pedestrians as well," said Whitefield.

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