Ector County Driving Statistics
Ector County is located in West Texas in the Midland-Odessa metropolitan area. According to the 2010 Census, there are approximately 137,000 residents. Ector County’s largest city by far is Odessa. Odessa is on the Ector County and Midland County border and has several small suburb areas that are just outside city limits but are home to about 22,000 additional residents. Just twenty miles from Odessa, across the Midland County border, is Midland, TX. The approximate population of Odessa is around 102,000 people and Midland has around 114,000 citizens.The likelihood of a car crash is increased in Odessa city limits because of the highly concentrated population in the area and the large amount of travel on I-20 W, which runs right through the middle of Odessa and out towards Midland. The Texas Department of Transportation records show that 2,004 accidents occurred in Odessa. The rest of the people in Ector County live in several small towns, most of them unincorporated. The largest of these communities is Gardendale, with just over 1,500 residents. There are also a number of historic ghost towns with few to no inhabitants.
Sometimes companies do not provide the proper training of new employees, the safety equipment, or the maintenance required to keep a site safe. Companies also push employees to produce more money for the corporation by having employees work excessively long hours, work faster than is safe, and take risks to save time. Drilling rig and oil field workers also are sometimes exposed to danger by outside employees from suppliers and contractors. These outside employees might be untrained or simply negligent. They can ignore the rules and do things that lead to equipment failures or unsafe worksites. Companies frequently hire these outside employees so that they can save money, even though they lack control over the actions and training of these individuals. Accidents happen when the strict safety standards required on the worksite are not met.
Ector County has many rural highways that pass through rural plains which are occupied by many oil wells and wind farms. The land is relatively flat with little rainfall or snowfall, although dust storms can be hazardous because they occur suddenly and can result in extremely poor visibility. The speed limits on many of the highways are as high as 75 miles per hour. In 2012 Ector County had 2,768 car crashes reported, with one in every five accidents resulting in serious injuries or death. Although data from the Texas Department of Transportation is incomplete, more than half of fatal car accidents in Ector County were on the US and TX state highways. 315 crashes were related to drivers who were under the influence of alcohol; 197 accidents had at least one commercial motor vehicle involved; and speed was a factor in 176 accidents. Drivers who travel I-20 W are more at risk than drivers in the rest of Ector County because this major road is used by a large amount of commuter traffic and commercial motor vehicles. I-20 W is highly traveled because it is the most convenient road for West Texas area drivers traveling to other relatively nearby large cities or even towards Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. There is also a very large amount of commuter traffic alongI-20 W between Odessa and the nearby large city of Midland.