At worst intersections in Lubbock County, speed … and your judgment … can be a deadly combination

Recently we looked at the top ten intersections in the city of Lubbock for accidents.

But what about outside city limits?

Here are the top half-dozen – followed by the deadly reason they somewhat differ from what the Lubbock Police Department sees in the city.

  • FM 41 and U.S. Highway 87 (photo above is looking west at this intersection … photo below is looking east and shows big rigs and lots of traffic.)
  • FM 835 and East U.S. Highway 84
  • U.S. Highway 84 and East FM 1585
  • U.S. Highway 62/82 and FM 1585
  • U.S. Highway 84 and FM 2641
  • FM 2641 and FM 179

These intersections are in all corners of Lubbock County but what they share are people stopped and having to cross or merge onto highways where vehicles are moving very fast. Where city crashes have lots of reasons – out in the county it’s making a bad decision to cross a highway where traffic is coming fast and a lot of that traffic are big trucks, said Roger Hilburn, patrol sergeant with the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.

Hilburn said until the U.S. Highway 87 overpass was put in over Woodrow Road, it was also one of the worst intersections.

In the mornings, people in a rush to get to work misjudge how fast approaching traffic is coming, said Hilburn, adding some run through stop signs in their effort to get to work on time.

On many of these roads, the traffic is coming at 75 miles per hour – if they mind the speed limit, said Hilburn.

“They can be on you in a blink of an eye,” he said.

And as we’ve heard many times, texting while behind the wheel doesn’t help. “The stupidest invention was the text message,” said Hilburn, saying when you add it to driving and the speed vehicles go on county roads – “it’s not a good thing.”

At night, alcohol can make drivers misjudge that same oncoming traffic.

The combination of speed and a big vehicle hitting a smaller vehicle is deadly.

“The last one we had was pretty bad,” said Hilburn. The sheriff’s department doesn’t work crashes in the county, that’s handled by the Department of Public Safety. But they assist with traffic around the accident.

“The first thing we try and do is slow everybody down – we have cars coming at us at 60-70 mph,” he said.

Surrounding volunteer fire departments – Idalou, Shallowater, New Deal, Abernathy, for example – use their fire trucks as a barrier to protect first responders at crash sites.

Another problem are “lookieloos” who slow down to look at the accident, said Hilburn.

“They want to get a shot with their camera – a video or photo – and they could cause another accident,” the sergeant added.

So be careful and don’t be stupid … and stay alive.