Abilene Police Chief: I-20 crashes ‘much worse than most of us realize’

A Texas Tech student was killed on I-20 at FM 600 in Abilene when she ran into the back of an 18-wheeler in December.

Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge is urging people who drive on I-20 to take steps to reduce what he called “the significant number” of crashes.

Last year, there were 367 crashes on I-20 from Clyde to Trent, according to Standridge. Most of those were in Abilene.

Most of the crashes were on dry, straight stretches, during daylight hours.

“We are literally tripping over sunshine,” said Standridge.

There were also 18 fatal crashes last year on I-20 from Callahan County to Nolan County.

“We can do something about this,” Standridge said. “We must do something about this, because lives are literally at stake.”

Factors in the crashes on I-20 include speed and fatigue.

When you are driving 75 miles per hour, Standridge said a car travels 164 feet before you can react and that it takes another 312 feet after to stop. That means your car has traveled 476 feet or the length of one-and-a-half football fields.

“Before this information was released, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about traveling on Interstate 20,” Standridge said. “But now … I’m probably going to be more judicious with my driving on the interstate. That’s what I’m asking our citizens to do.”

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