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Fatigue raising the stakes on our highways
by Chip Latcham
Feb 12, 2014 | 47 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Happening twice in two weeks is a disturbing trend.

Early Tuesday morning, an oil field truck collided with the back end of a Skidmore-Tynan school bus just north of Skidmore on U.S. 181.

Fortunately, 11 S-TISD students were uninjured and reportedly safe in their classrooms that morning; although the driver of the truck and his passenger were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville to be checked for possible injuries.

The DPS trooper cited the driver for failure to control speed. His vehicle was seriously damaged by the impact with the bus.

On Jan. 30, again just before 7 a.m., a passenger van collided with a Three Rivers ISD school bus on State Highway 72 about four miles west of Three Rivers, resulting in the deaths of three men in the van.

The 12 children on the bus suffered only minor injuries, authorities reported.

DPS officials said fatigue is suspected to have been a factor in the accident on that busy Eagle Ford road.

It goes without saying that everyone in this region should know about the dangers of increased traffic on our highways thanks to the oil field boom. Motorists should use immense caution on these wet, cold mornings with possible icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.

Especially early in the morning and late at night, drivers should pay extra special attention as many of these shift workers are at high risk of drowsy driving crashes.

Some studies have shown drowsy driving is more dangerous than DWIs. To prevent this, drivers should plan to get sufficient sleep, should not drink even small amounts of alcohol when sleepy, and limit driving between midnight and 6 a.m.

If tired, pull off the road, take a nap, grab a cup of coffee or two. Find another driver, if possible, to take you to the job site. It certainly is preferable to the alternative, to wind up in the hospital or morgue.
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