Dangerous Texas roads through the eyes of DPS highway patrol officers

MIDLAND -- It's been 18 years since the state of Texas saw it's last day without a deadly crash on it's roadways.

I had the chance to see what the roadways look like through the eyes of Department of Public Safety highway patrol officers - who jump into a helicopter everyday to monitor West Texas highways.

What they often find is: bumper to bumper traffic and major wrecks.

“Obviously there’s more people here and there’s more traffic," DPS Sargent Oscar Villarreal said. "But when you talk about contributing factors in a crash and you just get down to the nuts and bolts of things, the bottom line is that it’s human error. We make mistakes that are sometimes tragic."

99.7 percent of crashes are preventable, Villarreal said.

He said the problem is reckless driving, which has a simple fix: pay attention and don't be in a rush.

“If we all take a little more time in what we are doing and focus on what’s important, and that’s going home at the end of the day," Villarreal said. "We can make a difference.”