Insurance company spearheads DOT training

September 16, 2018

The oil boom attracts people from all around the country.

Naturally, with the increased population, roadways become more hectic and dangerous.

To help combat those problems, McAnally Wilkins Insurance is hosting free DOT compliance training for all of their oil and gas clients.

“When fatalities are concerned, that’s when insurance companies are scrutinizing it, because the more tragic the claim or the more tragic the wreck, the bigger claim numbers (dollar amount) are made out,” said John Wilkins Jr., a co-owner of McAnally Wilkins. “That’s got everybody’s attention from an insurance company’s standpoint.

“Our client’s No. 1 priority is getting the job done economically and safely. They want to make sure they get their guys home at night. I truly believe that’s a want and desire of our customer base to have happen every single day and night.”

The free DOT compliance training begins 8 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Grand Texan Hotel in Midland.

The invitations to the event went out on Wednesday and through the past couple of days, there have been 60 companies that have reserved a spot for the training. Wilkins expects 220 to 240 people and 100 businesses to sign up — a majority of the people in attendance would likely be an owner of a company and their respective DOT compliance manager.

“Maybe bringing the reality to the owners and the guys directly training drivers that these roads are very bad and very dangerous,” he said. “They are overcrowded. They weren’t designed for this many vehicles. We think about this all the time. We know the roads are bad. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”

According to the Texas Department of Transportation through the month of July, there have been 124 fatalities due to crashes in the 12-county Odessa District — which includes Andrews, Crane, Ector, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward and Winkler.

In 2017, there were 137 fatal crashes that killed 173 people. There were 45 commercial vehicle-involved crashes that killed 60 people.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Gene Powell stated over the phone that any information to make the roads safer is a good idea.

“Anything anyone can do to improve driver behavior is a positive,” Powell said. “Whether it’s private companies or governmental agencies, we all have to bond together to remind people what the rules of the road are and get people to follow those rules.”

McAnally Wilkins is an insurance broker that bridges the gap between insurance companies and the oil and gas businesses in the Permian Basin.

Christi Harris, the chief financial officer for McAnally Wilkins, hopes this sets a trend that empowers other insurance companies or brokers to hold free DOT compliance training.

“(Other insurance companies or brokers) will see us doing this and be promoted to do something similar,” she said. “It really does affect everybody. For us to help the people that we insure, it helps the whole community to be safe.”

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