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Trucks Take Bigger Share of Arkansas Road Death Toll

Written by Steve Gursten Posted May 13th, 2016

Arkansas is one of the top 5 states in truck-related accident fatalities. There’s  numerous reasons for this, and the tide doesn’t seem to be turning anytime soon.  Although Arkansas traffic deaths have dropped since 2004,  the role large trucks play in the situation is exactly the opposite, rising each year.

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In 2014, trucks killed over 3,900 people in America. Numbers of Arkansas road deaths have slowly dropped each year, but still are a cause for concern regarding trucks. The steady drop in car accidents deaths put Arkansas numbers at a low of 466 state-wide in 2014. Cut down a third from the horror in 2003 where they reached a record 703 deaths.

Involvement of large trucks  

As the number of trucks on the road in Arkansas grow, so does the fatality rate. In 2013, there was one large truck registered for every 2 people, quite a large number as the population of Arkansas sits just under 3 million.

Trucks, who have accounted for 14.5% of road fatalities in 2010, skyrocketed to 16.7% by 2014. These numbers point towards there being 1 in 5 deaths caused by trucks in the upcoming years.

Getting the numbers down

In 2013 the Arkansas Strategic Highway Safety Plan was drawn up to bring down three types of death rates: the state toll, the rate per 100 million miles traveled, and the rate of fatalities per 100,000 people.

The plan set goals: bring the state road death toll down to 400 per year, and the vehicle mile death rate down to 1.12 every 100,000 miles by 2017.  If it gets there, 10 less people would die per 100,000, a small but substantial improvement.

Arkansas road fatalities stood at 237 during the second half of 2014, compared to 207 for the first half. This is a rise of nearly 10%. Missing their target of 400 by 44. Unfortunately, figures based on 2014 don’t hold out too much hope for those changes – as a rise of about 8 percent is predicted on the national level and by the end of 2015 for truck accidents.

Arkansas infrastructure gets a bad report

In the American Society of Civil Engineers 2014 report card on Arkansas infrastructure, the state scored a D+ on roads. Acknowledging that the state has been working on improving the situation, the report still claimed that the 16,398 mile state highway system (12th largest in the US) only rated 46 out of 100. This is a drastic number considering 80% of traffic is on these highways, and 95% of all truck traffic. Many bridges were also deemed to be structurally deficient due to age. This is a huge factor in truck-related accidents that Arkansas hopes to fix in the future.

Dealing with the consequences

Arkansas road fatalities stood at 237 during the second half of 2014, compared to 207 for the first half. This is a rise of nearly 10%. Missing their target of 400 by 44. Unfortunately, figures based on 2014 don’t hold out too much hope for those changes – as a rise of about 8 percent is predicted on the national level and by the end of 2015 for truck accidents.

Decreases in the road death toll does nothing to ease the suffering of those who have lost a loved one, watched one endure a severe injury, or help those injured in a truck crash already. If there is fault involved in the crash and a claim can be lodged, there may be hope of easing the financial burdens. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to determine whether there are grounds for a suit today.

Contact us today.

Image Via Pixabay

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About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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