Little Rock Dangerous Roads for Truckers
The stretches of road right outside major population centers are more prone to truck accidents than other places on the road. Understanding which areas are especially dangerous in Arkansas can help you be a safer driver.
Arkansas is home to more than 16,000 miles of highways and interstates, and thousands of semi-trucks cross the Natural State each year. With all of this traffic, it’s no wonder that so many accidents occur.
More than 500 accident fatalities happen on Arkansas roads annually, on average. When a passenger vehicle collides with a semi-truck, the consequences can be dire.
Some roads are more dangerous than others, and knowing where you’re more likely to encounter semis and where stretches of roadway are especially perilous can make you more cautious, reducing your chances of a catastrophic collision.
If the unthinkable does happen, however, and you’re involved in a wreck with a semi, the experienced Little Rock truck accident attorneys at NST Law can help you pursue a commercial trucking lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Table of Contents
Beware of Commercial Trucks Around Major Cities
Interstate 40, one of the nation’s primary highways, is considered a major truck corridor by the U.S. Department of Transportation, carrying more than 8,500 trucks across the state daily. It’s also one of the most dangerous interstates in the nation, and several of the most treacherous stretches of road in Arkansas are along I-40.
Data collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that more accidents happen just outside larger population centers like Texarkana, Little Rock and Memphis.
Dangerous Stretches of Highway in Arkansas Metro Areas
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arkansas is one of the most dangerous states for motor vehicle deaths. According to data collected in 2020, Arkansas had an average of 1.88 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, placing it third on the national list.
Little Rock, the state capital and largest city, is in Pulaski County. Several locations where recent traffic fatalities involving commercial trucks occurred include areas just outside Little Rock, specifically Highways 76, 40 and 30. The roads between Little Rock and Memphis are among the most dangerous in the state.
Benton County, in the middle of the state, is also home to several large population centers, including Rodgers, Fayetteville and Springdale. Once again, more trucking accident fatalities happen on the stretches of highway just outside these cities, not in the more congested city centers.
In 2016, commercial trucks were involved in eight percent of fatal accidents. However, I-40 isn’t the only place where passenger car drivers should be wary of large numbers of commercial vehicles.
Other Deadly and Dangerous Highways in Arkansas
Commercial trucks don’t have to travel along major shipping corridors to pose a danger to cars, trucks and motorcycles. Highway crashes are also common, with the same risks as an interstate: reckless drivers, poor road conditions, speeding or other human error.
Other dangerous roads for trucking accidents in Arkansas include:
- Highway 7, from the Louisiana border to northern Arkansas – The Bismarck area is especially dangerous
- U.S. 65 – Covers about 280 miles in Arkansas and is part of the Great River Road
- U.S. 67 – Under construction to improve road conditions
- U.S. Route 61 – A major location for drunk driving accidents
Although these are all dangerous highways, smaller roads can be risky to drive on as well.
Dangers of Commercial Trucks
Although U.S. commerce relies on these giants of the roadway, commercial trucks and semi-trailers can be dangerous and should be respected on the highway. Fully loaded, a truck cab and shipping container trailer together weigh about 80,000 pounds—more than 10 times the weight of a passenger car or SUV.
The weight alone means that if you collide with one, you’ll likely come out much worse than the truck driver. Additionally, the extra weight means that trucks have much greater inertia than passenger vehicles. They stop with more force and require a longer distance to come to a complete stop safely.
Truck drivers are professionally trained and certified and must have a current, valid commercial driver’s license to operate their vehicle. The trucks themselves require a lot more training to safely operate than a regular car; therefore, drivers need to concentrate more when speeding up and slowing down.
Semi-trucks have manual transmissions, which means that truck drivers are constantly operating complex gear shifts while they’re on the road.
The trucks also have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles on the highway, making them more vulnerable to tipping accidents, especially around curves and corners, mountainous roads or areas with high winds.
If the weather conditions are poor, be careful—semi-trucks are more vulnerable than you are in storms.
Little Rock Commercial Trucking Accident FAQs
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Arkansas, you probably have many questions. Although each case is different, there are commonalities among tractor-trailer accidents.
Who is liable for your injuries in a truck collision?
Unlike car accidents between two passenger vehicles, in a commercial truck accident, it may not be just the at-fault trucker who’s liable for your injuries and property damage.
If the commercial carrier that employs the trucker was negligent in the hiring process and hired an unqualified driver, such as one with a DUI, bad driving record or someone without a valid commercial driver’s license, they too could be named in your lawsuit.
Commercial carriers are required to conduct due diligence in hiring truck drivers, and if they fail to do so, they contributed to the unsafe conditions that caused your accident.
How can you avoid a crash with a semi-truck?
Sometimes, bad luck, poor road conditions and negligence come together in an unavoidable collision. Most of the time, however, you can avoid accidents with trucks by giving them plenty of space and driving defensively.
Avoid driving in a semi-truck’s blind spot, which is larger than a car’s, and make sure that you leave plenty of room when passing. Knowing places more likely for a truck accident, like just outside of larger cities, can also help you to be more careful and aware of your surroundings.
Can a truck driver sue you after a collision?
If the facts surrounding your accident are murky or there isn’t a clear indication of who was at fault, then yes, the truck driver and/or their commercial carrier may seek damages from you.
For example, if the responding police officer after the crash determined that you were at fault for the collision because of something like driving under the influence or texting and driving, you may be liable for the medical bills for the truck driver’s injuries or property damage to the commercial carrier’s vehicle.
For these reasons, it’s important to hire a lawyer after any car accident, whether you think it was your fault or not. Your personal injury attorney is your advocate and protects your interests, including negotiating with the truck drivers and their company’s insurance carriers.
Have you been injured in a Little Rock commercial trucking accident?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, NST Law can help. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience litigating personal injury cases, and we aren’t afraid to go after major trucking companies to protect our clients. Our legal team has won numerous high-value truck accident verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
We represent your interests in mediation or a court of law. Contact our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Little Rock today for more information about commercial truck accident settlements and a free consultation about your case.