The risk of being involved in a truck accident is a concern for every driver and passenger on Arkansas’s roads. On average, there are more than two fatal truck accidents in Arkansas every week according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and there are far more truck accidents that result in non-fatal injuries.
So, why are truck accidents so common?
Part of the reason is simply that there are a lot of commercial trucks on Arkansas’s roads. Due to its location, Arkansas sees more than its fair share of truck traffic. But, the number of trucks on Arkansas’s roads doesn’t tell the whole story. Truck accidents are also common because there is a lot that can go wrong.
The Leading Causes of Truck Accidents in Arkansas
From mistakes behind the wheel to mistakes made before truck drivers hit the road, numerous factors can (and do) lead to serious and fatal truck accidents in Arkansas. According to the NHTSA, the leading causes of truck accidents include:
The NHTSA’s data indicate that “brake problems” are a factor in 29% of all large truck accidents. This is the largest percentage of any causal factor. Large commercial trucks, like 18-wheelers, have complex braking systems, and failures at any point in the system can prevent truck drivers from stopping in time to avoid a collision. This includes failures such as:
- Brake pad and rotor failures
- Hydraulic brake line failures
- Air brake failures
- Brake pedal failures
These failures can result from two main factors. In some cases, brake system components are defective when they leave the factory. In others, brake system components fail due to inadequate maintenance. But, regardless of why a truck’s brakes fail, if the failure leads to an accident, victims and their families can—and should—seek just compensation.
After brake problems, the NHTSA reports that speeding is the next most common factor involved in large truck accidents—playing a role in 23% of all fatal and non-fatal collisions. While speeding can be dangerous in any type of vehicle, it can be especially dangerous in a large truck that weighs up to 80,000 pounds. Oftentimes, brake problems and excessive speed will combine to create dangerous situations on Arkansas’ roads.
Other Driver-Related Factors
Along with speeding, several other driver-related factors are among the most common causes of truck accidents as well. Based on the NHTSA’s data, some of the other leading causes of serious and fatal truck accidents include:
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Distracted driving
- Feeling under pressure to make deliveries on time
- Illegal driving maneuvers
- Following too closely
Overall driving mistakes play a role in 87% of all truck accidents according to the NHTSA. In the vast majority of these cases, truck drivers’ mistakes lead to accidents in one of three primary ways:
- “Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road” (32 percent of all truck accidents)
- “Vehicle loss of control due to traveling too fast for conditions . . . or other reasons” (29 percent of all truck accidents)
- “Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane (22 percent of all truck accidents)
Issues with the Road
Finally, along with truck-related issues and truck driver negligence, issues with the road also contribute to causing serious and fatal truck accidents in many cases. According to the NHTSA, “roadway problems” play a role in 20% of all large truck accidents. While truck manufacturers and trucking companies can be held liable for truck accidents in most cases, when an issue with the road is to blame, victims may need to file claims against state or local governmental entities in order to recover just compensation.
Regardless of the circumstances involved, hiring an experienced lawyer is the first step toward recovering just compensation after a serious or fatal truck accident in Arkansas. Once you hire a lawyer, your lawyer will conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause (or causes) of the crash. After your lawyer knows what happened, your lawyer can use this information to determine what claim (or claims) to file—and then your lawyer can get to work fighting for the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
If you need to know more about determining the cause of a truck accident in Arkansas, we invite you to get in touch. The truck accident attorneys at Oliver Law Firm are trusted across Arkansas and throughout the nation. If you were injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler, we want to hear from you. We handle truck accident cases on a contingency basis, which means you only pay us if we win your case.
To schedule a FREE, no-obligation case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer at Oliver Law Firm, please call 479-202-5200 or contact us online today.