A look at Arkansas fatalities from truck accidents

From 2009 through 2013, a total of 11 people died in large truck accidents in Washington County, Arkansas.

According to 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 483 people died in automobile accidents in Arkansas that year. Out of those fatalities, 83 resulted from accidents that involved large trucks such as tractor trailers. Crittenden County had the highest number of truck accident fatalities with eight followed by Miller and Prairie Counties where six and five people died, respectively.

Four other counties experienced three deaths in truck crashes. In Washington County, two people lost their lives in these accidents. Over the five years from 2009 to 2013, Washington County recorded 11 deaths in large truck collisions.

Can these accidents be reduced or eliminated?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency responsible for monitoring commercial transportation in the U.S. It has been investigating ways to reduce speeding, fatigue and impairment among commercial drivers in order to improve safety.

The impact of speed

USA Today reports that a truck accident that killed a famous comedian in 2015 was due in part to excessive speed on the part of the trucker. According to Business Insurance, discussions about installing special units in commercial vehicles to monitor speed are under way.

The impact of fatigue

The accident that killed the comedian was compounded by truck driver fatigue according to the National Transportation Safety Board. A couple of years ago, the FMCSA enacted new rules governing when drivers must take breaks.

This change was not unanimously welcomed and has since led to Congress putting a stay on the law. Supply Chain Digest indicates this was done in order to give the FMCSA more time to collect data supporting the reason for the rule.

Now the research has been completed and JOC.com reports that the FMCSA must compile its official report. The information could be presented to the Department of Transportation by the end of December 2015.

The impact of impairment

Drunk driving and drugged driving are serious problems no matter what type of vehicle is being operated by the impaired driver. Bulk Transporter notes that the FMCSA has been performing random tests for drug or alcohol use among drivers with commercial licenses. Due to a high number of positive or potentially positive results, this practice will continue for some time.

The Commercial Carrier Journal gives information about another way that the government is trying to crack down on impairment among truckers. A new program for screening new hires is in development now. It will require all driving job candidates to successfully pass alcohol and drug tests in order to be eligible for such a job.

An ongoing problem

The issue of safety when large trucks share the roads with passenger vehicles is not new. It also is not likely to go away completely anytime soon. Even as safety may be improved, it remains important for motorists and passengers to know how to seek compensation if they or someone they love is involved in a truck accident. Contacting an attorney with experience in these matters is recommended.