Two women were killed in a fatal trucking accident in Arkansas last month. The women were in a small SUV driving along Highway 59 just north of Gentry, Arkansas when their vehicle was crushed by an out-of-control semi. The crash happened just after 7 AM on the morning of November 24th. Accident recreation investigators pieced the collisions together after the fact and found that the semi crossed the center line into oncoming traffic around a slight curve in the road and then tipped on its side. The SUV was smashed under the bulk of the truck and the passenger compartment of the vehicle collapsed under the weight.
The driver of the truck was also injured in the crash and was taken to a nearby hospital by EMT’s responding to the scene. There has been no word yet as to whether criminal charges will be filed in the crash or if the victims’ surviving family members will be seeking compensation from the driver or the company for which they work.
Components of a Commercial Truck Accident
While the exact circumstances of this particular crash are still under investigation, the incident does mimic other truck accidents in Arkansas. Indeed, some of the contributing factors to this crash could have been similar to those identified in past collisions.
The number one contributing factor to automobile crashes nationwide is speed. Traveling above the posted limit (or even above what is considered safe for road conditions) contributes to 17% of all automobile accidents across the country. Worse yet, speed is a contributing factor in more than ¼ of all fatal accidents.
Speed is especially dangerous when you consider trucking accidents in Arkansas. Not only do these massive, multi-ton machines gain tremendous amounts of energy when their velocity increases, they also become much more difficult to control. Reaction times decrease, braking distances increase, the likelihood of load-shifting multiplies—in short, a truck can become impossible for even the most experienced driver to control at certain speeds, under certain conditions.
Improper loading is a contributing factor in a significant number of roll-over truck accidents in America. When loads are not properly secured, when they’re not balanced correctly, when they’re not limited to what a certain type of truck can safely handle, loads can shift. That shift can radically change the center of gravity of a truck, making it much more likely to tip or rollover—especially on corners.
That’s why inspection of loads and weighing of trucks is such an integral part of the daily activities of highway patrol officers and state officials.
It takes a certain set of skills to safely operate a large truck. Drivers have to undergo specific training, certification, and recertification in order to hold the type of licenses needed for various truck configurations, sizes, and cargoes. However, that doesn’t mean that just because a driver earns one of these licenses that they’re able to safely control such a vehicle.
Real-world experience is a key factor in the learning process. New drivers or those who have come back to the profession are much more likely to make critical mistakes. Conversely, drivers who have been on the road for years may tend to be more lackadaisical when it comes to vigilance and adherence to the rules of the road.
Worse yet, drivers who use and abuse mind-altering substances like drugs and alcohol may be completely incapable of safely operating a large truck even if they think they’re fine to get behind the wheel.
Getting Compensation for Victims of Truck Accidents in Arkansas
While rollover truck accidents in Arkansas are relatively uncommon, they are just a subset of commercial trucking accidents in general. Arkansas—with its estimated 16,000 plus miles of highway—is a major throughway for truck traffic. That means that residents and visitors to Arkansas are much more likely to be involved in a commercial trucking accident in Arkansas than they are in several other states in the surrounding area.
That’s why advocates like truck accident attorneys in Arkansas have to be so vigilant, aggressive, and proactive in order to get compensation for the unfortunate victims of these crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial trucker, you need to consult with a legal expert as soon as you are able.
The legal team at the Pfeifer Law Firm can help you get the expert advice you need and the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 501-374-4440 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. After-hours appointments are also available.