Top Causes of Arkansas Car Crashes

Top Causes of Arkansas Car Crashes

There are about 60,000 car crashes per year in Arkansas. Of those, around 550 are fatal. That means Arkansas has the 5th highest rate of car crashes and car crash fatalities per capita. Preventing these crashes and protecting our loved ones starts by identifying the top causes of Arkansas car crashes and then taking deliberate steps to reduce the risk of these terrible accidents.


Speeding citations in Arkansas have nearly doubled over the past five years. As speeding has increased, so too have speeding-related crashes and fatalities. Over the past five years, Arkansas police have set a goal of reducing speeding fatalities, instead, they’ve consistently crept upward from 80 deaths per year to 105.

At present, speeding accounts for 15% of Arkansas traffic fatalities. Speeding is inherently dangerous. Not only do higher speeds require faster reaction times, leading to an increase in the risk of an accident, but the force imparted on impact is significantly greater at higher speeds. A car crash at 15 mph over the speed limit is significantly deadlier than a crash in the same car at exactly the speed limit.


Drunk and impaired drivers are responsible for roughly 30% of Arkansas’ fatal car accidents. Thanks to statewide campaigns, drunk driving in Arkansas has trended downward since 2010. A decade ago, drunk and impaired driving accounted for almost half of all the state’s car crashes.

What’s truly frightening about this is that Arkansas DWI arrests have fallen, but the fatality rate is still high. Drunk and impaired driving makes up just 6% of Arkansas car crashes, but a third of the fatalities. That means intoxicated drivers in Arkansas cause significantly more dangerous crashes than drivers in other states.

This isn’t a coincidence; it happens in other states as well. The number of drunk or impaired drivers is usually constant, meaning we need the police to get these drivers off the road. Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and other states with a high rate of drunk drivers have shown that the fatality rate goes up when the number of DWI arrests goes down.

Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving accounts for 25% of Arkansas car crashes and an incredible 50% of all Arkansas traffic fatalities.

That may sound astounding, but it’s important to realize that distracted driving is much more than using your cellphone while driving. It also includes eating and driving, staring at billboards too long, careless driving, or even daydreaming behind the wheel.

While we can each do our part to reduce speeding and DWIs, distracted driving is harder to address. Anyone can fall victim to a driving distraction at any time. Almost anything can be a driving distraction, even something as simple as adjusting the radio or the air conditioner.

The faster we’re going, the more dangerous driving distractions become. If you’re traveling 65 mph and you look away for two seconds, you’ve traveled 200 feet. Like speeding, if a car swerves or hits the brakes, you won’t have time to react before the crash. For that reason, it’s important that we follow the rules of the road and keep focused behind the wheel.

Doing Your Part

All Arkansas drivers have a duty to drive safely. We’re currently the 5th most dangerous state to drive a car. If we’re going to change that, we need to take deliberate steps to reduce speeding, prevent distracted driving, and ensure that those driving under the influence are reported and removed from the roads before they can harm others.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash, we can help. If you’d like an experienced St. Francis County car accident attorney from Easley & Houseal, PLLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (870) 330-0015.


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