The Highway Safety Office (HSO) is an organization of the Arkansas State Police. The HSO releases annual reports on Arkansas auto accidents, covering key data such as seatbelt use, driver age, and intoxication. In this article, Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law looks at the HSO’s most recently published statistics to see how many crashes, injuries, and fatalities occurred in Arkansas in 2014, with a special focus on how Fayetteville compared to other parts of the state.
2014 Arkansas Auto Accident Statistics: Injuries, Fatalities, and Crashes
Let’s begin by looking at national accident statistics from 2014, so that we have some context for accident figures in Arkansas.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency of the Department of Transportation tasked with analyzing crash data in order to improve road safety in the United States, there were more than 6 million auto accidents throughout the nation in 2014. Sadly, these accidents claimed 32,675 lives, with another 2.34 million non-fatal injuries estimated.
The question is, how many of these accidents, injuries, and fatalities did Arkansas account for? And how did Fayetteville, which is the third largest city in Arkansas, compare to other parts of the state?
To start by answering the first question, the HSO reported a total of 60,947 crashes in Arkansas in 2014, including motorcycle accidents. That works out to a daily average of roughly 167 accidents, or about seven crashes every hour. Since Arkansas accounted for 60,947 of the 6,064,000 crashes that occurred nationwide, that means almost exactly 1% of all U.S. car accidents in 2014 took place in Arkansas.
That number may sound low, but it actually represents a 4.3% increase from 2013, leaving considerable room for improvement. And, while a large number of crashes did not produce any injuries or fatalities, the auto accidents that occurred in 2014 still included or led to:
- 3,159 incapacitating injuries
- 7,571 non-incapacitating injuries
- 16,817 possible injuries
- 436 fatal crashes, causing 470 deaths
Alcohol played an alarmingly prominent role in these accidents, particularly with regard to fatal accidents. Nearly a quarter of all fatal accidents (23%) involved alcohol, claiming 109 lives that might have been saved if drivers were not intoxicated. If you expand this figure to include drug use as well, alcohol- and drug-related fatalities accounted for nearly half of all fatalities (44%) in 2014: 206 out of 470 deaths.
These figures are extremely disproportionate. Despite causing or contributing to 44% of all accident-related deaths, drugs and/or alcohol were involved in only 5% of the state’s overall crashes (3,187 out of 60,947). In other words, drugs and/or alcohol were only involved in about one in 20 accidents, yet still led to nearly half of the state’s auto accident deaths.
How Many Car Accidents Were There in Fayetteville, AR in 2014?
To answer the second question – how dangerous Fayetteville is for car accidents, versus other towns and cities in Arkansas – we will need to compare Fayetteville car accident statistics to the data from cities with similar populations. With a population of roughly 76,900 in 2010, some of the cities closest in size to Fayetteville are Springdale (with about 69,800 residents) and Fort Smith (with about 86,200 residents).
According to the 2014 HSO report, here is how each of these Arkansas cities ranked for car accidents, injuries, and fatalities in 2014:
- Fatal Crashes – 4
- Fatalities – 4
- Injury Crashes – 479
- Injuries – 654
- P.D.O. Crashes – 1,504
- Total Crashes – 1,987
- Percent with Injury – 24.1%
- Percent Fatal – 0.2%
- Fatal Crashes – 6
- Fatalities – 6
- Injury Crashes – 346
- Injuries – 433
- Property Damage Only (P.D.O.) Crashes – 2,455
- Total Crashes – 2,807
- Percent with Injury – 12.3%
- Percent Fatal – 0.2%
- Fort Smith
- Fatal Crashes – 7
- Fatalities – 7
- Injury Crashes – 766
- Injuries – 1,081
- P.D.O. Crashes – 2,224
- Total Crashes – 2,997
- Percent with Injury – 25.6%
- Percent Fatal – 0.2%
After Little Rock – which, with a population pushing 200,000, ranked number one in every category – the Arkansas city with the most car accidents in 2014 was Fort Smith, narrowly ahead of Fayetteville. All three cities had virtually identical percentages of fatal accidents, but only about 12% of the crashes in Fayetteville produced injuries, compared to approximately 24% or 25% in Springdale and Fort Smith.
Fayetteville Car Accident Attorneys Handling Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Claims
If you or one of your family members was injured in a car accident in Fayetteville, or if one of your loved ones was the victim of wrongful death in a fatal accident, a skilled and experienced Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer, such as Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law can advocate for compensation, accountability, and justice on you and your family’s behalf. Whether you are looking for a qualified and knowledgeable Fort Smith car accident lawyer, a Springdale whiplash injury attorney, or a car accident attorney to assist you with a different type of personal injury matter, our law firm is ready to provide aggressive representation and legal assistance if you were hurt by a careless, reckless, or intoxicated driver.
To talk about your car accident claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law at (479) 316-0438 as soon as possible. Our Arkansas personal injury law firm serves Benton County, Sebastian County, Washington County, and beyond.
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