Crawford County Arkansas is a community with a wealth of history and a wealth of opportunities in the present day. Crawford County is dotted by many cities such as Alma, Cedarville and the county seat Van Buren. Smaller communities like Mulberry, Kibler and Dyer also populate Crawford County. In short, Crawford County and northwest Arkansas provides a beautiful and pleasant place to live and work.
However, like many other communities, the people of Crawford County are highly dependent of cars and trucks to get to work, school, and back home again. In fact, a number of major highways run through Crawford county including:
- US 71
- US 64
- Highway 59
- Highway 60
Furthermore, there is a planned extension of Interstate 49 planned that would integrate the county even more tightly into the regional and national economy. The final project is intended to, for the first time, serve the highly trafficked New Orleans to Kansas City trucking corridor with an interstate highway. In the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, this interstate expansion was characterized as the number-one priority.
Will More Trucks Mean More Accidents?
The expanded I-49 route would utilize already existing portions of I-540 which would mean the road would likely follow the already-existing route from Van Buren and through Benton County from which a great deal of commercial truck traffic flows. On one hand, the expansion could help remove large commercial trucks that are less able to maneuver away from danger from local roads and lower-tier highways. If this effect comes to pass, northwest Arkansas could very well see reduced accident rates. However the more likely scenario is that this expanded highway will meet the same fate as most other highway construction projects: traffic volume will increase. If this second scenario happens, this new trucking route very well may increase accident rates in the county.
Causes of Car Accidents
The causes of car accidents are both numerous and they rarely work in isolation. That is, accidents with a sole cause are uncommon. It is more likely for multiple factors to combine until an accident is imminent. Factors that typically contribute to vehicle accidents in Crawford County can include:
- Poor weather conditions – Summer downpours and winter snow and ice storms can all reduce visibility while simultaneously increasing a vehicle’s necessary stopping distance. While poor weather conditions always mark an increase in the likelihood of an accident, drivers who fail to adjust their driving behaviors to suit the conditions further increase this risk.
- Road debris – Blown tires or dropped cargo from commercial trucks or other vehicles can present dangerous roadway hazards. Drivers who hit road debris risk losing control of their vehicle. Other drivers who swerve to avoid roadway debris may inadvertently sideswipe another car or truck.
- Aggressive driving – Aggressive drivers can engage in rapid and unexpected lane changes, speeding, tailgating and other risky behavior that increases the risk of accident for all motorists.
- Intoxicated driving – Drivers who indulge in excessive amounts of alcohol or who take illegal drugs before getting behind the wheel have decreased decision-making abilities and increased reaction times. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs increase the risk of a life-altering injury for all drivers.
- Vehicle defects — 2014 marked the year of the vehicle defect as recall records were smashed by the Takata airbag and GM ignition switch recalls. However, there are many other vehicle defects that can cause a driver to lose control of his or her car, truck, or van. Other defects can result in a loss of power or vehicle fire that greatly increases the likelihood of a secondary accident event.
- Distracted driving – While distractions while being behind the wheel have always been a danger, today’s fast-paced lifestyle, myriad of electronic devices, and in-car entertainment systems all provide for additional sources of distraction. A distract driver is a driver who cannot perceive damagers or act appropriately to avoid the danger.
Many factors can combine to make an accident more likely or unavoidable. While safe driving habits can reduce one’s exposure to common risks, not action short of refraining from driving can eliminate all risks.
Crawford County Car Accident Lawyer Ken Kieklak is Ready to Help
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe, life-altering car wreck due to a negligent or reckless driver, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law may be able to fight for you. We can work to recover damages related to your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain & suffering and other losses. To schedule a free and confidential car accident injury legal consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.