The national trucker shortage has interrupted the supply chain, sending ripples throughout the economy and people's everyday lives. It also may have made our roadways a lot less safe.
That's because a major factor in this shortage is a wave of trucker retirements. The experienced, veteran drivers are leaving and being replaced by rookies - or not replaced at all.
Everyone has to start somewhere, of course, but with 80,000 open trucker jobs, the concentration of new drivers operating tractor-trailers will be significantly increased, which may lead to more serious and fatal truck accidents. This is especially true in Arkansas where trucking is a major industry. Trucks represent 15% of all vehicle miles traveled in the state - about 5.5 billion miles, according to the Arkansas Trucking Association.
Arkansas Trucking Industry
Arkansas is a major trucking hub with some communities more involved than others. With major highways like I-555, US-67, US-63, US-49, and Highway 1 running through it, Craigshead County has a lot of interaction with tractor-trailers. There are more than 40 trucking companies in greater Jonesboro alone. Trucks around here are hauling all types of products including car parts, chemicals, consumer products, construction equipment and materials, and agricultural products.
There is a learning curve for every new trucker. Typically, new drivers are more likely to speed and drive distracted and less able to spot and avoid hazards than more experienced motorists. Inexperience can be a major factor in injury-causing and fatal truck accidents.
Moreover, in the midst of a trucker shortage, trucking companies may cut corners in the hiring and training process. They may fail to conduct background checks or deliberately overlook red flags in a trucker's driving history. They also may be more willing to keep dangerous drivers on the road because the alternative is to have no driver at all. That, too, increases the safety risks for everyone.
Recent Fatal Truck Accidents In Greater Jonesboro
Compared to the rest of the state, Craigshead County is a fatal truck accident hotspot. There were about 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people here in 2019, the most recent information available. Other top counties for deadly truck crashes are Saint Francis and Saline.
Locally, over the last several years, fatal truck accidents have occurred at:
- US-49 (E Johnson Avenue) at N Drake Street, Jonesboro
- I-555 (Joe N. Martin Expressway) near Highway 1, Highway 463 (Nettleton Avenue), Nestle Road, and the Craigshead/Poinsett county border
- Highway 18 (E Highland Drive) at Heath Lane and Great Dane Drive
Experience Matters; Help For Truck Accident Victims
When it comes to serious truck accidents, lack of experience is no excuse for the driver or trucking company. If you were injured in an accident with a truck, it is important that you understand your right to compensation.
Truck accident victims are often owed money for things like medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and property damage, among other things. When a truck accident turns fatal, families can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
McDaniel Law Firm, PLC respects the trucking industry while also holding negligent drivers and companies accountable for the injuries they cause. Our truck accident attorneys offer free case consultations to injured truck accident victims. We can help you understand how the law applies to your case, the value of your claim, and your legal options.
Truck accidents are often complicated with more than one business or entity possibly liable for the accident. Do not talk with an insurance adjuster or accept a settlement offer until you have consulted with an attorney. Get started right now: Contact the McDaniel Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation.