common types of car accidents in arkansas

When it comes to car accidents, there can be a wide range of vehicles involved, varying causes, and differing types of crashes, like rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, or T-bone collisions.

The most common types of car accidents in Arkansas involve passenger vehicles. If you were in a car accident, you need time to heal.

Requesting crash reports, talking to the insurance company, and sorting out medical bills may become a full-time job.

Accident victims don’t have the time or the resources to handle all of this alone, which is why the Cottrell Law Office can help.

Types of Car Accidents

As reported on the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s website, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 38,824 people died in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020.

In 45% of motor vehicle fatal crashes, the deceased engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors: speeding, alcohol impairment, or not wearing a seat belt. 

In Arkansas, there were 638 traffic fatalities in 2020. Of those 638 traffic fatalities, 445 happened in rural areas throughout the state. Alcohol impairment played a role in 166 of the fatalities. 

It’s easy to assume that accidents involving two passenger vehicles would be the most.

After all, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, passenger vehicles are involved in 65% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in Arkansas.

So it may come as a surprise that the most common type of car accident in Arkansas is between light trucks and passenger cars.

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision happens when a tailing driver fails to stop and hits the vehicle in front of them.

Rear-end collisions make up the majority of traffic accidents but only account for 29% of serious injury accidents.

Many rear-end accidents occur at lower speeds because the tailing driver usually attempts to stop their vehicle before impact. 

Generally, a tailing driver is presumed liable because they were driving too fast to stop or following too closely. Although the odds are against the tailing driver, there are circumstances where liability shifts onto the front driver.

Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision occurs when the front of two vehicles collides. These accidents generally happen because the driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street or highway exit ramp or crosses into oncoming traffic.

The percentage of head-on collisions is far less than other types of accidents, but head-on collisions are generally the most devastating.

Liability can be quite clear in these collisions, as fault normally lies with the driver who went the wrong way.

Side-Impact or “T-Bone” Collisions

A side-impact collision can happen when a driver runs a stop light or stop sign or fails to observe the proper right of way.

A side-impact collision involves the front end of one vehicle hitting the side of another, creating a T-shape. Hence, side-impact collisions are often referred to as T-bone collisions.

No matter what you want to call it, these collisions are dangerous because most vehicles have little flank reinforcement.

Car manufacturers were not required to include side airbags until 2009, so most older vehicles will not have them.

According to the National Safety Council, nationwide side-impact collisions comprise 35.4% of traffic accidents but cause nearly 50% of deaths.

When it comes to liability, chances are one of the drivers engaged in unsafe driving practices, in which case, liability would fall on them.

Is Arkansas a No-Fault State?

No, Arkansas is an at-fault state. In an at-fault state, a driver who causes a car accident compensates the other party for their losses.

The accident victim accomplishes this with an insurance claim or lawsuit, or the at-fault driver can pay the other party out of pocket.

However, for a person to recover compensation in a personal injury claim, Arkansas law requires them to show they were less than 50% at fault for the accident.

The upside to being in an at-fault state is that the car accident victim can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier immediately after the accident without involving their insurance carrier. 

Car Accident Attorney in Arkansas

Ensuring you drive safely, avoiding drinking and driving, and wearing your seatbelt, are all ways to significantly increase your chances of staying safe on the road.

However, you do not have to deal with the consequences alone when an accident happens.

For over 32 years, the Cottrell Law Office has helped car accident victims in Arkansas. Contact our office today to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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