Commercial truck on the highway

Understanding Trucking Laws & Rules in Arkansas After an Accident

Truck accidents can be among the most catastrophic collisions that occur on Arkansas roads. Additionally, the regulatory system that oversees the trucking industry makes the process of investigating and assigning blame for these accidents highly complex. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney can improve your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.

Arkansas Truck Accident Statistics 

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, in a recent year, 117 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in Arkansas, accounting for over 12 percent of the total fatal accidents statewide.

Arkansas has an extensive highway system with over 16,000 miles of roads. Some areas, like the I-40, I-30, and I-39 corridors, see a lot of crashes involving big trucks. Common causes of these accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver distraction
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions

Federal & Local Trucking Laws and Regulations

Trucking companies are subject to stringent federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the entire trucking industry to promote public safety by reducing accidents, injuries, and fatalities. These regulations apply to all commercial vehicle owners and operators. However, the specific regulations governing a particular trucking company’s operations depend on such factors as the types of vehicles in the company’s fleet, the distances the vehicles travel, and the cargo they transport.

FMCSA regulations cover all aspects of commercial vehicle ownership, operation, and maintenance. Some of the key regulations that may factor into your truck accident claim cover such matters as:

  • Issuing of commercial driver’s licenses
  • Driver screening and training
  • Driver hours of service
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Record keeping
  • Cargo loading procedures
  • Hazardous materials transport
  • Frequency of vehicle maintenance and repairs

Additionally, Arkansas has a number of state laws in place that regulate truck driver behaviors, including laws outlining penalties for truckers who:

  • Drive at excessive speeds (Arkansas Code § 27-51-201)
  • Use handheld devices while driving (Arkansas Code § 27-23-131)
  • Engage in reckless driving behaviors (Arkansas Code § 27-50-308)

How These Regulations Affect Your Claim

The high volume of FMCSA and local regulations governing the actions of truck drivers and trucking companies can play a significant role in your truck accident claim. If a truck driver, their employer, or a third party that caused or contributed to the accident – such as a cargo loader, vehicle manufacturer, or mechanic – violated any applicable trucking laws or regulations, this can be powerful evidence of negligence supporting your claim.

Your attorney will review the evidence related to the accident to identify all liable parties and ensure you’re pursuing compensation from everyone who was responsible for your injuries. Some of this evidence, such as black box data, driver logs, and manifests, is unique to truck accident cases, and it’s necessary to have an attorney who knows how to access and evaluate this evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.

Securing Justice for Truck Accident Victims in Arkansas

Given the complexity of many truck accident cases, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side who has significant experience going to battle against trucking companies and their powerful insurance and legal teams. Their understanding of the applicable state and federal trucking regulations will provide integral value as you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.

The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough, LLP, have extensive experience fighting for the rights of truck accident victims. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident in Arkansas, contact us today for a consultation. We’ll guide you through the legal process and work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.