According to Yahoo, Arkansas is the 7th most dangerous state to drive in. In fact, it’s worse than that. Arkansas is the 7th worst in a list of states where fatal car accidents are most likely. What is going on in Arkansas to make the state so dangerous to drive in, and what can be done to fix the problem?
Part of the problem is the amount people in Arkansas drive. Arkansans drive a lot, more than all but five other states. That, of course, raises the risk of accidents since people spend so much time in their cars. Unfortunately, the issue doesn’t end there, however.
A major reason why there are so many fatal accidents in this state is that Arkansans are far less likely to follow all the safety rules of the road. While the national average for seat belt use is 87%, in Arkansas, that number drops to 77%.
Another issue is drinking. Alcohol-related driving incidents are more common in Arkansas than in most states. At the same time, there’s slightly more chance a fatal accident was caused by someone drinking in this state than nationally. Nationally, that number is 72%, while in Arkansas it’s 74%.
All of that leads to a probability of dying in a car crash is an astounding 1 in 6, according to Yahoo.
What can Arkansas do to lower these numbers?
First, more needs to be done to enforce the rules of the road. There are already laws on the books that require drivers and those in the passenger seat to wear seat belts. Anyone under 15 is also required to wear a seat belt, no matter where they sit in the car. Therefore, more needs to be done to enforce these laws. If that ugly seat belt percentage were more in alignment with the national average, far more Arkansans would survive their crashes.
Similarly, more must be done to stop drinking and driving through the state. In a place where so many must drive so often, the risks of someone causing an accident after drinking are far higher. A no-tolerance policy should be put in place to help lower those numbers.
Finally, for anyone who is involved in an accident which is the other driver’s fault, they should consider legal options. By scaring local drivers into better behavior, fewer drivers will so casually break the laws that are designed to keep us safe.
Arkansas is a great state with a lot to offer both its residents and tourists, but as long as ugly statistics like these continue to exist, few will want to see all the great sides of Arkansas. For the benefit of the state and its citizens, more has to be done to fix this issue, so that Arkansas can shine, as it rightly should, as one of the brightest stars on the US flag.