The Most Dangerous Roads, Interstates & Intersections in Arkansas
More than 16,000 miles of state and U.S. highways and interstates run through the state of Arkansas. This doesn’t include the thousands of small city streets, county roads, and suburban neighborhoods. With all of these intersecting roads and freeways, it’s no wonder, so many car accidents occur here in this state. In 2019 alone, over 500 people died in Arkansas car crashes – the most since 2016.
Unfortunately, some roads in Arkansas are simply more dangerous than others. Whether due to increased traffic or poor maintenance, these roads see more crashes than other roads across the state.
Most Dangerous Highways in Arkansas
Numerous highways traverse the state of Arkansas. These roads are often packed with commuters, residents, and visitors to and from cities, activities, and work. Many of these highways are two-lane roads with poor visibility. When bad weather occurs, these roads can become treacherous. Animal crossings, poor maintenance, and inadequate shoulders can further increase the chances of a serious and fatal highway accident.
Where are the most dangerous highways in Arkansas?
- Highway 7. This road travels nearly the entire length of Arkansas and is full of steep hills and curves. Multiple fatal accidents occur on this road, particularly the stretch on the north side of Bismarck.
- Highway 12. This highway is just 57 miles long, but it is one of Arkansas’s most dangerous roads per mile. Statistics show that a deadly accident occurs every 11.4 miles on Highway 12.
- Highway 270. This highway stretches 156 miles from White Hall through Sheridan and Hot Springs. Statistics from the NHTSA show that fatal car crashes occur here every 13 miles.
- Highway 167. This highway runs from Ash Flat through Batesville and continues into Louisiana. In 2019, 28 fatal car accidents occurred on this road.
- Highway 67. This highway intersects with highway 167 and runs for 280 miles across the states. As a result, numerous injury accidents occur on this road every year.
- Highway 65. This highway follows the Mississippi River and is part of the Great River Road. Over a dozen fatalities occur on this highway every year.
Most Dangerous Arkansas Interstates
Arkansas’ interstates are some of the most crowded and congested interstates in the South. Large commercial trucks use these interstates en route to deliver their goods across the country. Residents and commuters rely on these interstates to get to and from work in major cities, such as Little Rock and Fayetteville.
Unfortunately, more than 14 percent of all Arkansas car accidents occur on interstates. In 2019 alone, nearly 70 people died in interstate accidents, and thousands more suffered injuries.
Interstate accidents occur in Arkansas for a variety of reasons. However, driver error is the main reason for many of these accidents. From distracted drivers to speeding drivers, drivers in Arkansas make serious driving mistakes daily.
Where are the most dangerous interstates in Arkansas?
- Interstate 40. This 285-mile interstate stretches from Tennessee through Little Rock and into Oklahoma. In 2019, no Arkansas interstate had more fatal accidents.
- Interstate 30. A fatal accident occurs on this interstate nearly every 6 miles, making it one of the most dangerous interstates in the state. This interstate travels from Texas to Little Rock and runs through many cities.
- Interstate 55. This interstate runs 72 miles and connects Tennessee to Missouri. This stretch of interstate can become treacherous in poor weather.
Most Dangerous Intersections in Arkansas
Intersections are the most dangerous spot for all motorists in Arkansas. This is primarily due to a large amount of traffic going through intersections daily. Drivers turning left must pay attention to oncoming traffic. Drivers turning right must try to merge. Even with traffic lights there to help drivers, deadly accidents still occur. More than half of all car accidents occur at intersections across the state.
Why do so many accidents occur at intersections? According to the NSC, the main reason is simply driver distraction. Drivers simply do not pay attention when approaching an intersection. This can result in drivers who run traffic lights or stop signs or drivers who rear-end other drivers at a light because they’re on a cellphone. These accidents are very preventable and should never occur.
Where are the most dangerous intersections in Arkansas?
- Asher Avenue and University Avenue. This intersection is arguably the most dangerous in the state. This popular intersection is particularly dangerous in Little Rock on game day when the University of Arkansas hosts sporting events.
- N 46th Street and W Walnut Street. This intersection is located in Rogers, and it is hectic during rush hour. This leads to serious accidents when drivers try to “make” the yellow light and inevitably T-bone another vehicle.
- N College Avenue and E Joyce Boulevard. This is one of the busiest intersections in Fayetteville, so it is no wonder it is also dangerous. There are wide turns here and many large commercial trucks trying to navigate this road.
- Shackleford and I-430 with 179. This intersection in West Little Rock is wildly dangerous due to traffic coming from the hospital and a variety of businesses, restaurants, and taverns on Shackleford.
Why Are Arkansas Rural Roads Dangerous?
Arkansas has miles of rural roads that stretch in all directions across the state. Many accidents occur on these rural roads. Arkansas received the designation of “worst roads in America” from numerous publications over the last 30 years. In 2011, a study found that Arkansas’ rural highways were the fourth-deadliest roads in the country.
Another study shows that the state’s rural roads are more dangerous than freeways and interstates. The study, conducted by an organization known as TRIP, found that rural roads saw as many as three times more fatal Arkansas car accidents than other types of roadways.
Why are Arkansas rural roads so dangerous? The reasons are numerous.
- Poor road conditions
- Inclement weather
- Poor lighting
- Crumbling bridges and infrastructure
- Missing guardrails
- Train crossings
- Animal crossings
Many rural roads in Arkansas also lack adequate safety features, such as wide shoulders, guardrails, and dividers. Fatigued drivers can easily run off the road and into oncoming traffic. According to AAA Traffic Safety Foundation, 21 percent of fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver.
So, what’s the reason why rural roads in Arkansas are so dangerous? The consensus seems to be poor roadway conditions. A release from KASU News states that 23 percent of Arkansas’ rural roadways were in poor condition. This was the 10th highest rate of bad roads in the nation.
Experts say the only way to improve these numbers is to update the roads that connect cities with highways. However, this can be challenging to fund due to a lack of appropriations.
One of the most dangerous rural roads is Masonville Road outside of McGehee. This road winds through farmlands and is the site of multiple fatalities a year.
We’re Taking Care of You in Arkansas
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our Arkansas car accident attorneys are here to help you after a serious car accident. We know the local roads and intersections where your accident likely occurred, and we work quickly to fight insurance companies after a crash.
Arkansas is our home, and we want to ensure our neighbors and friends are supported. With seven office locations — Little Rock, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, and Memphis —our personal injury lawyers are easily accessible when you need help. Call us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We are here when you need us most!