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More people lose their lives in car accidents on Arkansas highways



Brookland, Arkansas – Drivers in Arkansas continue to have firsthand experience with a big issue that is affecting the entire country, and it is not in the locations that you are probably thinking of.

Since the beginning of 2023, there have been more than 150 persons killed in accidents around the state. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified these deadly accidents as a catastrophe that affects the entire country.

Craighead County Lieutenant Logan Thomas’ responsibilities include serving as a traffic enforcer.

When Thomas is on duty, he keeps an eye out for those who might disobey the law, particularly drivers who might not be paying enough attention to the road.

“Nationally, distracted driving has taken the lead over drunk driving in fatal crashes,” he said.

One roadway in particular, which passes through Brookland and receives a lot of attention throughout the county, is Roadway 49.

“Brookland tends to get a bad rap because it connects to major cities together, Jonesboro and Paragould, and Brookland is growing at a rapid pace so you’re going to have accidents in that area,” Thomas explained.

According to information compiled by the Arkansas Department of Transportation that covers the period beginning in January 2017 and ending in December 2021, Craighead County experienced more than 19,000 collisions, 87 of which resulted in fatalities.

Out of those collisions, 428 occurred on Highway 49 inside the city borders of Brookland, yet only two of them resulted in fatalities.

Even though there were fewer accidents in the surrounding cities, the number of fatalities was almost the same.

There were 141 collisions on Highway 63 within the city limits of Bono, but only one of them resulted in a fatality. There were 96 collisions that occurred on Highway 96 in Lake City, however, none of them resulted in fatalities.

Lieutenant Thomas has a theory on the reason why there are more crimes committed in Brookland.

“It is such a populated area and so many people use it to get to Paragould and Jonesboro and vice versa, you’re just going to have more accidents,” he explained.

Thomas mentioned that other routes, such as 351 and 141, are also renowned for having a high rate of collisions; as a result, while he is on patrol, he makes sure that every driver is aware of the regulations so that they can avoid collisions and save lives.

Although ARDO implemented a slower speed limit through Brookland in February 2022, there is not yet sufficient data to establish whether or not the change was beneficial.

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