Staying Safe on the Interstate

October 7th, 2005- Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

WEST MEMPHIS, AR-- Wednesday's accident involving 3 tractor trailers and a milk tanker in West Memphis underscores the danger of that stretch of Interstate 40. The accident killed one and had traffic snarled for more than 4 hours. But was the accident preventable?

"All it takes is that minor distraction on the side of the road that you turn your head to look at and when you look back up you see is brake lights in front of you," said Rod Woodruff of the Arkansas Highway Department.

And at 70 miles an hour on the interstate, it is sometimes hard to stop your vehicle. Especially if you are driving a large truck.

Yesterday's three truck wreck in West Memphis which killed one person just amplifies the importance of paying attention on crowded roadways.
The accident was a result of one truck hitting another truck which was stopped at an accident.

Arkansas State Police warn that you should slow down and pay attention when you see a wreck on the side of the road.

"Use common sense, slow down, be courtious, don't follow too close," said Corporal Doug Thomas of the State Police.

By paying attention to the road you can prevent a second wreck from occuring.

"Everybodies bad about rubbernecking but that has caused other accidents I have been at accident scenes and watched a second wreck happen while we were sitting on the side of the highway," said Thomas.

Traffic was stopped on eastbound Interstate 40 for 4 hours yesterday. To minimize the number of cars in traffic, State Police suggest finding an exit and access road to bypass the accident.

Simple things like obeying speed limits, following road signs and staying focused can have a lasting impact.

"It's very important, it's a life or death situation," said Woodruff.