PHOENIX — The number of deaths in motor-vehicle crashes across the state went down slightly in 2012, according to annual statistics released by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, motorcycle-related fatalities increased by more than five percent last year.
An analysis of law enforcement reports shows 823 people lost their lives in crashes on state and local roadways in Arizona in 2012, compared to 827 fatalities in 2011.
ADOT's 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report also shows 139 motorcycle riders or passengers were killed last year, an increase of 5.3 percent when compared to 132 motorcycle-related deaths across the state in 2011.
"These figures should remind all of us to make a pledge to resist distractions and concentrate on safe driving," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "Public safety agencies met recently to begin updating Arizona's Strategic Highway Safety Plan. One area sure to receive even more attention in the coming year is motorcycle safety. We urge all motorcyclists to seriously consider safety-training courses and remind all drivers to increase their awareness when sharing the road with motorcycle riders."
Other figures from ADOT's 2012 Arizona Crash Facts report include:
- There were 103,176 total crashes recorded in 2012 (down 0.58 percent compared to 103,774 crashes in 2011)
- One person was killed in a motor vehicle-related crash every 10.65 hours
- Crashes with injuries accounted for 32 percent of all crashes, while 67 percent of all crashes were listed as “property damage only”
- Pedestrian fatalities decreased by 14 percent (132 deaths in 2012 compared to 154 in 2011)
- 72.5 percent of all crashes occurred during daylight hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
- Alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 2 percent (281 deaths in 2012 compared to 287 in 2011)
"Our law enforcement agencies around the state worked even harder last year to take impaired drivers off the road," said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "Our mission will not end until we eliminate the tragedies caused by drivers who refuse to abide by our stricter laws. We also need all drivers to do the right things: buckle up, obey speed limits, don't drive while drowsy, and don't become distracted by cell phone calls and texting."
Motor vehicle crashes also created economic losses approaching $3 billion in Arizona last year. Economic losses tied to fatalities, including wage and productivity losses, totaled $1.2 billion, while losses from property damage added up to more than $640 million.
The ADOT 2012 Arizona Crash Facts report is available at www.azdot.gov/mvd/statistics/crash/PDF/12crashfacts.pdf.