From the Director: Why we’re displaying year-to-date traffic fatalities on our homepage

By John Halikowski / ADOT Director

Freeway traffic

Traffic fatalities in Arizona, and nationwide, are climbing. Every year since 2014, the number of people killed annually in car crashes on Arizona’s city streets, county roads and state highways has increased.

Beginning this week, you’ll be able to see the life-and-death consequences that selfish driving decisions have on Arizona’s motorists. We’re placing a feature on the ADOT homepage that displays the number of people killed in traffic collisions since Jan. 1, 2018, on Arizona’s roads. This number will be updated weekly.

Our aim in sharing this number and updating it weekly is to make the public aware that drivers’ actions have real-life consequences. We must reverse the trend of rising traffic fatalities.

Arizona Traffic Fatalities counter

I say “we” because ADOT can’t do this alone. Here’s why: Even if there were zero fatal crashes on the state highway system in 2017, the number of traffic fatalities in Arizona still would have numbered in the hundreds because 66 percent of fatal crashes occurred on city streets, county highways and reservation roads.

The change must begin in the driver’s seat. More than 90 percent of crashes are caused by driver behavior. Speeding, impairment, distraction and aggressive driving are leading factors in fatal crashes. These are all behaviors we can choose not to engage in.

When drivers stop being selfish – your text isn’t as important as someone’s life – our roads will be safer for all of us.


Director Halikowski


This post originally appeared on former ADOT Director John Halikowski's LinkedIn page. He led the agency from 2009 to 2023. (ADOT's current Director is Jennifer Toth.)