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Motor-vehicle crash fatalities rose in 2013

Motor-vehicle crash fatalities rose in 2013

June 6, 2014

PHOENIX – The number of deaths in motor-vehicle crashes across the state rose by 2.8 percent in 2013, according to annual statistics released by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

An analysis of law enforcement reports on crashes shows 844 people were killed last year on state and local highways and streets, compared to 821 fatalities in 2012. The highest annual number of motor-vehicle crash fatalities in Arizona – 1,301 – occurred in 2006.

ADOT’s 2013 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report lists a total of 107,348 crashes across Arizona in 2013, an increase of 3.3 percent compared to 2012 (103,909 crashes).

“Every driver holds the key to reducing crashes and saving lives,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Our coalition of state, federal and local agencies will complete an updated Strategic Highway Safety Plan this summer to guide us in our continuing efforts to reduce the number and severity of crashes on all of Arizona’s public roadways.”

In late 2012, public safety agencies began to update the state’s highway safety plan, which was first adopted in 2007.

Fatal-crash categories with increases in 2013 included pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Last year 158 pedestrians were killed, compared to 131 pedestrian fatalities in 2012 and 154 in 2011. Nearly 10 percent of all crashes involving pedestrians were fatal.

Meanwhile, 30 bicyclists were killed last year, compared to 18 in 2012 and 23 in 2011.

Annual figures also show 149 motorcycle riders or passengers died in Arizona last year, compared to 139 motorcycle-related deaths in 2012 and 132 in 2011.

Alcohol-related fatalities dropped by more than 7 percent last year compared to 2012. In 2013, 262 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. There were 283 such deaths in 2012 and 287 in 2011.

The total number of reported alcohol-related crashes was down from 5,460 in 2012 to 5,190 in 2013.

“The decrease in alcohol-related crashes and deaths is welcome news but doesn’t change our mission to stop impaired driving,” said Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Alberto Gutier. “Whether it’s our tougher laws, stepped up law enforcement or public awareness campaigns, we have to keep up the battle because nearly a third of the fatal crashes in the state last year were alcohol-related.”

As in past years, the most common driver violation cited by law enforcement officers was “speed too fast for conditions.”

Here are other figures from the 2013 Arizona Crash Facts report:

  • One person was killed in a motor-vehicle crash every 10.39 hours (average of 2.31 people killed each day).
  • 299 of the 844 people killed in motor-vehicle crashes were not wearing safety devices, including seat belts and helmets.
  • Urban-area fatalities (443 deaths) increased more than 12 percent last year (compared to 394 in 2012).
  • Rural-area fatalities (401 deaths) decreased by 6 percent last year (compared to 427 in 2012).
  • Single-vehicle crashes accounted for 17.75 percent of all crashes but also 39 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • Crashes during daylight hours (6 a.m. – 6 p.m.) accounted for 73 percent of all crashes.
  • Friday was the peak day of the week for all crashes during 2013, while November 22 was the peak date for all crashes (737 crashes).
  • Motor-vehicle crashes resulted in $2.99 billion in economic losses for Arizona. 

The ADOT 2013 Arizona Crash Facts report is available online.