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Arizona sees 7.3 percent increase in fatal crashes, nearly 1,000 killed

This Wednesday May 10, 2017 provided by the Kingman Police Department shows the remains of a pickup truck after it crashed during a police pursuit in Kingman, Ariz. Authorities say Kevin Marcus Robertson, from Modesto, Calif., sought on a child molestation warrant, died when his vehicle crashed into a sign post after police spotted him in Kingman in northwestern Arizona. (Kingman Police Department via AP)

PHOENIX — Nearly 1,000 people were killed by car crashes in Arizona last year, a study from the state department of transportation said.

In a release, ADOT said the 962 people killed represented a 7.3 percent percent increase over 2015. That number means someone was killed in a car crash every nine hours on average.

The worst day of the week for crashes was Friday, but the deadliest was Saturday.

Collisions involving an impaired driver took the lives of 406 people and injured more than 4,000.

“Making travel safer begins before drivers turn the ignition,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Too many people make the deadly decision to drive impaired, whether by alcohol, prescription pills or other drugs, and put all of us at risk.

“None of us should accept this selfish behavior and it’s everyone’s business to stop impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.”

The number of alcohol-related crashes dropped slightly, while those involving prescription medications or illegal drugs increased.

“The gains made in reducing alcohol-related crashes and fatalities are steps in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done,” Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said in the release.

The number of pedestrian-involved crashes and fatalities increased in 2016. The study said nearly 200 pedestrians were killed in 2016 and an additional 1,637 were involved in a crash.

In 2015, 163 were killed and 1,408 were hit.

There was a slight decrease — eight, to be exact — in the number of people who were killed while not wearing a seat belt last year compared to 2015.

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