PHOENIX — Nearly 900 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 on Arizona roads, the Arizona Department of Transportation said in a release.
The 895 deaths in 2015 is an increase of 121 people killed from the year before.
ADOT said it is seeing an increase in deaths due to preventable causes.
In 2015, 313 people killed were not using a seat belt, car seat or other safety device. This is nearly an 18 percent increase from the prior year.
“One death will always be too many, and there are things all drivers can do to reduce the number of crash deaths, starting with buckling up, obeying speed limits and reducing speed when conditions warrant,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said in a press release.
ADOT said 300 people died in a crash where speed was a factor, a 25.5 percent increase.
There were also an additional 295 people killed in alcohol-related incidents, nearly a 10 percent increase from 2014.
“It’s tragic and frustrating to see increases in fatalities involving impaired driving,” Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said in the same press release. “We’ll never stop efforts to get people to do the right thing, including arranging for a designated driver. And we’ll fully back law enforcement and their dedication to getting impaired drivers off the road.”
In fatal crashes last year, 16.2 percent of drivers had been drinking, while 4.8 percent of drivers in fatal crashes appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
The number of motorcycle fatalities rose in 2015 to 134, up from 128 in the previous year.
According to the report, 38 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents were speeding.
Despite fewer crashes involving pedestrians in 2015, more of them were killed. ADOT said 161 died in 2015, whereas 155 died in 2014.
The biggest decline from 2014 to 2015 was the number of crashes involving bicyclists. In 2014, there were 1,744 bicycle-related crashes, compared to the 1,434 in 2015.
The number of deaths in bicycle-related incidents, 29, remained the same from 2014 to 2015.
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