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Police: Fatal Phoenix car accidents involving pedestrians rose in 2016

PHOENIX — The number of fatal car accidents involving pedestrians in Phoenix rose in 2016, making it the third year in a row that has marked an increase in accidents, police said.

Ninety-nine out of the 228 traffic deaths in Phoenix during 2016 involved pedestrians, said Sgt. Alan Pfohl with the Phoenix Police Department Vehicular Crimes Unit.

That’s a significant increase from 84 in 2015 and 76 in 2014.

Pfohl said eliminating distractions for both the driver and pedestrian could significantly decrease these fatal accidents.

“The most important thing is to put away all your distractions,” he said. “I see it all the time we’ve got kids on their cell phones, [as well as] parents on their cellphones not watching their kids.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a crosswalk or not, Pfohl said pedestrians need to always be alert.

Pfohl emphasized the importance of crosswalks for pedestrians, and warned people to not enter the crosswalk once it’s started blinking, even if you think there’s time left.

“Understand the roadway is for vehicles, it’s not made for pedestrians,” he said. “Don’t cross in the middle of the street mid-block, always use a crosswalk if possible.”

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