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Fatal car crashes up in Arizona, drunk driving-related accidents decrease


PHOENIX — Fatal car crashes in Arizona jumped seven percent in 2016 from the previous year, but accidents that involved drunk driving decreased by 14 percent over the same time period.

According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 897 fatal car accidents in Arizona in 2015. In 2016, that number jumped to 962 total fatalities, accounting for a 7.2 percent increase in fatal car crashes.

In comparison, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased from 269 in 2015 to 232 in 2015, making for a 13.8 percent decrease in those type of fatal car accidents.

In 2015, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities only made up 30 percent of all fatal car accidents. That number decreased to 24 percent in 2016.

This finding does not reflect the trend nationwide.

While the number of fatal car accidents increased nationwide between 2015 and 2016, from 35,385 to 37,461, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities also increased nationwide.

The number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased by 1.7 percent nationwide from 2015 to 2016, from 10,320 to 10,497.

According to the report, the last time the number of fatal car accidents increased this much nationwide was from 1963 to 1964, when they increased by 9.4 percent.

The back-to-back total motor vehicle fatality increases from 2014 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2016 were 8.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.

The last time the nation saw back-to-back fatality increases of this magnitude was from 1963 to 1964 and from 1964 to 1965.

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