Arizona roads among deadliest in nation for pedestrians

Feb 28, 2019, 4:59 PM
(KTAR News Photo/Matt Bertram)...
(KTAR News Photo/Matt Bertram)
(KTAR News Photo/Matt Bertram)

PHOENIX – Arizona is one of the most dangerous states in the country for pedestrians, according to a new report.

The Grand Canyon State had the nation’s second-highest rate of pedestrian traffic deaths per capita in the first half of 2018, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s preliminary annual report.

And with 125, Arizona ranked fifth nationally in number of pedestrian traffic deaths from January through June, an increase of 12 percent from the same time in 2017.

By contrast, New York, with nearly three times the population, had 117 pedestrian fatalities.

Arizona’s total calculates to a rate of 1.74 per 100,000 residents. Only New Mexico was higher at 2.26.

Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said one of the issues in Phoenix is that pedestrians too often fail to use intersections to cross major streets.

“People are crossing mid-block, in dark clothing at night, looking at their phone … and being distracted, and vehicles are driving at higher speed,” Gutier told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Gutier said education is a key to reducing pedestrian deaths.

(City of Phoenix)

To promote roadway safety, the city of Phoenix launched its Heads Up! campaign last year, with tips and video available online.

“The whole idea is to increase overall awareness about safe practices when it comes to driving, walking and bicycling on our city streets,” city spokeswoman Monica Hernandez told KTAR News.

With just one pedestrian death in the first half of 2018, New Hampshire had the lowest total and rate.

The top five states, California (432), Florida (330), Texas (298), Georgia (133) and Arizona, accounted for a whopping 46 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the U.S.

Using the six-month numbers, the Governors Highway Safety Association projected that there were 6,227 pedestrian fatalities for all of 2018, a four percent increase from 2017 and the highest number in nearly three decades.

The association blamed the increase on factors that include distracted or impaired drivers, more people walking to work and more SUVs on the road, which cause more severe injuries in collisions with people on foot.

As fewer people in vehicles have been dying, pedestrian deaths have been increasing nationwide, the report said.

The annual number of pedestrian deaths rose 35 percent from 2008 to 2017, while the number of all other traffic deaths fell by six percent.

Pedestrian deaths accounted for 12 percent of traffic fatalities in 2008, and that was up to 16 percent in 2017.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Amy Phol and Nailea Leon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Peoria Fire-Medical Department)...

West Valley elementary school children evaluated after becoming ill following field trip

Twenty elementary school students in Sun City grew ill on Thursday after returning from a field trip, authorities said.
17 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

1 dead after argument leads to gunfire in downtown Phoenix

A man is dead after an argument escalated into gunfire in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday evening, authorities said.
17 hours ago
(Facebook Photos/State Farm Stadium, WM Phoenix Open)...

Sheriff Penzone says public’s vigilance is safety tool in security prep for Super Bowl

With high-profile sporting events on the horizon for metro Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he's looking to the public to act as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.
17 hours ago
(Expansive Photo)...

Flexible workspace company Expansive opens 20,000-square-foot downtown Mesa location

Chicago-based Flexible workspace company Expansive has taken over a 20,000-square-foot location in downtown Mesa.
17 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Surprise Police Department)...

2 teenagers killed in Surprise when vehicle crashes into tree

Two teenagers are dead and two others are in the hospital after their vehicle crashed into a tree in Surprise on Wednesday.
17 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Child dies after getting hit by car while walking to school in Phoenix

A child died Thursday morning after getting hit by a car while he was walking to school with his father, authorities said.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Arizona roads among deadliest in nation for pedestrians