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Arizona had most traffic deaths in more than a decade in 2018

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Despite a dip in the number of crashes and injuries on Arizona’s roads last year, traffic deaths were the highest in over a decade.

There were 1,010 fatalities on the state’s roads in 2018, according to the annual crash facts report released Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

That was the most since 2007, when there were 1,071, and a 1.2% increase from the 998 in 2017.

However, the total number of crashes and injuries dropped.

“It’s encouraging to see the number of crashes, fatal crashes and people injured trend downward, but the ultimate number we want to see get smaller is fatalities, and that didn’t happen,” ADOT spokesman Doug Pacey told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The 2018 total crash number of 127,056 was a slight .6% drop, while traffic injuries fell by 4.5% to 53,376.

The number of fatal crashes also dropped last year, but barely, from 917 to 916.

Pacey said driver behavior is a factor in more than 90% percent of crashes.

“We all have more work to do,” he said. “Drivers need to make better choices behind the wheel.

“Don’t speed; don’t drive recklessly; don’t drive impaired; don’t drive distracted. Make sure you wear your seatbelt and be a courteous driver.”

The 68-page annual report provides an in-depth look at crash statistics and trends in the state.

Here are some more findings of note from 2018:

  • Arizona had a record 5,308,307 licensed drivers.
  • The estimated number of miles driven went up by 1.65%.
  • Alcohol was involved in 3.7% of all crashes and 26.3% of fatal crashes.
  • Crashes resulted in $19.3 billion in economic losses.
  • An average of approximately 2.77 people were killed in accidents each day.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report.

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