ARIZONA NEWS

New report finds Arizona partly to blame for nationwide spike in pedestrian deaths

Jul 9, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 4:16 pm

pedestrian fatalities in Arizona fatality report...

A new pedestrian fatality report found that rates increased last year — and the year before. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s streets are the second most dangerous in the nation in terms of pedestrian deaths, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Data analysts found that 307 Arizonans died after vehicle collisions in 2022. That’s a significant boost from the 260 people who died from car strikes in 2021 — and the 235 people who died after being hit by a vehicle in 2020.

The grim pattern goes back even further.

Back in 2020, data analysts already noticed Arizona’s rate of pedestrian deaths rising. In 2019, car crashes killed 220 pedestrians.

This means Arizona’s total number of pedestrian-involved traffic fatalities has steadily risen for the past four years.

pedestrian fatalities in Arizona, traffic deaths, people walking

(Governors Highway Safety Association image)

In other words, the Copper State has a rate of 4.17 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people.

It’s not the worst in the country, though. The GHSA report said that title goes to New Mexico, which has a rate of 4.4 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents.

Bleak statistics across the country

American roadways are increasingly deadly for people walking down the streets, the report found. Researchers found a rate of 2.37 people died from car crashes per each billion miles people travel in vehicles in 2022. The GHSA provided a solution to the country’s pedestrian safety crisis: the Safe System approach. This technique has five elements:

  • Safe road users.
  • Safe vehicles.
  • Safe speeds.
  • Safe roads.
  • Post-crash care.

Each factor plays a different role in ensuring a society-wide safety net that keeps people safe — whether they’re on the roads or the streets.

However, Phoenix ranked last in StreetLight Data’s safe speed index, which ranks the 30 most populous cities in the U.S. based on the average speed drivers use to travel down roads pedestrians often use.

Phoenix drivers zipped off at an average speed of 35 miles per hour on pedestrian-heavy roadways, StreetLight found.

The Arizona Department of Transportation often puts up snappy messages like “Eyes up, phone down so we all go home” on boards.

These messages are intended for drivers, but they can also double as a warning for pedestrians to be on guard when walking down the streets. After all, the drivers have a poor reputation.

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New report finds Arizona partly to blame for nationwide spike in pedestrian deaths