Traffic deaths in Arizona increased for 3rd straight year in 2022

Aug 2, 2023, 1:06 PM

PHOENIX — Traffic deaths in Arizona increased for the third consecutive year in 2022, nearly breaking the record for the most fatalities in a year, a recent report showed.

At least 1,294 were killed in traffic collisions on streets and freeways last year, up from 1,192 in 2021 — an increase of 8.6%, according to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published on Monday.

The report, produced by Arizona Department of Transportation, is a compilation of traffic crash reports provided by state law enforcement agencies and reflects crash data for all Arizona roadways.

The 2022 traffic fatality total is the second-highest ever recorded, behind 1,301 in 2006, according to the report.

“One of the things we do see, the figures show that speeding and speed that’s not appropriate for conditions accounted for a greater share of traffic deaths and injuries last year,” ADOT spokesman Steve Elliot told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“And that’s an important reminder that the decisions of drivers have a lot to do with traffic fatalities.”

Deaths involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists also all increased last year from the previous report. The biggest increase was seen in crashes involving motorcycles. There was 2,911 crashes involving motorcyclists, an increase from 2,594 in 2021.

Are drivers making any improvements on Arizona roads?

While traffic deaths increased, fatal accidents that were alcohol-related decreased. There was 223 fatalities related to alcohol last year, down from 253 in 2021.

And although total fatalities were up, the overall amount of crashes were down. There were 119,991 crashes in 2022, a decrease from 121,506 in 2021.

“Most of the fatal crashes, and crashes overall, will occur on local streets, and that’s a function of just where cars are primarily … local streets will have most of the fatalities,” Elliot said.

Moving forward, consider these driving tips

Overall, fatal crashes accounted for nearly 1% of all crashes, while injury crashes accounted for about 30%.

Elliot said pinpointing a reason for an increase in traffic fatalities from the previous year is extremely difficult. He noted that driver responsibility and driver safety are both vital to decreasing traffic fatalities.

“What’s on your phone and what’s on your radio is a lot less important than getting to where you’re going safely,” Elliot said.

“Be patient, keep your focus on the road and follow the basics of safe driving. Resist the urge to speed. You will get there.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.

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Traffic deaths in Arizona increased for 3rd straight year in 2022