New numbers show a growing and deadly problem on Arizona roads.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, 962 people were killed on our roadways in 2016. The number represents a 7.3 percent increase from 2015.
“It’s horrendous,” said Alberto Gutier with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
A closer look at the numbers show crashes involving impaired driving killed 406 people and injured more than 4,000.
“I take it personally,” said Gutier.
The worst day of the week for crashes was Friday, but Saturday was the deadliest.
Gutier says the main factors that contribute to these deadly crashes are, impairment, speed, reckless driving and not wearing a seat belt. He also says it’s going to take more education and enforcement to improve these numbers.
“When was the last time you saw someone running radar in the city of Phoenix,” said Gutier.
A 2018 fiscal report for the federal government will try to secure additional funding to help combat the problem.
Gutier does say that the overall number of alcohol-related crashes dropped a little last year, but those involving prescription drugs or illegal drugs increased.
Another disturbing figure shows pedestrian-involved crashes and fatalities also increased last year. Almost 200 pedestrians were killed in 2016 and more than 1,500 were involved in a crash.
A new national study also finds states with legalized recreational marijuana had a slight increase in car crashes.