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DPS: Arizona driver survives crashing into guardrail after falling asleep

Pictures show pieces of the guardrail piercing through the pickup truck on State Route 87 near Payson.

PAYSON, Ariz. — An Arizona driver survived a destructive collision earlier this week after falling asleep at the wheel and striking a guardrail on State Route 87 near Payson, officials said. 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety posted pictures on Friday of the crash's aftermath, which show the guardrail piercing through the wrecked pickup truck. 

DPS said the driver survived with non-life-threatening injuries and reminded motorists to always pull over if they start feeling sleepy on the road.

"Being drowsy delays reaction speed, decreases concentration & impairs judgment," the agency said.

Credit: DPS

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Deaths on Arizona roads

Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that roadway fatalities have been gradually rising in Arizona over the last decade:

  • 2011: 825 deaths
  • 2012: 821 deaths
  • 2013: 844 deaths
  • 2014: 774 deaths
  • 2015: 895 deaths
  • 2016: 952 deaths
  • 2017: 1,000 deaths
  • 2018: 1,010 deaths
  • 2019: 982 deaths
  • 2020: 1,057 deaths

ADOT offers driving tips on its website to help keep people safe on the road.

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website.

ADOT's suggestions include:

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively
  • Never drive while under the influence of substances
  • Avoid distractions while driving
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same
  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over
  • Stay extra aware in work zones
  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here.

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said.

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