PHOENIX — Last year, Arizona saw more than 120,000 crashes and more than 1,100 deaths on our roadways. A staggering statistic that raises an eyebrow to anyone who reads it.
But as you look closer, another alarming trend takes shape. One day out of the week tends to be more dangerous than the others.
On Fridays, the daytime hours saw more than 20,000 crashes and more than 200 deaths.
The day combines the worst of two worlds.
You have the rush hour bumper-to-bumper traffic that Arizona Department of Transportation statistics show lead to the most accidents and the late night, weekend dangers.
“Night time, we generally see a significant proportion of fatalities at night during dark hours.” Brendan Russo, a professor at NAU, said. “Roads aren't congested, people can drive faster. There is also an alcohol issue.”
According to data from ADOT, while alcohol is involved in less than 5 percent of all crashes, it played a role in more than 20 percent of all deaths.
It's a surprising stat that drivers certainly should take note of. And always remember to stay safe on the roads.
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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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