With 2022 in the rear view, we all take time to look back and get a sense of where we’ve been and where we are heading. In September of 2022, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) published the previous year’s crash statistics in its yearly report.
The team at Wattel & York believes that it’s important to consider these numbers for various reasons. Primarily, that each of these numbers has a story — a story of people whose lives are uprooted in car crashes, surviving family members left to make sense of fatalities caused by someone else’s dangerous behavior. And in many cases, a legal battle where the victims and their loved ones try to recover the compensation they rightfully deserve from the insurance company.
The other side of these statistics is another story that goes unspoken, but one that nearly all of us benefit from every day: the number of times when there isn’t a car accident. We each uphold our duties of care to the other drivers on the road each time we head out on the streets, and nearly all other drivers do the same. Some of the accidents in the statistics are purely that — accidents, where someone lost control of their vehicle due to a mechanical failure, medical emergency, or another event beyond their control. But many others are examples of people acting selfishly and not giving their vehicles the respect they demand to keep everyone safe.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that someone else caused, Wattel & York is here to help. Take a look below to get a better idea of some of the statistics about car accidents that caused serious injuries, fatal crashes, and other matters of highway safety that our team thinks about all day as we fight to get our clients the compensation they are rightfully owed.
2021 Accidents in Arizona
In 2021, ADOT reported a total of 121,345 car accidents. Of course, the number is certainly higher due to the many instances where the collision was not serious enough to warrant a call to 911 (meaning that there was no property damage or personal injuries at all). Of these, 35,203 accidents had injuries reported, with a total of 51,633 people suffering injuries. There were also 1,063 fatal accidents and 1,183 deaths out of the 121,345 reported collisions.
Nearly ¼ of all fatal accidents involved alcohol (215 out of 1,063), and 243 people were killed in these accidents. Another 3,609 suffered injuries in alcohol-related accidents.
The legal limit for adults over the age of 21 is a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08. A commercial vehicle driver has a limit of 0.04, and Arizona has a zero-tolerance law for minors under the age of 21 with a limit of 0.00.
Unfortunately, not everyone obeys these laws, and as the accidents and deaths in these statistics show, alcohol has a measurable impact on car accidents and traffic fatalities. A driver may not even realize that they are impaired because of how alcohol works on inhibition and self-awareness. The distortions to confidence may make drivers perceive that they are operating much more safely than they actually are.
350 of the 1,180 traffic fatalities were in crashes (30%) that involved speeding. Speed causes a deadly combination of factors in crashes where higher speed equals a greater force of impact, and therefore leads to greater injuries. Drivers must rely on faster reaction times to avoid unexpected hazards or obstacles such as a pedestrian or other vehicles. Furthermore, increased speed causes many vehicles to lose their ability to hold onto the road, which is another factor that can lead to an increased risk of an accident while ignoring the posted speed limits.
2,594 of the reported crashes in Arizona involved motorcycles; 154 people were killed while driving a motorcycle, and six were killed as passengers on one.
Arizona is a great place to ride a motorcycle, with long, straight roads leading into beautiful vistas and sweeping panoramas. However, a motorcycle is a dangerous vehicle to be riding in an accident due to the fact that there is virtually no structural protection provided by the frame of the vehicle, meaning that even a low-speed crash can lead to a serious, life-threatening injury.
Changes to Accident Statistics
2020 was a strange year for statistics for several reasons, including crash stats for both fatalities and injuries, and car and pedestrian alike. Due to the significant decrease in traffic in the second quarter of the year, and a slow but incremental return to normal over the following 12 months, 2020 has fewer fatalities and fewer crashes. Still, it is important to remember that this is due to a significant decrease in traffic overall.
For example, there were a total of 99,100 crashes reported in 2020 and a total of 121,345 crashes reported in 2021, an increase of 22.45%. There were a total of 41,450 accidents in 2020 where people reported that they were injured, while there were 51,633 injury accidents in 2021, an increase of 24.3%. Fatalities increased between 2020 and 2021 by 11.95%, which more closely reflected the 12.48% increase in vehicle miles traveled between the two years.
If You Are Involved in an Arizona Crash, Contact Wattel & York Today
Our team is here to help you recover the compensation you deserve after a traffic accident in Arizona. Whether you are injured as a pedestrian, passenger, or driver, if someone else caused your crash, we will fight to get you the money you are rightfully owed. Accidents like rear-end collisions at stop signs or red lights, distracted driving crashes where someone is using their phone behind the wheel or many other traffic situations that often lead to car crashes are all part of our practice areas.
Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.