Arizona interstates have one of highest US fatality rates, report finds

Phoenix Freeway Interstate 10  I-10
Posted at 9:42 AM, Jun 23, 2021

Drivers on Arizona’s interstate highways face one of the highest fatality rates in the nation and cover some of the most mileage in the country, according to a new report assessing the nation’s interstate highway system.

The Grand Canyon State ranked No. 4 for interstate fatalities in 2019, with 0.87 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on its interstate system, according to the report by The Road Information Program, or TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

That's actually a better record for interstate fatalities than a year earlier, when Arizona reported 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles, ranking No. 1 in the nation.

Only Wyoming, New Mexico and Mississippi had higher rates than Arizona in 2019, and Alabama rounded out the top five.

The report, which looked at data from between 2000 and 2019 and comes as the U.S. interstate system turns 65, considered fatalities along with a number of other metrics on the conditions of roads and bridges in the network — with the conclusion that the system is heavily traveled, congested and deteriorating.

Despite Arizona’s high fatality ranking, the report highlighted the added safety provided by the interstate system when compared to other roads. Arizona’s fatality rate on all noninterstate roads was 1.54 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

In fact, TRIP ranked Arizona in the top 20 for the greatest number of lives saved in 2019 as a result of the interstate highway system. The Grand Canyon State came in at No. 17, with 142 lives saved.

Read the rest of the story at Phoenix Business Journal.