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New state crash report finds traffic fatalities climb to 12-year high, despite fewer cars on the road in 2020

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Posted at 7:51 AM, Jul 30, 2021

Arizona is now headed in the wrong direction when it comes to crash data.

According to a new report from the Arizona Department of Transportation, traffic fatalities rose to a 12-year high in 2020. This comes as there were also far fewer drivers on the roadway because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The number of those killed in traffic collisions rose from 980 in 2019 to 1,057 in 2020, while the total number of traffic crashes came in under 100,000 for the first time since 1993. The report also shows that Arizonans traveled an estimated nearly 5 billion fewer miles in 2020 – a 7% decrease from 2019," ADOT wrote in a news release.

As for why the state has seen an increase, ADOT sites an increase in speed-related crashes, lane-departure crashes, and people not wearing their seatbelts. The organization states driver behavior must change to save lives.

"Reducing crashes, fatalities, and injuries can’t be solved by state agencies alone because more than two-thirds of crashes occur on roads other than state highways," ADOT wrote.

Some good news from the report: two areas of research saw fewer fatalities in 2020. Alcohol-related and motorcycle-related crashes declined.

To view the full report, click here.