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Arizona Sees Decline in Car Crashes

Arizona has experienced a drop in car crashes for the year 2009, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Total crashes were down to 106,767, compared with 120,554 for 2008. This represents a reduction of more than 11 percent. Fatalities and injuries caused by motor vehicles declined as well. Total fatalities in Arizona dropped more than 14 percent as compared with the prior year. Total injuries decreased from 56,537 to 50,610 for a reduction of almost 10.5 percent.

Alcohol Related Injuries Decline

Alcohol-related injuries and fatalities declined as well. Fatalities due to drunk drivers dropped by more than 26 percent in 2009. Total injuries due to alcohol-related accidents dropped from 4,834 in 2008 to 4,142 the following year, for a reduction of 14.32 percent. There were fewer injuries and fatalities involving commercial trucking as well. Tractor-trailer and commercial truck operator and passenger injuries dropped by more than 18 percent. Fatalities among truck operators and passengers also declined by almost 13.5 percent. Injuries and fatalities in urban and rural areas all went down, with urban fatalities showing the biggest percentage drop at 21.5 percent.

Pedestrian Injuries and fatalities Decrease

Arizona's decline in all these areas is even more remarkable considering that its residents drove more miles in 2009 than in the prior year. Vehicle miles traveled in Arizona increased 1.51 percent in 2009. The only area where Arizona experienced an increase was bicycle fatalities, which increased by almost 32 percent. This increase occurred despite the total number of bicycle-related injuries decreasing by more than 3 percent from 2008 to 2009. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities also showed a decline from 2008.

Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 34.4 percent of all fatal crashes in Arizona. More than 55 percent of these collisions occurred in rural areas. Single-vehicle crashes represented 45.13 percent of all fatal crashes. Collisions occurring during daylight hours accounted for the majority of all vehicle crashes by a wide margin. Crashes during daylight hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) totaled 73.2 percent of all crashes in Arizona. The financial cost of motor vehicle accidents for 2009? The Arizona Department of Transportation estimates that in 2009, 106,767 motor vehicle crashes resulted in $2.757 billion in economic losses to Arizona.