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Data Analysis: Overview of Arizona Motor Vehicle Crashes (Part 2/2)

Posted on April 1, 2022 in

In the first segment of our study on Arizona crash statistics, we explored the ages of drivers involved in crashes, gender and ages of passengers killed in accidents, types of vehicles involved in collisions, and more. Following up where we left off, we break down the statistics on crashes by Arizona county, nationwide accident statistics, and accident investigation expenditures by agency, amongst other features.

Arizona Car Accident Resources

To instantly review the information at any point on this page, please click the appropriate link below.

Crashes By Arizona County in 2020
Fatal Accident Statistics in the U.S. in 2020
Seat Belt Survey, 2006-2019
What is “Buckle Up Arizona?”
Accident Investigation Expenses By Agency
Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

Crashes By Arizona County in 2020

Arizona saw 98,778 total motor vehicle crashes in 2020, of which 970 resulted in fatalities. Maricopa led all Arizona counties in all crash statistics, from the number of collisions to the number of injury victims. In fact, a staggering 72.50% of the state’s crashes occurred in Maricopa County. Greenlee County experienced the least crashes, with only 69 total collisions (.07% of statewide accidents) and no fatalities.

County Number of Crashes Fatal Crashes Injury Crashes Property Damage Only Victims Killed Victims Injured
Apache 374 24 119 231 24 182
Cochise 909 21 267 621 25 393
Coconino 2,362 39 571 1,752 43 856
Gila 914 21 307 586 23 463
Graham 323 10 94 219 15 147
Greenlee 69 0 20 49 0 31
La Paz 343 16 98 229 17 165
Maricopa 71,611 460 19,997 51,154 492 28,855
Mohave 2,698 51 815 1,832 56 1,211
Navajo 1,162 31 316 815 38 453
Pima 8,841 150 3,041 5,650 162 4,267
Pinal 3,448 57 1,127 2,264 60 1,642
Santa Cruz 209 5 37 167 7 56
Yavapai 3,352 55 1,033 2,264 64 1,514
Yuma 2,163 30 768 1,365 31 1,115
Total 98,778 970 28,610 69,198 1,057 41,350

 

Comparing Fatal Accidents Across the United States in 2020

As of April 1st, 2020, Arizona was estimated to be the 14th most-populated state in the U.S., according to the United States® Census Bureau. Arizona’s estimated population at that time was 7,151,502 and the leading state, California, had an estimated population of 39,538,223. During that year, Arizona had both the 12th-highest death rate via car accident (per 100,00 people) and 12th-highest number of deaths of all states.

State Death Rate Per 100,000 People  Deaths
West Virginia 122.2 2,242
Kentucky 87.5 3,950
Tennessee 86.5 6,107
New Mexico 85.5 1,853
Louisiana 79.4 3,711
Ohio 78.2 9,436
South Carolina 77.8 4,184
Maine 76.9 1,149
Mississippi 73 2,210
Wisconsin 71.5 4,682
Delaware 70.9 722
Arizona 69.1 5,398
Pennsylvania 69 9,565
Missouri 68.4 4,418
Florida 67.7 16,135
Vermont 67.1 7,379
North Carolina 67.1 481
Indiana 66.9 4,580
Rhode Island 65.6 787
Alaska 65.5 464
Connecticut 63.5 2,447
Oklahoma 62 2,628
Montana 61.9 729
Colorado 60.5 3,647
Wyoming 60.4 374
Alabama 59.6 3,006
South Dakota 58.5 569
New Hampshire 58.1 872
Arkansas 58 1,824
Michigan 56.8 6,097
Massachusetts 54.3 4,081
Nevada 53.5 1,761
Kansas 53.4 7,170
Illinois 53.4 1,698
Minnesota 52.6 3,319
Virginia 52.5 4,723
Oregon 52 2,458
North Dakota 51.9 430
Washington 51.3 4,216
Idaho 50.8 5,517
Georgia 50.8 967
New Jersey 50.3 4,761
Utah 49.4 1,461
Iowa 45.7 1,647
Maryland 44.4 2,948
Texas 44.2 12,919
California 44.1 18,357
Nebraska 42.3 903
New York 41.7 8,756
Hawaii 39.4 654

Seat Belt Survey, 2006-2019

Every year, states are allocated a budget to perform an annual seat belt survey. The survey is aimed at providing better protection for drivers by improving seat belt usage statewide. In Arizona, the final percentages are used as performance indicators in the Highway Safety Plan and Annual Report. Due to the difficulties of gathering data with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Arizona took advantage of a special CARES ACT waiver to forego the 2020 seat belt survey. Instead, the state elected to use the previous year’s data as a stand-in for fiscal year 2020.

We plotted seat belt usage statistics in Arizona from 2006 through 2019 in the chart below. Overall seat belt usage in 2019 was at the highest it’s been over the selected timeframe, at 90.6%. This marks a 5.47% increase from 2018’s overall seat belt usage of 85.9%. Both drivers and passengers used a seat belt more frequently in 2019, which is an encouraging sign for the future.

Arizona Seat Belt Survey, 2006-2019

What is “Buckle Up Arizona?”

In 2019, 214 traffic-related deaths occurred due to an unrestrained occupant. For years, states and the federal government have sought to reduce traffic-related fatalities by increasing seat belt and child safety seat usage. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) in Arizona works to increase seat belt usage through education campaigns and statewide enforcement under the slogan “Buckle Up Arizona…It’s the Law!” Funding, including overtime funding, is provided to participating law enforcement agencies by the GOHS during related traffic enforcement campaigns.

Since 2017, the number of participating law enforcement agencies in Buckle Up Arizona has increased, rising from 24 to 27 in 2020. According to reports from law enforcement agencies, seat belt citations, DUI arrests, and moving violations all decreased from 2019 to 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on nonessential travel likely played a role in this substantial decrease.

2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of Participating Agencies 24 26 27 27
Seat Belt Citations 2,083 2,141 1,974 1,199
Child Restraint Citations 119 148 113 65
DUI Arrests 268 294 274 94
Felony Arrests 483 603 757 103
Stolen Vehicles 316 305 364 69
Warrants Cleared 1,285 1,483 1,807 107
Suspended Licenses 456 479 406 217
Uninsured Motorists 961 1,083 1,241 511
Moving Violations 4,057 5,481 5,936 3,796
Reckless Driving Citations 13 13 28 30
Drug Arrests 488 547 655 28
Other Misdemeanor Arrests 1,457 1,716 1,911 355

Accident Investigation Expenses by Agency

The state of Arizona budgets for accident investigation resources, training, and assets on an annual basis. Law enforcement agencies in larger metropolitan areas are generally awarded more funding, since they require a larger task force and more assets than their smaller counterparts. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (CSO) received the largest amount of obligated and actual funds of any individual county agency, at $45,000 and $42,185, respectively.

 

Planned Activities Grantee Funding Source Funds Obligated (2020) Funds Spent (2020)
Accident Investigation Overtime Buckeye PD Sec. 402 $17,490 $11,513.88
Accident Investigation Overtime Maricopa CSO Sec. 402 $45,000 $42,185
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies Chandler PD Sec. 402 $7,300 $7,150
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies Mohave CSO Sec. 402 $16,132 $15,176.82
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies Surprise PD Sec. 402 $42,220 $39,542.10
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies AZ DPS Sec. 402 $72,000 $72,000
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies Eloy PD Sec. 402 $21,835 $21,835
Accident Investigation Equipment / Materials & Supplies GOHS Traffic Crash Investigation Support Program Sec. 402 $33,531 $33,531
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Apache Junction PD Sec. 402 $8,160 $3,585
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Gilbert PD Sec. 402 $2,500 $0.00
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Glendale PD Sec. 402 $19,325 $18,444
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Mesa PD Sec. 402 $21,009 $19,184
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Tempe PD Sec. 402 $15,360 $4,715.00
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Tucson PD Sec. 402 $24,645 $23,399.85
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies Casa Grande PD Sec. 402 $7,355 $6,508
Accident Investigation Training / Supplies GOHS Traffic Crash Investigation Training Courses Sec. 402 $65,469 $23,000

Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

To wrap up our article, we want to provide a brief guide on the steps to take if you are involved in a collision. We understand that even a minor wreck can be incredibly stressful and encourage you to stay calm and follow these guidelines.

  1. Determine whether anyone has been injured.
  2. Get yourself and your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and to a safe location.
  3. Contact the local authorities.
  4. Take photos of the scene and take down the contact information of witnesses.
  5. Call a tow truck or wrecker truck as needed.
  6. Visit a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you or a passenger may have suffered internal injuries that could take hours, days, or weeks to show symptoms.
  7. Speak to a personal injury attorney and your insurance company.

Sources Cited

https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021/07/2020-crash-facts.pdf
https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/az_fy2020_ar_1.pdf