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Arizona Car Crash Statistics & Fast Facts [2022]

Posted on January 10, 2023 in

Car accidents happen every day in Arizona. No matter how safe or cautious you are as a driver, you could get injured in a car accident because of a distracted, negligent or reckless driver. Keeping up with the latest Arizona car crash facts and figures can reduce your risk of an accident by helping you understand what causes vehicle collisions the most often. Here’s a look at the most recent available Arizona car accident statistics.

Arizona Crash Facts as of 2022

Part of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT’s) job is to keep track of motor vehicle accident facts and statistics so that they can gain a better understanding of what causes these collisions and how they can be prevented in the future. Each year, ADOT publishes a new Crash Facts Summary on its website with all of the information gathered from crash reports and studies that year. 

The following information has been taken from ADOT’s most recent report, which used data from 2021:

  • There were 121,345 reported car accidents, of which 1,063 were fatal and 35,203 resulted in injury. 
  • Overall, 1,180 Arizonians were killed in fatal car accidents and 51,633 were injured. There was a 22.45 percent increase in the total number of crashes from 2020 to 2021.
  • Approximately 3.23 people lost their lives in Arizona car accidents each day, equating to 1 person every 7 hours and 25 minutes. There were also 141 people injured daily.
  • There were more car accident deaths in Arizona in 2021 than in the previous 14 years (since 2007). The fatality rate increased by about 12 percent from 2020 to 2021.
  • Motor vehicle collisions resulted in an economic loss of $20.156 billion in Arizona in 2021. Fatalities represented the largest economic loss at $11.228 billion.
  • There were 2,594 total motorcycle crashes, 1,714 pedestrian crashes and 1,027 bicycle crashes in 2021. These are vulnerable road users who are more at risk of suffering serious injuries in collisions.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a measurable effect on traffic accidents in Arizona from 2019 to 2021. With fewer people on the roads at the beginning of the pandemic due to quarantines, stay-at-home orders and remote work, the total number of car accidents in the state dropped by 24.41 percent. However, the number of fatal accidents increased by about 6 percent in the same timeframe. This shows that while fewer drivers were on the road, they were more likely to engage in reckless and dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding and drunk driving.

Car Crash Facts for Maricopa County

Maricopa County is home to approximately 4.5 million people – about 62 percent of the entire population of Arizona. With such a high population, it is no surprise that Maricopa County consistently sees the highest number of car accidents and related injuries and deaths in Arizona annually. 

In 2021, Maricopa County had the highest number of recorded car accidents by a wide margin, at 86,687. The second-highest county was Pima, with just 10,872 car accidents. Maricopa County reported 594 victims killed and 35,488 injured in countywide car accidents in 2021. The total economic loss caused by car accidents in Maricopa County was about $11.563 billion.

Are Car Accident Rates Increasing or Decreasing?

Car accident rates are increasing in Arizona and around the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has projected motor vehicle traffic fatalities for the first half of 2022 (January to June) and found that an estimated 20,175 people lost their lives. This represents a 0.5 percent increase compared to 2021. This increase may correspond to the increase in number of vehicle miles traveled in 2022 compared to 2021 (2.8 percent). The car accident fatality rate for the Arizona-California-Hawaii region, however, is projected to have decreased by about 4 percent – the most significant drop in the country.

U.S. First Quarter Traffic Fatalities, 2011 - 2022

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Arizona?

One of the main goals of tracking car accident statistics in Arizona is to identify the most common reasons why they occur so that cities and counties can take steps to prevent them in the future. Based on crash statistics, the number one cause of car accidents in Arizona is driver error. Drivers breaking traffic laws and failing to pay attention to the road cause the highest number of crashes in the state each year. Examples include: 

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsy driving
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Red-light running
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Tailgating or aggressive driving
  • Wrong-way driving
  • Making illegal turns

In 2021, Arizona crash statistics show that “unsafe speed” and “exceeded legal speed” accounted for 15.56 percent of driver violations in car accidents. This was more than any other driver behavior. Alcohol contributed to 2.34 percent of all car accidents in Arizona, as well. Human error and driver mistakes are behind most motor vehicle wrecks in Arizona. Other causes include road hazards and defects, bad weather, and auto part defects. A breakdown of all crashes caused by a driver error or violation of roadway laws is included below (excluding 115,370 collisions that did not occur as a result of a violation).

Percentage of 2021 Arizona Crashes By Cause

Who Is Most Likely to Get Into a Car Crash in Arizona?

Young drivers are more likely than older drivers to get involved in motor vehicle accidents in Arizona. Crash facts showed that the age group of 25 to 34 had the highest total number of fatal and injury accidents, at 212 and 10,801, respectively. There were 8,459 drivers ages 24 and younger injured and 114 killed in auto accidents in 2021. A breakdown of fatal crashes by victim gender and age is displayed in the chart below.

Males are more likely than females to get killed and injured in car accidents. The fatality rate for males in Arizona was more than twice the number of females in 2021, at 806 vs. 362. Most car accidents (69.8 percent) occurred during daylight hours in Arizona. The peak day and time was Friday, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Finally, more fatal accidents took place in urban areas than rural, and on local roads compared to state highway systems in Arizona.

Fatal Injuries in 2021 Arizona Crashes by Age & Gender

What to Do After a Car Accident in Arizona 

If you get involved in a car accident in Arizona, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. After your crash, remain calm and exchange information with the other driver. Call 911 to report the collision immediately. When you leave the scene of the crash, go straight to a hospital for professional medical care. When you’re ready, contact the other driver’s car insurer to file a claim. Before you accept a settlement, however, contact a Scottsdale car accident lawyer for advice. An attorney at Stone Rose Law can help you understand your rights.