Arizona Highway Deaths Fell Nearly a Third in the First Quarter of 2022

Sept. 1, 2022
Arizona is one of four states to see traffic fatalities decrease in the first quarter of 2022

Good news for Arizona residents, highway deaths in Arizona fell nearly a third in the first quarter of 2022 according to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

According to the report, 190 people died on roads in the first quarter of 2022, which is a 31.4% drop from the first three months of 2021.

Across the nation, this is the fourth-steepest percentage drop. Arizona is behind Rhode Island, North Dakota, and Montana. However, across the nation, highway fatalities have rose by 7% over the first quarter of 2021 going from 8,935 to approximately 9,560 deaths. 29 states saw a gain in the number of road fatalities.

Arizona's decrease in roadway deaths comes after several years of the highway death toll climbing.

“I welcome any good news regarding our traffic numbers,” said Alberto Gutier, executive director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “I’m very surprised, but very happily surprised.”

Experts believe the increase in national roadway deaths could be the amount of drivers on the road post-pandemic, reckless driving, and speeding.

“The trend overall in the country is very concerning, and has been going on for awhile,” said Russ Rader, senior vice president of communications at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

“State by state numbers may jump around, but nationally the trend is unfortunately an increase and a rather sharp increase,” Rader said.

Gutier agrees that reckless driving, speeding, and more drivers on the road all contribute to the death toll.

“When you combine all of these factors, it’s a deadly combination,” he said.

However, Gutier believes the return to normal traffic flows is the reason Arizona road fatality numbers have decreased. 

The first-quarter improvements have continued through 2022, according to the most recent numbers from Gutier’s office. It reported 398 traffic fatalities – including car, pedestrian and bike deaths – through July, compared to 700 through the same period in 2021.

Highway deaths nationally in the first quarter were the highest since 2002, according to the report. NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff said that while those numbers are “moving in the wrong direction,” the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law should help change the direction.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Arizona can expect to get approximately $5.3 billion over five years in federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges under that bill.

Gutier hopes traffic fatalities continue to trend downward for the rest of the year.

“We’re great. We’re a really great state,” he said. “Arizona is doing the best they can in traffic enforcement.”


Source: NHTSA

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...