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Taking a Closer Look at Arizona Crash Statistics

— May 12, 2022

To better understand the dynamics of car crashes in Arizona, we wanted to inspect the age range of drivers involved in motor vehicle collisions.

To some extent, car crashes are an inevitable aspect of modern society. According to Safety Insurance®, a staggering 43% of first-year drivers and 37% of second-year drivers in the U.S. are involved in at least one car crash. The overwhelming majority of these collisions (~77%) occur due to preventable driver errors. 

With nationwide crash statistics high despite reduced travel over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to narrow in on one state’s collision statistics and compare them to the rest of the U.S. Due to the availability of various types of crash data in Arizona, we decided to focus our attention on that specific state. We analyze which age groups experience the most accidents, how passengers are impacted by collisions, and how much Arizona allocated for accident investigations in recent years, among other statistics. 

Which Age Group Experiences the Most Traffic Collisions?

To better understand the dynamics of car crashes in Arizona, we wanted to inspect the age range of drivers involved in motor vehicle collisions. We used 2020 data provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT), since 2021 crash figures for the state have not been made publicly available at the time of this article’s publication. 

Noteworthy findings:

  • 0.17% of statewide collisions involved a driver aged 15 or younger
  • 20.84% of crashes involved a driver in the 25—34 age range
  • Overall, there were 189,672 drivers involved in reported crashes in 2020

How Passengers Are Affected by Crashes

Motor vehicle collisions claimed the lives of 183 passengers in Arizona during 2020. 93 of the victims were female, 89 were male, and the gender of one victim was not determined. While drivers aged 25-34 experienced the most overall accidents in 2020, the corresponding age range for passengers similarly led all groups in the number of passenger fatalities. Young male passengers suffered fewer fatal injuries than females. 32 male passengers aged 0-24 suffered lethal injuries in a crash, compared to 44 female victims over the same age range. 

Tracking 2020 Crashes by Arizona County

In 2020, Arizona experienced 98,778 car crashes and 970 traffic-related fatalities. Of all counties, Maricopa led the state in all tracked categories, from fatal crashes to the number of victims. Over 70% of Arizona’s collisions occurred within Maricopa County. In sharp contrast, Greenlee County experienced only 69 annual crashes, which came out to 0.07% of the state’s accidents, with no reported fatalities. 

Crashes by county; table courtesy of author.
Crashes by county; table courtesy of author.

How Does Arizona Compare to Other States in Terms of Fatal Collisions?

The United States® Census Bureau estimated that Arizona was the 14th most-populous state in the U.S. in 2020. On April 1st, 2020, the state’s population was approximately 7,151,502. The state with the highest population at the time was California, with 39,538,223. In 2020, Arizona had both the 12th-highest number of traffic-related deaths and the 12th-highest death rate via motor vehicle collision per 100,000 people.

Analyzing Accident Investigation Costs by Arizona Agencies

Every year, Arizona budgets for accident investigation equipment, assets, training, and specialists. In general, law enforcement agencies and divisions in larger metropolitan areas are awarded the most substantial funds, since they require more equipment and a more sizeable task force than smaller counterparts. Of all individual counties, Maricopa received the highest obligated ($45,000) and actual funds ($42,185).

What to Do After a Car Crash

Even a minor car accident can leave victims feeling shaken and stressed out. If you’re in a wreck, try to remain calm and follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if anyone was injured in the collision.
  2. If your vehicle is operable, maneuver to a safe location, such as the shoulder of the road or a parking lot.
  3. Call 911 to report an accident and request a copy of the corresponding police report.
  4. Take photos of the crash and surrounding area, such as obstructions in the road or tire tracks. If there were witnesses, take down their phone number or contact information. 
  5. Call a wrecker truck or tow truck, if needed.
  6. Visit a doctor’s office or emergency room for treatment. Even if you don’t have any visible wounds, you may have suffered head trauma or internal injuries that can take days to show up.
  7. Discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer in the state where the accident occurred. 

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