2015 was the deadliest year for motorists on Arizona roadways in at least seven years, according to data released Friday by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Speeding, impaired driving and failure to wear a seat belt were factors in more than a third of collisions that resulted in 891 deaths from January through September 2015.
The death toll in the first nine months of the year outpaced all of 2014, when a total of 773 crash-related deaths were reported.
ADOT is still collecting traffic data from across the state and will have complete statistics for 2015 available in its annual Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, to be released later this year.
By the time all 12 months are calculated, the number of motor-vehicle related deaths is expected to be “super high,” Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director said.
“The message we’re sending by sharing news of the 2015 increase based on preliminary data is this:
Drivers hold the keys to highway safety. If more people buckle up, slow down and avoid driving while impaired, the number of crash fatalities will be dramatically reduced.
Other possible reasons for the increase? Let’s not rule out some of the dangerous roads in Arizona. ADOT does not always put their resources where they are most needed.
Example: Interstate 10 has seen 75-100 deaths in the last 15 years due to cross-median collisions. ADOT’s response: None.
Arizona juries have awarded families no less than $55 million is verdicts against ADOT for these accidents. ADOT’s response: Do nothing.
Most recent electronic billboard seen on the highways:
When ADOT actually takes some real measures to protect drivers and their families on Interstate 10, this sign will mean something.
Until then, don’t believe it.