Interstate 17 is No. 4 on a list of the deadliest highways in the nation, and the section through Phoenix is considered the most dangerous stretch of the interstate, according to a recent study by Teletrac Navman.
From 2011 to 2015 there were 123 fatalities on the 75-mile-long freeway between Flagstaff and Phoenix. That’s one death every .87 miles. The findings are based on federal Fatal Accident Reporting System data retrieved from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The data shows 49 deaths occurred on I-17 inside Phoenix city limits.
According to an analysis by The Arizona Republic, the deadliest sections on I-17 between 2013 to 2015 were Bell Road to Greenway Road, with five crashes in 1 that mile stretch; Happy Valley Road to Loop 303 hadeight crashes in that 4 mile stretch.
From 2013 to 2015, a fatal freeway accident occurred in the Valley about every five days, leaving 207 people dead.
Fatalities on Arizona's urban freeways and interstates occurred at a rate 61 percent higher than the national average, according to 2013 Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
The Teletrac Navman study broke down the most dangerous time to be on I-17: March 3 between 3 and 4 p.m. Saturdays were the most common days for fatal crashes. Aside from a vehicle colliding into other vehicles, rollovers and pedestrians were attributed as the second and third, respectively, most common reasons for fatalities on the highway.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety declined to comment on the study, saying they were not involved in the process of information collecting.
UMMMM------WHAT?????? IN FACT, IT IS THE AZ DPS THAT INVESTIGATES AND MAINTAINS THE FILES ON EVERY ACCIDENT THAT OCCURS ON THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM.
NO ONE HAS AS COMPLETE A RECORD AS THE AZ DPS.
THE AZ DPS ALWAYS SAYS THAT, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO EVER BE LABELED AS RESPONSIBLE FOR A HIGHWAY PROBLEM.
THE DPS STATEMENT (STOCK): "(DPS) is committed to the safety of the citizens of Arizona through enforcement of state laws," DPS spokesman Quentin Mehr said in an emailed statement.
ADOT also declined to assess the I-17 study, but said that nearly all crashes and traffic fatalities on all roadways stem from driver behavior (YEP. NEVER IS AZ DPS FAULT—EVEN WHEN IT IS).
Bottom Line: Just be careful. Driver behavior very often contributes to these crashes. Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
Maintain a safe speed; maintain a safe following distance; don’t text and drive.