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Car crash deaths across Arizona rose in 2011

Arizona sees 8.7 percent increase in fatalities

For the first time in five years, fatalities on Arizona’s streets and highways increased during 2011, according to an annual report compiled by the state’s transportation department.

The “2011 Crash Facts” report shows 825 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on highways and local roads in the state last year, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Compared to the 759 fatalities in 2010, last year’s figure marks an 8.7 percent increase in motor vehicle crash deaths.

In 2011, 132 motorcycle riders and passengers were killed in 130 fatal motorcycle crashes compared to 85 such deaths in 2010, an increase of 55 percent.

Arizona recorded its highest number of overall traffic fatalities in 2006, when 1,301 people were killed.

“Last year’s figure is a sober reminder for all of us to concentrate on safe driving,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “That means buckling up, maintaining safe speeds, never driving while impaired and, in today’s world, avoiding distracted driving.”

The state’s analysis of law enforcement crash reports provided to ADOT in 2011 shows the following statewide figures:

• Fatal Crashes: 825 people were killed in a total of 754 fatal crashes on highways and local streets across Arizona in 2011 (compared to 759 people killed in fatal crashes in 2010).

• Restraint Usage: More than a third of the people killed (292) were not properly restrained.

• Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes: 236 alcohol-related fatal crashes in 2011 (alcohol-related crashes accounted for 31.30 percent of all fatal crashes.

• Alcohol-Related Fatalities: Increased 3.92 percent (265 deaths compared to 255 in 2010).

• Rural-Area Fatalities: Increased 14.44 percent (436 deaths compared to 381 in 2010). Rural fatalities had dropped 20 percent in 2010.

• Urban-Area Fatalities: Increased 2.91 percent (389 deaths compared to 378 in 2010)

• Single-Vehicle Crashes: Accounted for 40.45 percent of all fatal crashes and 18 percent of all crashes.

• Most-Common Driver Violation: Speed too fast for conditions.

• Total Crashes: Decreased 3.16 percent (103,423 crashes compared to 106,795 in 2010)

“We can’t back down on our statewide efforts to stop impaired driving,” said Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Alberto Gutier. “We’ve come too far in strengthening our DUI laws to do that. We never want to see the number of alcohol-related fatalities go up, but last year’s figure is significantly lower than where we were in 2007, when nearly 400 people were killed.”

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