Fatality Rates in Arizona at All-Time Low

Flickr User: BottleLeaf

The fatality rate in Arizona has reached a record low and is decreasing faster than nearly every other state. Arizona’s rate is down 20 percent.

The earliest year that state-by-state figures were documented was 1975—Arizona’s fatality rate has always hovered well above the national average, but that gap has narrowed in recent years.

One significant reason Arizona is seeing this drop in fatalities can be attributed to Arizona’s tough stance on drunken driving.

We’re all pretty aware that Arizona has some of the toughest drunk-driving laws in the country. While the relationship between an overall decrease in vehicle fatalities and DUI cases cannot be directly correlated, it’s pretty safe to assume that cracking down on drunk driving has helped lower the overall number.

The Transportation Department says that 11,773 people were killed in drunken driving crashes in 2008 for a rate of 0.4 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2007, 13,041 motorists were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes for a rate of 0.43.

Drunken driving fatality rates have fallen in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
Vermont, Wisconsin, Maine, Nebraska, Minnesota, Connecticut, South Dakota, Arizona and the District of Columbia saw fatality rates involving alcohol-linked crashes decline by 20 percent or more.

DUI laws are only one factor that can shape a state’s fatality record. Others include seat belt, helmet and speeding laws and how aggressively they are enforced, not to mention, weather, geography, demographics and tourism.

One more recent implementation in Arizona that may be helping to reduce the number of car crash fatalities are the speed cameras installed along freeways and roads. Fear of getting a ticket from one of the speed cameras may cause drivers to slow and drive more cautiously.

Also, tough laws have been adopted in Arizona with regards to using breath-monitoring ignition interlock devices for offenders.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.