Following news, this week, that Michelin and the FIA have successfully created an agreement that, at long last, all state drivers’ manuals in the USA will soon carry identical and accurate advice about tire care, here is some dramatic news on a different safety topic, about the manual that is published for Arizona.
Motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities continued their steady six-year rise in Arizona in 2016, according to the most recent data from the state’s Department of Transportation.
At a time when the state’s population grew by an average 1.4 percent a year, the number of vehicle crashes rose an average 2.8 percent a year between 2011 and 2016, while injuries rose 1.8 percent a year and fatalities increased by 4.1 percent per year, according to the DOT’s Annual Crash Facts Report released last month.
The cost of those crashes mounted in the billions each year, although a recent change in how the state measures those numbers makes a direct year-to-year comparison difficult.
Experts point to several possible reasons for the rise in crashes, ranging from lax state laws on highway safety to bad drivers….
One key thing that has not been mentioned in the “reasons for the rise in crashes” is the inevitable involvement of the end of the financial recession. It is a proven fact that when a recession strikes, the overall mileage driven in vehicles decreases and the numbers of crashes and deaths fall. And when a recession ends, the opposite occurs.
It is ironic that as road deaths fell during the early part of the ‘2008’ recession all sorts of departments were claiming the credit for the significant drop in crashes and deaths, but now that the numbers are increasing once again, nobody wants to take the responsibility anymore!
Across the USA, traffic deaths went up by a hugely unacceptable 15 percent in the two years from 2013 through 2015. The national figures for 2016 are not yet available, but is this horrendous situation in Arizona an indicator of where the national figures are heading next?
An article from the North Phoenix News on May 29, 2017, is the source for the above figures, and it also makes some very saddening claims for the main causative factors in 2016’s 950 road deaths in the state (up from 768 in 2014).
The major, cited factors are:
- Speeding (involved in – quote – “most collisions in Arizona”)
- Alcohol (involved in ~33% of deaths)
- Failure to wear a seatbelt, child safety device or crash helmet (involved in 35% of deaths)