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!