What's Causing Arizona's Traffic Deaths To Rise?
1,000 people were killed on Arizona roadways in 2017.
The numbers — just released by the Arizona Department of Transportation in its annual Crash Facts Report — show an increase in deaths from the year before, and confirm that impairment, speeding, reckless driving and failure to wear a seat belt are still the leading factors in traffic fatalities in our state.
Alcohol and drugs played a role in 43 percent of traffic deaths in Arizona last year, and unbuckled occupants account for nearly a quarter, according to the report. And another quarter of those deaths were of pedestrians, again documenting a rise in those hit by cars in Phoenix — something we’ve reported on many times this year.
But while it can be difficult to prove, it’s distracted driving that is the major culprit here, according to Jessica Hugdahl, the state director for Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD. The Show spoke with her more about her reaction to this report.