Arizona traffic accidents increase despite less miles driven
Sept. 7, 2021
Arizona had more traffic deaths last year than in any year since 2008 according to a Department of Transportation report. that’s despite Arizonans driving fewer miles. We talked about the numbers with Marc Lamber, personal injury attorney with the law firm Fennemore-Craig.
Overall traffic accidents during the pandemic last year were down as well in Arizona and nationwide. There were also 5 billion fewer miles driven yet fatal accidents increased by the end of the year still. Lamber has some reasons for why this occurred, some obvious and some not so much.
“As there are less vehicles on the road, you tend to see those vehicles that are on the road traveling at faster speeds, and the one thing you learn regrettably in my business is when there’s a higher velocity involved with a collision the results tend to be worse,” Lamber said.
Lamber also said there were a number of people who haven’t driven in a while back on the road, as well as attitudes regarding the pandemic contributing to higher impairment and drug/alcohol use.
February and September were the peak months for fatal crashes, which Lamber called a surprising fact.
“Typically your peak months for traveling and injury and death are going to be over the Summer months. We talk about this all the time, we just finished the hundred deadliest days of the Summer so you have memorial and labor day which tend to be the deadliest for all populations,” Lamber said.
Lamber also highlights a potential decline in patients’ desires to be treated in accidents due to covid patients filling hospitals as an explanation for reductions in injury accidents.