Report: Motor vehicle deaths decrease, motorcycle deaths increase

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona Department of Transportation's annual statisticsshow that the number of motor vehicle crash fatalities dropped slightly in2012, while the percentage of motorcycle-related deaths increased by more than fivepercent.

According to law enforcement reports, 823 people lost theirlives in crashes on state and local roadways in Arizona in 2012, compared to827 fatalities in 2011.

Also, 139 motorcyclists or passengers were killed inaccidents in 2012, compared to 132 deaths the previous year, a 5.3 percent increase,as stated by ADOT's 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report.

"These figures should remind all of us to make a pledgeto resist distractions and concentrate on safe driving," ADOT DirectorJohn Halikowski said. "Public safety agencies met recently to beginupdating Arizona's Strategic Highway Safety Plan. One area sure to receive evenmore attention in the coming year is motorcycle safety. We urge allmotorcyclists to seriously consider safety-training courses and remind alldrivers to increase their awareness when sharing the road with motorcycleriders."

Other figures from ADOT's 2012 Arizona Crash Facts reportinclude:

  • There were 103,176 total crashes recorded in 2012 (down 0.58 percent compared to 103,774 crashes in 2011)
  • One person was killed in a motor vehicle-related crash every 10.65 hours
  • Crashes with injuries accounted for 32 percent of all crashes, while 67 percent of all crashes were listed as "property damage only"
  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased by 14 percent (132 deaths in 2012 compared to 154 in 2011)
  • 72.5 percent of all crashes occurred during daylight hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 2 percent (281 deaths in 2012 compared to 287 in 2011)

"Our law enforcement agencies around the state workedeven harder last year to take impaired drivers off the road," AlbertoGutier, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety said. "Ourmission will not end until we eliminate the tragedies caused by drivers whorefuse to abide by our stricter laws. We also need all drivers to do the rightthings: buckle up, obey speed limits, don't drive while drowsy, and don'tbecome distracted by cell phone calls and texting."

Motor vehicle crashes in 2012 also created en economic lossnearing $3 billion in Arizona. Reports show that wage and productivity lossesfrom fatalities totaled $1.2 billion, and property damages accumulated morethan $640 million.

The ADOT 2012 Arizona Crash Facts report is attached.

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