Motor Vehicle Fatalities and Wrong Way Drivers in Arizona
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), 37,461 lives were lost in vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2016 alone. Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths account for more than a third of the fatalities. A pedestrian injury lawyer Scottsdale AZ can advise the victim of a crash regarding potential legal claims.
Data from NHTSA showed that in 2016:
- Distraction-related deaths decreased by 2.2% (3,450 fatalities)
- Drowsy-driving deaths decreased by 3.5% (803 fatalities)
- Drunk-driving deaths increased by 1.7% (10,497 fatalities)
- Speeding-related deaths increased by 4% (10,111 fatalities)
- Unbelted deaths increased by 4.6% (10,428 fatalities)
- Motorcyclist deaths increased by 5.1% (5,286 fatalities)
- Pedestrian deaths increased by 9% (5,987 fatalities)
- Bicyclist deaths increased by 1.3% (840 fatalities)
- The fatality rate due to vehicle accidents in 2016 is 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, an increase of 2.6% from 2015.
One major contributor to the rise in vehicle accident deaths is the increase in wrong-way drivers, which may be due to drivers under the influence of drugs, or alcohol, drowsy drivers, or distracted driving. A pedestrian injury lawyer Scottsdale AZ can investigate fault consult with an accident reconstructionist and look into applicable liability, or uninsured, or underinsured motorist insurance policies.
As of August, 2019, 16 wrong-way driver deaths have occurred in Arizona, the same number as the entire year of 2018. So far in 2019, there have been over 1,100 wrong-way driver incidents according to the director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Alberto Gutier. Gutier also states that 2019 has seen more than 35 wrong-way driver collisions and 71 DUI arrests involving wrong-way drivers in Arizona.
As statistics show, impairment is often a contributing factor in wrong-way crashes. Although the NHTSA found a decrease in fatalities due to distracted driving and drowsy driving, it found an increase in deaths as the result of speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seatbelts. NHTSA also states that the rise in motor vehicle accident deaths is due to the increase in the number of miles Americans drive.
In an attempt to combat the growing number of wrong-way driver accidents, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has installed “Wrong Way” signage on freeway interchanges and large “Right Way” arrows on the off-ramps of freeways, which are outlined in reflectors that glow red when a car is traveling toward them in the wrong direction. The agency has installed highway lane reflectors that will glow white when a car is traveling toward them in the correct direction, and glow red when the car is traveling toward them in the wrong direction.
In addition, thermal cameras have been installed at off-ramps to help detect wrong-way drivers before a collision. The cameras have detected over 70 vehicles traveling in the wrong direction since January of 2019.
A pedestrian injury lawyer Scottsdale AZ should be contacted following a collision resulting in serious injuries. There should be no charge for the consultation, the prospects of settlement, or litigation can be discussed.
For more information about motor vehicle fatalities and wrong way drivers in Arizona, contact the office of Paul Englander, PLC today.