Arizona Car Accident Statistics

Auto accidents are all too common in Arizona – in 2018 alone there were 127,056 motor vehicle accidents. Even though this number is below the total number of crashes in 2016 and 2017, it is still significantly higher than the number of crashes that happened in 2014 (109,872) and the number that occurred in 2015 (117,054).

Sadly, 916 of Arizona’s 2018 motor vehicle crashes ended in death – the total number of fatalities from car wrecks in 2018 was 1,010. Another 36,507 injury accidents occurred in 2018, resulting in a total of 53,376 injuries.

Below, you can review more of the notable statistics about car accidents in Arizona in 2018, including statistics about economic losses from car accidents, and the main causes of these crashes.

Learning more about accidents in Arizona will not only give you a better understanding of the dangers of navigating our state’s roads, it may also help you understand how you can lower your risk of an accident. If you know why accidents are most likely to happen, you can take steps to avoid dangerous situations that increase the risk of a dangerous crash.

If you were involved in an accident that was caused by the actions or negligence of another, you may be able to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for losses associated with the crash. Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys at Phillips Law Group can be your guide through the entire legal process.

Overview of Accident Statistics

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2018 publication contains numerous statistics about motor vehicle crashes in the state. These statistics can give you a much better idea about the types of accidents that are occurring, the vehicles involved, and why accidents are happening.

Here are the numbers of certain types of crashes in 2018:

  • Urban accidents: 104,404
  • Rural accidents: 22,652
  • Alcohol-related crashes: 4,651
  • Pedestrian crashes: 1,764
  • Pedalcycle crashes: 1,279
  • Motorcycle accidents: 2,738
  • Multi-vehicle crashes: 108,326
  • Single-vehicle collisions: 18,730

There is a much higher risk of accidents in urban areas, possibly because there is more traffic in these areas. You can also see there were a significant number of alcohol-related crashes, as drunk driving continues to be a problem year after year, and not just in Arizona.

Driving in Maricopa County may be riskier than any other county in Arizona, as more than 70 percent of car accidents (93,813) happened in this county.

Fatal Crash Statistics

Of the 916 fatal crashes, 242 were alcohol related. That is more than 25 percent of that total number of fatal crashes. When you consider how severely alcohol can impair drivers’ vision, judgment and reaction time, it is not a shock that it would contribute to so many accidents year after year.

The number of fatal accidents in urban areas (536) outpaced the number of fatal accidents in rural areas (380). There were also more fatal multi-vehicle accidents (618) than single vehicle accidents (298).

As you might expect, fatal accidents are quite common during the Christmas and New Year holidays. There were 20 fatal crashes during these holidays in 2018, causing a total of 21 deaths.

There were 1.53 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in Arizona in 2018. There were a lot fewer injuries per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (80.70).

Statistics on Crash Victims

In 2018, 261 people were killed in crashes that involved alcohol and another 2,951 suffered injuries in these types of crashes.

Some other notable statistics include:

  • 281 people got killed in speed-related accidents
  • 20,800 were injured in speeding accidents
  • While 280 people were killed in crashes while using a safety device, 290 were killed in crashes where they were not using a safety device
  • 87 drivers who were 24 years old or younger were killed in crashes in 2018
  • Another 8,207 drivers who were 24 years old or younger were killed in crashes in 2018

Economic Losses from Motor Vehicle Crashes

Crashes have a huge economic impact on victims and their families due to the medical bills and costs of property damage. In 2018, auto accidents in Arizona resulted in $19.3 billion in economic losses. This includes the following costs:

  • $9,638,070,440 for fatalities
  • $2,012,858,265 for suspected serious injuries
  • $3,790,331,370 for suspected minor injuries
  • $2,935,858,662 for possible injuries
  • $971,532,087 just for property damage

As you might expect, given the number of crashes in Maricopa County, this county suffered the biggest economic impact from car accidents in 2018 ($11,374,012,434). This includes:

  • $4.7 billion for fatalities
  • $5.9 billion for injuries
  • $730 million due to property damage

Types and Causes of Arizona Car Crashes

Speeding and alcohol have already been mentioned as major contributing factors to crashes, and the injuries and deaths that can result from car crashes. However, there are many other factors that contribute to accidents.

Peak Times/Dates for Accidents

There are certain times of day when accidents were more likely to happen in 2018 on Arizona roadways.

  • October was the month with the most crashes
  • Friday was the peak day for crashes
  • Saturday was the day with most fatal crashes during the week
  • Saturday was also the peak day for motorcycle accidents
  • The date with the most crashes was Valentine’s Day (611 accidents)
  • The peak hour for accidents was 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The peak hour for fatal crashes was 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Believe it or not, there were more accidents during daylight hours than at night:

  • 90,127 crashes happened during the day, resulting in 428 deaths and injuries to 38,053 people
  • 30,939 accidents happened at night, including accidents on lit and non-lit roads; these accidents resulted in 481 deaths and 12,885 injuries

Types of Multi-Vehicle Crashes

The most common type of crash in 2018 was a rear end crash. There were 48,073 of these types of crashes in 2018, making up 44 percent of the total number of crashes. Here are the statistics on the other kinds of accidents:

  • 17,857 left turn accidents (16 percent of all crashes)
  • 1,875 head-on accidents (1.73 percent of all accidents)
  • 18,260 sideswipe crashes (17 percent of all crashes)
  • 168 U-turn crashes (0.16 percent of all accidents)
  • 730 crashes with an unknown cause (0.67 percent of all accidents)

Pedestrian Crashes

Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths have increased in recent years. Since 2014, pedestrian deaths have gone up 58 percent. In Phoenix, pedestrian deaths have doubled since 2010. In 2018, 1,537 pedestrians suffered injuries in auto accidents and 245 pedestrians got killed in crashes.

Many pedestrian deaths happened at night in places with no crosswalks, which highlights the importance of being extremely careful as a pedestrian at night when the road is not marked to warn drivers of pedestrians.

Bicyclists were much less likely to get killed in crashes than pedestrians in 2018. Just 24 pedalcyclists died in crashes in 2018. This was a drop of 25 percent from 2017. There was also a more than 14 percent decrease in bicyclist injuries from 2017 to 2018 (1,182 injuries in 2018 compared to 1,380 injuries in 2017).

Accidents Caused by Driver Violations

A total of 125,272 accidents were the result of some type of driver violation. This includes:

  • Running a stop sign (1,070 accidents)
  • Speeding (42,652 accidents)
  • Failing to yield (21,755 accidents)
  • Improper turn (4,804 crashes)
  • Unsafe lane change (8,753 collisions)
  • Following too close (8,801 accidents)
  • Failing to stay in a lane (5,391 accidents)
  • Crossing a median (65 accidents)
  • Disregarding a traffic signal (5,344 crashes)

Distracted Driving Accidents

As you might have guessed, distracted driving was a culprit in thousands of accidents in Arizona in 2018. A total of 57,514 accidents were the result of some type of distraction, including:

  • 1,425 crashes caused by distraction from an electronic device
  • 3,190 from distractions inside the vehicle, such as eating or drinking
  • 814 caused by manually operating some type of electronic device
  • 955 caused by a distracting passenger
  • 431 caused by talking on a handheld device

Contact an Experienced Attorney for Trusted Legal Assistance

At Phillips Law Group, we are committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured in a car accident caused by the actions or negligence of another driver. We believe that if you suffered harm through no fault of your own, you deserve both compassion and compensation for your condition.

We offer free case evaluations to any Arizona resident who believes he or she may have cause to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. During an evaluation, one of our Phoenix personal injury attorneys will assess the merits of your claim and offer guidance on how to best pursue legal recourse for your losses.

Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you choose to hire our firm to fight your legal battle, there is never a cost to you unless we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.

For more information on your legal rights, contact us today by calling 1-800-706-3000 or filling out our Free Case Evaluation form.


For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Arizona motor vehicle accident victims and their families, or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team of legal professionals, please complete the Free Case Review form on this page.

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