Motor vehicle collisions are unfortunately common across the U.S. and in Tucson, Arizona. While anyone can be involved in a car crash, younger drivers are much more likely to experience collisions. Among young people between the age of 15 and 20, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 are twice as likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than those who are 18 to 19 and four-and-one-half times likelier to be involved in fatal accidents than older drivers. According to a report by Stanford Law School, the vast majority of car accidents are preventable, and 90% are caused by driver error.
Crash data reveals that the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities has consistently increased, and drivers have been likelier to engage in risky behavior since the beginning of the pandemic, including failing to wear seatbelts, driving while impaired, or speeding. In 2021, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reports that the total number of crashes increased by 22%, while the number of traffic deaths increased by 12% over the totals in 2020. These increases occurred despite years of focus on traffic safety initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. To gain a better idea of what is occurring, we have taken a closer look at the auto accident statistics in 2021 for Arizona, Pima County, and Tucson.
OVERALL AUTO ACCIDENT STATISTICS 2021 VS. 2020
Arizona State Overall Auto Accident Statistics
ADOT reports that 121,345 traffic collisions occurred in Arizona in 2021. By comparison, there were 98,778 traffic accidents occurred in Arizona in 2020. This was a year-over-year increase of 22% in 2021 versus 2020. To put it in perspective, 22,567 more accidents happened in Arizona in 2021 as compared to 2020.
ADOT also reports there were 1,063 fatal accidents in 2021 that caused 1,180 total fatalities. In 2020, 970 fatal accidents occurred leading to the deaths of 1,057 people for an increase of 12% in fatal traffic collisions in 2021 versus 2020 and an additional 123 deaths.
The statewide injury collision statistics also demonstrate an increase in 2021 over 2020. In 2021, 35,203 injury accidents happened in Arizona resulting in 51,633 injured victims. In 2020, 28,610 injury accidents occurred in the state, leading to injuries to 41,350 victims. This represents an increase in the total number of injury accidents in Arizona in 2021 vs. 2020 of 23% and 10,283 more victims in 2021 than in 2020.
Pima County Overall Auto Accident Statistics
As the second-most populous county in Arizona behind Maricopa County, it is unsurprising that Pima County also had the second-highest number of accidents in the state behind Maricopa County in 2021. In 2021, a total of 10,872 car accidents happened in Pima County. These collisions included 155 fatal collisions that resulted in 161 deaths and 3,713 injury collisions resulting in 5,432 total injured victims.
Like the state’s overall increase, Pima County also experienced a sharp increase in the total number of accidents in 2021 as compared to 2020. In 2020, 8,841 collisions occurred in Pima County. This means that the total number of accidents in Pima County in 2021 was 23% higher than in 2020. There was less of an increase in fatal accidents in 2021 as compared to 2020. In 2020, Pima County experienced 150 fatal accidents that resulted in 162 deaths as compared to 155 fatal crashes and 161 deaths in 2021. This means there was only a 3% increase in fatal accidents in the county in 2021 as compared to 2020 and a net decrease of total fatalities by one. The total number of injury accidents in the county in 2020 was 3,041, resulting in injuries to 4,267 people. This means there was an increase in the number of injury crashes in Pima County of 22% in 2021 as compared to 2020.
Overall Tucson Car Accident Statistics
Tucson accounted for the bulk of the accidents that occurred in Pima County in 2021. During that year, the city had 6,190 total traffic accidents. Among these crashes, 88 were fatal and caused the deaths of 91 people. Tucson also experienced 2,311 injury collisions that resulted in injuries to 3,360 victims.
In 2020, Tucson experienced 5,270 total crashes. Of these, 90 were fatal and caused the deaths of 95 victims. An additional 2008 were injury crashes that caused injuries to 2,777 people.
Like both Pima County and Arizona overall, Pima County also experienced increases in the total number of traffic accidents and injury accidents in 2021 vs. 2020 but a slight decrease in the number of fatal crashes. The increase in the total number of traffic collisions in 2021 vs. 2020 was 17%. The number of fatal collisions in 2021 vs. 2020 decreased by 2% and also resulted in the deaths of four fewer victims. By contrast, there was a significant increase in the total number of injury accidents in 2021 vs. 2020 in Tucson at 45%, which resulted in an increase of 583 injured accident victims.
ALCOHOL-INVOLVED COLLISION STATISTICS IN 2021 VS. 2020
Arizona Alcohol-Related Crash Statistics
Even though Arizona has some of the most severe penalties for drunk driving as compared to other states, many people persist in getting behind the wheel while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Overall, ADOT reports that 5,620 car crashes in the state in 2021 were alcohol-related. Out of this total, 215 were fatal collisions that caused the deaths of 243 victims, and 2,351 were injury accidents that caused injuries to 3,609 people. ADOT reports there was a 6.58% increase in the total number of fatalities and a 24.49% increase in the total number of injuries in 2021 vs. 2020 for alcohol-related crashes.
Pima County Alcohol-Related Crash Stastistics
In 2021, Pima County experienced a total of 704 alcohol-related auto accidents. These collisions resulted in 49 deaths and 458 injuries. By contrast, the county experienced a total of 578 alcohol-related crashes in 2020 that resulted in the deaths of 48 people and injured 350 more. This was an increase of 22% in the total number of alcohol-related collisions in the county in 2021 vs. 2020. It was also an increase of 31% in the total number of injuries resulting from alcohol-related crashes in 2021 vs. 2020.
Alcohol-Related Crashes: Tucson Car Accident Statistics
In 2021, 456 alcohol-related crashes happened in Tucson, resulting in the deaths of 34 people and injuries of 356 more. In 2020, the city experienced 380 alcohol-related collisions that resulted in the deaths of 34 people and injuries of 233 more. When comparing 2021 to 2020, there was no change in the number of fatalities. However, there was an increase of 20% in the total number of alcohol-involved crashes in the city and an increase of 53% in the total number of alcohol-involved collision injuries.
TYPES OF CRASHES
Out of all of the crashes that happened in 2021, 100,518 were multi-vehicle collisions. ADOT broke down the total of motor vehicle collisions by the type of accident and whether it resulted in injuries or fatalities as follows:
Rear-end accidents are the most common type of collision that occurs. In 2021, rear-end accidents accounted for 39.23% of all of the crashes that happened in the state. These accidents resulted in 70 fatal collisions, which accounted for 9.31% of the total fatal accidents, and 11,403 injury accidents, which accounted for 38.88% of the total number of injury collisions.
A total of 2,193 head-on collisions happened in Arizona in 2021. These accidents accounted for just 2.18% of all collisions that occurred in the state but 11.70% of the total fatal accidents with 88. There were also 986 head-on injury accidents, which accounted for 3.36% of all of the injury collisions that happened in 2021.
Side-Swipe Accidents (Same Direction
Side-swipe accidents involving cars traveling in the same direction were the third-most common types of collisions in Arizona in 2021. There were a total of 17,269 of these accidents in 2021, accounting for 17.18% of the total number of accidents. Out of these collisions, 21 were fatal and 2,267 were injury accidents, accounting for 2.79% and 7.73% of the total number of fatal crashes and injury accidents, respectively.
Left-turn accidents were the second-most common type of crash in Arizona in 2021. These accidents accounted for 17,690 crashes and 17.60% of all of the collisions that occurred in the state during the year. They also accounted for 90 fatal accidents or 11.97% of the total and 6,484 injury accidents or 22.11% of the total multi-vehicle injury collisions.
Talk to Lamber Goodnow
The Arizona and Tucson car accident statistics demonstrate that the prevalence of car crashes has been increasing. While the state, county, and municipal governments have taken steps to try to reduce the total number of collisions, traffic fatalities, and injuries, statistics demonstrate that they have only increased. If you have been injured in a Tucson car crash or have lost your loved one because of the negligence of another driver, contact the injury attorneys in Tucson at Lamber Goodnow for a free consultation.