PHOENIX — An analysis of the Arizona Department of Transportation's 2012 Arizona Crash Facts report shows 823 people died in vehicle crashes on Arizona's roadways last year, compared to 827 fatalities in 2011, while motorcycle-related deaths increased by 5.3 percent.
"These figures should remind all of us to make a pledge to resist distractions and concentrate on safe driving," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "One area sure to receive even more attention in the coming year is motorcycle safety."
Halikowski urged motorcyclists to consider safety-training courses and also reminded drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists on the road.
Other figures from the report include:
• There were more than 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 worked even harder last year to take impaired drivers off the road," said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
Gutier also said that they will not rest until all tragedies caused by drivers who refuse to follow Arizona's stricter driving laws are eliminated.
Motor vehicle crashes also created economic losses approaching $3 billion in Arizona last year. Economic losses tied to fatalities, including wage and productivity losses, totaled $1.2 billion, while losses from property damage added up to more than $640 million.
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety advises drivers to do the right things: buckle up, obey speed limits, be well-rested while driving, and eliminate distractions such as talking or texting while driving.