Less Driving, More Deaths: Fatal Crashes Up In Arizona In 2020

By Autriya Maneshni
Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 11:22am
Updated: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 11:24am
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According to new data from the National Safety Council, Americans drove 13% less in 2020 and yet vehicle crash deaths increased by 24% compared to the year before. 

Arizona saw a 9% increase in crash fatalities for 2020. Fewer vehicles on the road could mean people are no longer driving defensively. 

Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, says drivers were more reckless in 2020. 

“People are driving faster, distracted and stop paying attention hoping and thinking that it’s going to be fine to speed,” Gutier said. 

Gutier said speeding makes it harder to stop to avoid a crash. He said drivers still have to maintain a mutual respect between other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The Office of Highway Safety logged more fatalities overall for the state than the National Safety Council data. According to Gutier, Arizona had 1,072 motor vehicle deaths in 2020 which was 92 more than 2019.