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Drunken driving deaths in the U.S. rose 14% from 2020 to 2021, and Arizona drunken driving deaths rose 43% in the same period. Experts cite several factors, but say reckless pandemic driving habits are at least partly to blame.

COVID-19 was not the only killer accounting for an increase in Arizona deaths in 2021: A surge in drunken driving deaths on the state’s highways that year was among the highest in the nation. Read more»

An estimated 7,485 pedestrians were struck and killed by drivers in 2021, the most recent full year of statistics available.

As states have seen traffic fatalities and pedestrian deaths climb in recent years, many jurisdictions are reconsidering right turns on red, and safety advocates transportation planners to reconsider a custom so ingrained that few drivers remember a time when it wasn't allowed. Read more»

Rush hour traffic on Interstate 10 through Phoenix in 2018. Highway deaths in Arizona fell by nearly a third in the first quarter of 2022.

While the rest of the nation was posting a record increase in traffic fatalities in the first quarter of 2022, highway deaths in Arizona were falling by nearly a third, according to a recent report. Read more»

Some states have created Yellow Alert systems aimed at helping make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers.

States are creating a Yellow Alert system for fatal hit-and-run crashes - similar to an Amber Alert for abducted children - in hopes it will help make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers. Read more»

Prerolls and a tip jar sit on the counter at Sol Flower in Tempe.

The U.S. House passed legislation Friday to legalize marijuana nationally - which would fix the split between federal law and 19 states where recreational marijuana is legal - but its future is much less clear in the Senate. Read more»

Rush hour traffic on Interstate 10 through Phoenix in a 2018 file photo. New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of traffic fatalities in the first nine months of 2021 jumped sharply from previous years, both in Arizona and the U.S. as a whole.

Arizona traffic deaths rose 18.4% in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the year before, far outpacing the national 12% increase in the same period, according to the latest numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read more»

A national report card ranked Arizona among the worst states – again – for its lack of highway safety laws. But a state official pushed back, saying the report overlooks Arizona’s aggressive enforcement of its traffic laws, which makes it a safe state for drivers.

Arizona once again ranked near the bottom of states on a national report card on highway safety laws, earning a “danger” rating as a state with just five of 16 recommended laws and no primary enforcement for seat belts. Read more»

The federal government is boosting funding for states to improve their highway safety programs.

The federal government has announced that it is giving nearly $260 million in grants to states to beef up their highway safety - funding which will comes from the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law and be used to support a broad range of traffic safety priorities. Read more»

Bicyclist fatalities have been rising in the past decade, as have those involving pedestrians. Experts blame aggressive drivers, more speeding and an increase in distracted driving, largely caused by cell phone use.

COVID-19 has sparked a surge in cycling, as Americans have sought alternatives to crowded gyms, buses and trains, and there also has been an uptick in distracted drivers and speeding over the past 18 months, raising the risks for cyclists on the road. Read more»

Tesla vehicles can operate in a semi-autonomous mode but a safety feature requires drivers to periodically apply pressure to the wheel with their hands. A new bill would fine drivers who bypass that and other safety features on vehicles.

Drivers who use a "defeat device" to bypass a vehicle’s safety features on cars with automatic driving mechanisms, often referred to as “autopilot modes,” could face fines if a bill that has been revived from the last legislative session becomes law. Read more»

A new study says that interstate highway in Arizona are in relatively good shape compared to the rest of the nation, but the state had the highest fatality rate among states in 2018. State officials say risky driver behaviors are likely to blame.

Arizona’s interstate highways are in generally good shape, but they experienced the highest rate of fatalities in the nation in 2018, according to a national report released Tuesday. Read more» 1

U.S. transportation officials are seeking to ease deployment of driverless cars by amending certain safety standards, drawing strong protest from groups who say the move is premature because the safety of self-driving technology is unproven. Read more»

Key direction from the CDC on how to protect emergency responders came after the first American case and the exposure of at least one firefighter. It’s yet another example of a fragmented and halting response at the highest levels of government. Read more»

States in green have passed the most traffic safety laws demonstrated to save lives, according to a report card by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Red states were rated worst in adopting these laws, while yellow states were in between.

Drunk drivers, motorcyclists and young or distracted motorists make up the majority of those involved in fatal vehicle crashes, and many states are failing to pass key safety measures that could prevent such deaths, according to a new report by a highway safety group. Read more»

Auto giant Toyota has agreed to settle hundreds of cases involving fatal accidents and sudden-acceleration.

Without admitting liability, Toyota since 2014 has settled 537 claims blaming sudden acceleration for crashes that killed or seriously injured people, according to a court document Toyota filed last month. Read more»

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