More than one-fourth of all Arizona car accidents were caused by drunk drivers last year, according to new traffic statistics being released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Overall, nationwide traffic fatalities were at their lowest level in 60 years in 2009 — a total of 33.808 people died in traffic accidents, down 9.7 percent from 2008 when 37,423 people died on the nation’s roads. Our Phoenix car accident lawyers will be examining the data as the government releases it in the coming weeks.Arizona drunk driving accidents claimed 219 lives last year, or 27 percent of the 807 traffic fatalities reported in 2009. That’s down from the 262 fatal drunk driving accidents that were among the state’s 938 traffic fatalities in 2008.
The 807 deaths ranks Arizona 15th deadliest behind Alabama (848), California (3,081), Florida (2,558), Georgia (1,284), Illinois (911), Louisiana (821), Michigan (871), Missouri (878), New York (1,156), North Carolina (1,314), Ohio (1,021), Pennsylvania (1,256), South Carolina (894) and Texas (3,071).
“Today’s numbers reflect the tangible benefits of record seat belt use and strong anti-drunk driving enforcement campaigns,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “But we are still losing more than 30,000 lives a year on our highways, and about a third of these involve drunk driving. We will continue to work with our state partners to strictly enforce both seat belt use and anti-drunk driving laws across this nation, every day and every night.”
The federal government reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. residents ages 3 to 34.
The number of people injured also declined for the 10th straight year. An estimated 2.217 million motorists were injured in accidents in 2008, compared to 2.346 million who were injured in 2008.
Large truck occupants and motorcyclists reported the greatest percentage decline in serious and fatal accidents.
Total Traffic Fatalities: 33,808 (down 9.7 percent)
Large Trucks: 503 (down 26 percent)
Motorcycles: 4,462 (down 16 percent)
Bicyclists: 150 (down 12 percent)
Passenger Vehicles: 23,382 (down 8.2 percent)
Pedestrians: 4,092 (down 7.3 percent)
Thirty-three states reported a decline in the overall number of fatal drunk driving accidents, while 41 states reported fewer traffic fatalities. Florida reported the largest decline in fatalities (422) followed by Texas (405).
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.