Arizona Fatal Accident Study:

Arizona’s Deadliest Roads and Fatal Accident Statistics

MoneyGeek examined 2,745 fatal crashes in Arizona from 2017 to 2019 to determine the most dangerous roads in the state and factors associated with deadly accidents.

Last Updated: 4/26/2022
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To find the deadliest roads in Arizona, MoneyGeek analyzed 2,745 fatal crash statistics from 2017–2019, the most recent years of currently available data. The analysis looked at 943 roads within the state’s 146,465 miles of road. It examined how often factors like drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving were involved in fatalities in the state, as well as the times of the year when the most deadly crashes occurred.

The study outlines summarized data for each county in the state and identifies the deadliest road in each county.

Key Findings

  • 43rd Ave. from W. Lamar Rd. to W. McDowell Rd. is Arizona’s deadliest stretch of road. It’s located in Phoenix, the most populous city in the state.
  • Speeding contributed to the largest portion of fatal accidents, followed by drunk driving. Thirty-one percent of deadly crashes in the state involved speeding.
  • More crashes occurred in April and October than in any other month.
  • Maricopa had the most fatal accidents of any county. Most of these accidents occurred on I-10.

10 Deadliest Road Stretches in Arizona


  • DEADLIEST ROAD IN ARIZONA
    43rd Ave. from W. Lamar Rd. to W. McDowell Rd.
    Phoenix
    43rd Ave. from W. Lamar Rd. to W. McDowell Rd.
    • Fatal Accidents:22
    • fatalities:24
    • Crashes Per Mile:4.5
    • distance:4.9
  • Indian School Rd. from N. 53rd Ave. to N. 91st. Ave.
    Phoenix
    Indian School Rd. from N. 53rd Ave. to N. 91st. Ave.
    • Fatal Accidents:20
    • fatalities:20
    • Crashes Per Mile:4.0
    • distance:4.9
  • Indian School Rd. from N. 40th Ave. to N. 3rd St.
    Phoenix
    Indian School Rd. from N. 40th Ave. to N. 3rd St.
    • Fatal Accidents:16
    • fatalities:16
    • Crashes Per Mile:3.6
    • distance:4.5
  • Mcdowell Rd. from N. Scottsdale Rd. to N. 36th St.
    Scottsdale | Phoenix
    Mcdowell Rd. from N. Scottsdale Rd. to N. 36th St.
    • Fatal Accidents:12
    • fatalities:13
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.6
    • distance:4.6
  • 19th Ave. from W. Shangri-La Rd. to W. Union Hills Dr.
    Phoenix
    19th Ave. from W. Shangri-La Rd. to W. Union Hills Dr.
    • Fatal Accidents:12
    • fatalities:12
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.6
    • distance:4.7
  • Northern Ave. from N. 19th Ave. to N. 56th Ave.
    Glendale | Phoenix
    Northern Ave. from N. 19th Ave. to N. 56th Ave.
    • Fatal Accidents:12
    • fatalities:12
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.6
    • distance:4.7
  • Bell Rd. from N. 26th St. to N. 23rd Ave.
    Phoenix
    Bell Rd. from N. 26th St. to N. 23rd Ave.
    • Fatal Accidents:11
    • fatalities:14
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.3
    • distance:4.8
  • Bethany Home Rd. from N. 35th Ave. to N. 12th PI.
    Phoenix
    Bethany Home Rd. from N. 35th Ave. to N. 12th PI.
    • Fatal Accidents:11
    • fatalities:13
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.4
    • distance:4.6
  • Thomas Rd. from N. 71st. Ave. to N. 37th Ave.
    Phoenix
    Thomas Rd. from N. 71st. Ave. to N. 37th Ave.
    • Fatal Accidents:10
    • fatalities:13
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.4
    • distance:4.2
  • I-10 from Exit 157 to Exit 152
    Tempe | Phoenix | Guadalupe
    I-10 from Exit 157 to Exit 152
    • Fatal Accidents:10
    • fatalities:10
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.0
    • distance:4.9

Drunk Driving Involved in 22% of Fatal Accidents

Between 2017 and 2019, 615 out of 2,745 fatal accidents in Arizona involved drunk driving.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is always dangerous. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% is enough to visibly impair your driving, while a BAC of 0.08% means you are considered legally intoxicated.

Getting caught driving under the influence in Arizona can lead to a host of penalties and long-lasting consequences. Even if you don’t cause a fatal accident, the costs of drunk driving could include a suspended driver’s license, fines and possible jail time. It can also make finding affordable car insurance in Arizona difficult, as the state requires that drivers file an SR-22 after a DUI.

Speeding Is a Factor in 31% of Fatal Crashes

Within a three-year period, 845 of Arizona’s deadly accidents involved speeding.

Speeding poses dangerous conditions for everyone on the road. Anyone going over the speed limit is more likely to lose control of their car, increasing the risk of crashing and causing severe injuries to themselves and others. In Arizona, speeding is considered a violation that can incur three points. Note that accumulating eight or more points in 12 months can lead to driving privilege suspension.

Distracted Driving Contributed to 10% of Fatal Accidents

Out of 2,745 fatal accidents that occurred in Arizona between 2017 and 2019, 277 involved distracted driving. To curb distracted driving, the state government enacted a Hands-Off law in April 2020, legally prohibiting drivers from using their phones while driving, with a few exceptions.

October and April Had More Fatal Accidents Than Any Other Month

In Arizona, April and October had the most fatal accidents compared to any other months in the three years analyzed. Both months had 249 fatal accidents each.

January and July both tie for the months with the next-highest number of deadly crashes, with and 244 accidents occurring in each month, respectively.

Average Fatal Accidents by Month
Month
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Winter Conditions
Speeding Related
% of Total

January

245

64

21

3

76

8.9%

February

203

39

20

4

56

7.4%

March

234

54

24

0

84

8.5%

April

249

68

24

0

87

9.1%

May

241

54

14

0

77

8.8%

June

206

57

20

0

61

7.5%

July

244

60

18

0

67

8.9%

August

191

47

21

1

62

7.0%

September

234

48

22

0

73

8.5%

October

249

42

23

0

66

9.1%

November

224

41

55

0

65

8.2%

December

225

41

15

2

71

8.2%

Driving Safely Protects You, Others and Your Wallet

From keeping Arizona roadways safe to saving on insurance premiums, practicing safe driving habits comes with many benefits. Drivers can start driving safely by taking safety courses, practicing defensive driving and ensuring they have auto insurance. Even the safest drivers can still get into accidents, so full coverage auto insurance is essential to financially protect yourself and your loved ones after a crash.

The average cost of car insurance in Arizona is $1,284 per year, but rates vary in different cities across the state. For instance, drivers pay an average of $1,430 annually for auto insurance in Phoenix, while car insurance in Tucson costs $1,167 per year, on average. Between the two cities, the average difference in auto insurance costs per year is $263.

Keep in mind that your rates may be different than these averages. Aside from your specific location within the state, your age, driving record and even your credit score can affect your auto insurance premiums. Make sure to compare quotes to find the cheapest auto insurance companies in your area.

Fatal Accidents and Most Dangerous Roads: County Breakdown

Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Mohave counties had the highest number of fatal accidents in Arizona, with 2,132 crashes combined. About 78% of the state’s total number of fatal accidents between 2017 and 2019 occurred in these five counties.

Maricopa County had the most deadly crashes in the three-year period, with a staggering 1,324 accidents — most of which occurred on the I-10. Speeding and drunk driving were the two common factors involved in these accidents.

Fatal Accidents and Contributing Factors By County
County
Fatalities
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Speeding Related
Most Deadly Road (Fatal Accidents)

Maricopa

1394

1324

301

138

390

I-10 (62)

Pima

380

357

89

41

102

I-10 (26)

Pinal

214

183

39

26

66

I-10 (27)

Yavapai

153

141

26

9

53

I-17 (32)

Mohave

141

127

33

14

52

US-93 (16)

Coconino

145

118

29

10

42

I-40 (23)

Navajo

136

115

23

8

29

I-40 (14)

Apache

108

90

19

5

17

US-191 (14)

Yuma

84

79

18

6

32

I-8 (20)

Cochise

70

65

18

8

17

I-10 (14)

Gila

66

60

7

4

17

SR-87 (17)

La Paz

54

42

4

3

15

I-10 (18)

Graham

21

21

3

2

7

US-70 (6)

Santa Cruz

19

18

4

2

5

I-19 (10)

Greenlee

4

4

2

1

1

US-191 (2)

Unknown

1

1

0

0

0

Unknown Rd (1)

Methodology

Using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's FARS (fatal accident reporting system) database, MoneyGeek analyzed fatality data from 2017, 2018 and 2019. At the time of publication, these years were the most recent available in the system.

About the Author


expert-profile

Doug Milnes is the head of marketing and communications at MoneyGeek. He has spent more than a decade in corporate finance performing valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies including OpenTable. He holds a master’s degree in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University and is a CFA charter holder. Doug geeks out on building financial and predictive models and using data to make informed decisions.


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