Arizona Crash Facts 2021

ADOT released Crash Facts 2021  in late September 2022 (a bit later than usual? and oddly, the database was missing a lot as recently as end of June; what is causing these huge delays? are police sitting on reports?

2021 was a very bloody year on Arizona’s roads and highways. 2020 had unusual traffic patterns due to pandemic [1], but comparing 2019 to 2021  deaths were up sharply for all person types (driver, passenger, bicyclists, pedestrian), about 20% overall.

Just a reminder, there has been a sharp decrease in the total number of Bike-MV crashes beginning around 2015 [2]; that trend is continuing; e.g. comparing 2021 to 2019 (exclude 2020 due to uncertainty around pandemic-era reporting [1]), shows the number dropped once again,  with the exception of fatalities, which rose sharply to historic highs. (of course, reporting non-fatals is in some sense discretionary, leading one to wonder what’s going on).

Here’s a historical view of injuries and deaths for all person types:

Injuries by person type and severity, 2009 – 2021

Cyclist fatalities of 45 in 2021 is a historical high and blows away the previous record — the previous high for  was was 35 in 2005; and was at the time an outlier as the 10-year average annual fatals were less than 24 at that time. The trailing 10-yr (2011 – 2020) average is 28/yr

The grand total of 1,185 for the year of all person types, while horrendous, is not the highest ever; 1,288 lost their lives in 2006.

The Bicyclist Fatality Grid has been reconciled and contains some specifics on every bicyclist fatality in Arizona from 2009-2021, and ongoing as discovered. The two that were added after a VERY LONG DELAY of nearly a year are both vague and suspicious and poorly or oddly coded (“Walking with traffic”, on the “sidewalk” would be a ped, not a bicyclist). (they’re marked in magenta on the grid), E.g. one of them claims to not be a hit and run, but the data is all unknown, including the driver’s gender and age, implying hit-and-run. (see tag “missing” hit and runs)

See also:

2022 Preliminary Arizona Traffic Crash Statswhich delves a bit more into the ADOTReceivedDate in the database


[1] more pandemic-year stats here: arizona-crash-facts-2020/

[2] For a long, excruciatingly boring details with city-by-city breakdowns showing the decline of reported Bike-MV crashes that began around 2015 see: number-and-severity-of-arizona-bike-mv-crashes/




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