• Accident Causes

    Causes of Car Accidents in Arizona in 2020

    Statewide (June 20, 2022) – Car accidents in Arizona have increased in the past year, with numbers reaching a 15-year high in 2021. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the number of total accidents decreased from 2019 to 2020 by 24.23%. However, the number of total fatal accidents increased by 7.86%. Alcohol-related fatalities and injuries decreased by 29.84% and 4.53%.

    Distracted driving and alcohol were the top causes of Arizona car accidents in 2020. Alcohol related crashes made up 4.56% of all car accidents, both fatal and non-fatal. Over 2,800 people were injured in alcohol-related car accidents in 2020. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in Arizona, call Lerner and Rowe today. Source: ADOT

    Speed to Blame for Multi-Car Collision on SR-95

    Lake Havasu (January 20, 2022) – Three motor vehicles were involved in a car accident on State Route 95 last Friday, according to the Lake Havasu City Police Department. The collision occurred at the intersection of Acoma Boulevard South and SR-95 just before 11:00 a.m. on January 14.

    An RV reportedly failed to brake at the intersection, smashing into the back of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The impact from that rear-end collision then caused the Jeep to strike a 2019 Lincoln Navigator.

    In total, three people were injured in the wreck. Two were treated locally at Havasu Regional Medical Center, while another victim was flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Police determined that speed was the cause of the accident. Source: Havasu News

    Speeding, Unlicensed Teen to Blame for Phoenix Crash

    Phoenix (December 30, 2021) – Police say that a speeding, unlicensed teenage driver is likely to blame for a car accident that sent four people to the hospital. Around 4:30 p.m. on December 27, a car carrying seven teenagers crashed into a house near 35th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

    A 14-year-old girl and two 14-year-old boys suffered serious injuries in the accident. A 15-year-old girl was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and four more people were treated for injuries at the scene.

    Video footage of the accident showed the car quickly overtaking another vehicle before crashing into the corner of the house. Police are still determining the exact cause of the crash but say that citations may be issued. Source: 12 News

    Wrong-Way Driver Causes Fatal Crash on Loop 202

    Phoenix (December 3, 2021) – A person driving east in the westbound lanes of Loop 202 caused a deadly car accident involving multiple vehicles on Thanksgiving. Police say the crash occurred around 11:00 a.m. near McClintock Drive and killed one person.

    The wrong-way driver first hit a DPS unit in addition to another vehicle. The driver then continued and caused a head-on collision with another vehicle. The passenger of the wrong-way vehicle died, and others involved in that accident were seriously injured.

    This accident is also believed to have contributed to a separate accident nearby, in which a motorcyclist smashed into the back of another vehicle that had slowed down in response to the wrong-way crash. The extent of their injuries is unknown. Source: ABC 15

    Deadly Wrong-Way Crash Likely Caused by Impairment

    Tempe (October 29, 2021) – A two-year-old girl and a high school senior were both killed Monday night in a wrong-way car accident in Tempe. Two other people were also seriously injured in the crash. Police responded to the scene around midnight near Price Road and Southern Avenue.

    The 17-year-old wrong-way driver told police he saw the headlights of the other driver, but believed he was traveling the correct direction. Both cars tried to change lanes before colliding. Two of his passengers, including his 2-year-old niece Nianee Card and 17-year-old Aldous Harris, died at the scene.

    The 23-year-old driver of the other vehicle, Aneet Grewal, was critically hurt. Nianee’s mother, who was in the backseat, also suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police say that impairment was likely a factor in this tragic accident. Source: Fox 10 Phoenix

    Cause of Deadly Semi-Truck Crash Under Investigation

    Casa Grande (October 8, 2021) – Police still aren’t sure what caused a semi-truck driver to cross over the median on Interstate 10 into oncoming traffic on Wednesday. The multi-car crash occurred north of Casa Grande, between Phoenix and Tucson. The semi, which was headed east, crossed into the westbound lanes and struck two other semi-trucks, a box truck, and two passenger vehicles before it burst into flames.

    Two people were killed in the accident, including the driver of the semi-truck who crossed the median and a passenger in one of the other semi-trucks that was struck. The third semi-truck involved in the crash spun out before rolling on top of the box truck. Three people had to be airlifted to the hospital, while another four were transported by ambulance. Source: ABC 15 Arizona

    Alcohol a Factor in 4.56% of 2020 Crashes

    Statewide (September 16, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), 4.56% of traffic accidents last year were alcohol-related. There were more than 4,500 potential drunk driving accidents in 2020, including nearly 1,900 injury crashes and 163 fatal crashes. Although there were fewer overall alcohol-related crashes in 2020 compared to 2019, the percentage of suspected drunk driving accidents rose from 3.79% to 4.56%.

    More than 73% of drivers involved in alcohol-related crashes were men. For fatal alcohol-related accidents, that number jumped to more than 80% (For context, male drivers were involved in roughly 55% of all recorded statewide car crashes). ADOT also found that over 32% of drivers involved in these crashes were between the ages of 25 and 34, the highest of any age group. Source: ADOT

    Speeding the Most Common Cause of 2020 Crashes

    Statewide (August 26, 2021) – According to ADOT’s 2020 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, the most common cause of traffic accidents in Arizona last year was driving at a speed too fast for conditions. About 16.8% of all injury accidents and 10.8% of all fatal accidents involved a speeding motorist.

    Contrary to what you might assume, most of these drivers were not going over the posted speed limit—in fact, less than 1% were reported as exceeding lawful speed. This surprising statistic highlights the importance of adjusting your speed to changing conditions.

    The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys remind Arizona motorists to slow down in response to inclement weather (like rain, snow, or dust storms), heavy or bottlenecked traffic, construction zones, and sharp curves. Source: ADOT

    Driver Ran Red Light, Caused Fiery Crash

    Phoenix (August 5, 2021) – Police are saying that a fiery car crash that happened on Monday was caused by one of the drivers running a red light. The car accident occurred early in the morning near the intersection of 71st Avenue and Indian School Road.

    The driver of a Chevy Trax reportedly ran a red light on Indian School Road before plowing into a Chevy Silverado pulling a trailer. Both cars then caught fire. The driver and six other passengers in the Silverado, who ranged in age from 17 to 28, all sustained injuries, including a 26-year-old man who had life-threatening injuries.

    The unidentified driver of the Trax who caused the accident died at the scene. It is unclear whether he died in the collision or from the resulting fire. Source: 12 News

    Speeding Likely to Blame for Deadly Tolleson Crash

    Tolleson (July 22, 2021) – A 29-year-old woman has died and two others were seriously injured after a car accident in Tolleson, Arizona last Saturday. According to police officers, Amanda Sue Wunderlee, an out-of-state visitor, was the only fatality in a two-car crash near 91st Avenue and Garfield Street.

    Leading up to the collision, a Nissan Titan truck was speeding northbound on 91st Avenue. The driver crossed into the southbound lanes and hit the Ford vehicle in which Wunderlee was traveling as a passenger. Wunderlee was killed, while the drivers of both vehicles were injured and hospitalized with serious injuries.

    Investigation into the accident is ongoing, although Tolleson police do not suspect impairment. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Amanda Sue during this difficult time. Source: AZ Family

  • Accident Statistics

    Arizona Home to Third Deadliest US Interstate Highway

    Arizona (April 26, 2022)-Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2020 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) found that I-40, which runs through Arizona, is the third deadliest interstate in the country. A total of 270 fatalities on I-40 happened in 2020, including a crash caused by faulty tires that killed two.

    Data collected and analyzed showed that there were 10.6 fatalities per every 100 miles in 2020. Speeding is one of the main causes of fatal accidents on I-40. Source: NHTSA

    Number of Traffic Deaths in Arizona Continues to Increase

    Statewide (March, 2022) – Traffic fatalities increased to a 15-year high in 2021 in Arizona. The majority of these accidents were caused by distracted and impaired drivers. In 2021, over 1,000 more Arizona residents lost their lives in car accidents than in 2020. Arizona isn’t alone. In 2020 and 2021, traffic fatalities exceeded records nationwide, forcing federal transportation officials to improve roadway safety.

    Reports show there are more distracted and impaired drivers than ever before, and DUI numbers in the state have reached their highest levels since 2013. Phoenix saw more traffic-related deaths in 2021 than the previous year, prompting the city to sign on to a national road safety effort. Safety advocates believe communities should adopt measures like decreasing speed limits and adding more roundabouts to reduce traffic. Source: PHOENIX Mag

    2021 Traffic Fatalities Surpass Those of Deadly 2020

    Statewide (January 14, 2022) – Preliminary data from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) shows that 2021 was the worst year for traffic fatalities since car accident deaths peaked in 2006. As of mid-December, there were already at least 1,060 traffic fatalities reported in 2021.

    The 2021 data surpassed a particularly deadly 2020, during which 1,054 people died in motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrian accidents and bike crashes. Fatalities rocketed to 1,301 deaths in 2006 before steadily decreasing between 2007 and 2014. Compared to 2014’s low of 774 accident fatalities, 2021 deaths jumped by almost 37%.

    GOHS director Alberto Gutier blamed the influx of accidents on more vehicles on the road, speeding, and distracted driving, particularly cell phone use. Source: Arizona’s Family

    4.56% of All 2020 Crashes Were Alcohol-Related

    Statewide (December 16, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), approximately 4.56% of all motor vehicle accidents in 2020 involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. The agency reported 4,506 alcohol-related crashes.

    181 people were killed in Arizona alcohol-related crashes, and an estimated 2,863 people were injured last year. Drunk driving deaths accounted for about 17.2% of all traffic fatalities. Overall alcohol-related crashes appear to be on the decline from recent years, with a nearly 9% decrease from 2019 to 2020. The number of people killed in alcohol-involved crashes also dropped by 25.8% from 2019 to 2020.

    In total, ADOT estimates that drunk driving accidents resulted in $2.33 billion in economic losses to Arizona in 2020. Source: ADOT

    2020 Large Truck Accidents in Arizona

    Statewide (November 18, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), there were 1,481 vehicles involved in semi-truck accidents throughout the state in 2020. These crashes primarily resulted in property damage, although 113 people were injured and 14 people died.

    In addition, ADOT reported injury crash statistics for the following large truck types:

    • Dump trucks: 9 drivers or passengers injured
    • Fire trucks: 8 people injured
    • Garbage trucks: 6 people injured
    • Wrecker or tow trucks: 5 people injured
    • Concrete mixer trucks: 3 people injured
    • Tanker trucks: 1 person injured
    • Other truck combinations: 4 people killed, 920 people injured

    In total, the agency reported that 18 people were
    killed and 1,065 were injured in all large truck accidents in Arizona last year. Source: ADOT

    2020 Arizona Bicycle Accidents

    Statewide (October 21, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), there were 830 bicycle accidents that resulted in cyclist injuries or deaths in 2020. That number represents a nearly 35% decrease compared to pedalcyclist accidents reported in 2019.

    Although the overall number of bike accidents decreased, the data also shows that the number of bicycle accident deaths increased from 30 fatalities in 2019 to 33 fatalities in 2020. As a result, the fatality rate for bicycle accidents in Arizona increased from 2.4% to 4% in just a year’s time.

    This troubling pattern of fewer accidents but more deaths applies to overall traffic accident trends from 2020. While car, bike, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian accidents decreased by 23.9% from 2019 to 2020, deaths from those accidents spiked by 6.5%. Source: ADOT

    2020 Pedestrian Crashes Down, Fatalities Up

    Statewide (September 30, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the number of pedestrian crashes across the state plummeted by nearly 18%, from 1,857 in 2019 to 1,523 in 2020. On the flip side, pedestrian deaths increased from 218 persons killed to 235. While just 11.7% of 2019 pedestrian accidents were deadly, that percentage climbed to 15.2% in 2020.

    In total, 1,351 pedestrians were injured in Arizona last year, a 21.3% drop compared to 2019. The majority of pedestrians killed or injured were struck while crossing the street (59.7%). The time of day the accident occurred was split about evenly between light and dark conditions; in addition, weather conditions were reported as clear in about 89.1% of crashes. Source: ADOT

    2020 Motorcycle Accidents in Arizona

    Statewide (September 9, 2021) – According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), there were 2,317 reported motorcycle accidents throughout Arizona in 2020. This number represents a 13.4% decrease in overall motorcycle crashes compared to the previous year.

    In total, 160 motorcyclists were killed on Arizona roads last year, representing just under 7% of all motorcycle accidents. Another 1,921 people were injured, which accounts for 78.1% of all reported crashes. The remaining 14.9% of motorcycle accidents resulted in property damage only.

    ADOT also found that motorcycle registrations skyrocketed to more than 275,000 in 2020, 31.4% more than in 2019. And, although the percentage of fatal crashes stayed more or less the same, overall fatality rates dropped by 28.5%. Source: ADOT

    2020 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crashes

    Statewide (August 12, 2021) – The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has released its annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts for 2020. According to the report, there were 98,778 motor vehicle crashes throughout the state last year, including fatal accidents, injury accidents, and property damage only accidents.

    In total, 1,057 people were killed on Arizona roads in car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, semi-truck accidents, pedestrian crashes, and bicycle accidents. An additional 41,350 people suffered injuries. The report also found that alcohol was a factor in about 17% of all fatalities and about 7% of all injuries.

    In addition, the data indicated that the day of the year with the highest number of traffic accidents was February 14, 2020, with more than 500 crashes reported on that day alone. Source: ADOT

    Chandler PD Issues 700+ Distracted Driving Citations

    Chandler (July 15, 2021) – Chandler Police Department is leading the charge to curb distracted driving in Arizona. The agency reported that it has issued 710 citations to distracted drivers from January to May, more than any other city except for Phoenix.

    The crackdown comes at the heels of a 2019 traffic law that went into effect at the beginning of the year and which prohibits handheld use of an electronic device while driving. Violation of the law can result in a $75 to $149 fine for the first offense, and a fine of up to $250 for subsequent offenses.

    The Chandler personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorney applaud the efforts made by Chandler Police Department to prevent accidents and deaths from distracted driving. Source: Ahwatukee Foothills News

  • News

    Car Runs Out of Gas and Kills 1 and Injures 2 on I-17 in Phoenix

    Phoenix (May 23, 2022) – One woman is dead and two were hospitalized after a crash on I-17 early Monday morning. A car ran out of gas near Thunderbird Road, according to the Department of Public Safety, and was stopped in the center lane without hazard lights. Iwanda Mitchell, 49, collided with the stopped vehicle. Another vehicle collided with Mitchell. She died on the scene.

    Two other drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries. Crash witnesses are asked to contact the Arizona Department of Public Safety at 602-223-2212 or submit a tip online at www.azdps.gov/tips. Source: AZ Family

    Driver Who Caused Deadly Accident Was Speeding, Drunk

    Phoenix (January 6, 2022) – A woman was killed and three children were injured on January 1 when their vehicle was struck by an impaired and speeding driver near 38th Street and Greenway Road. The accident occurred just half an hour into the new year.

    Police say 18-year-old Jaxon Collins was speeding and drunk. He was going almost 90 miles an hour in the seconds leading up to the crash, and the impact speed was 63 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

    27-year-old Crystal Garcia died trying to protect the three children who were sitting with her in the backseat during the car accident. One of the children suffered a broken pelvis. Collins has been charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault, and endangerment. Source: ABC15

    One Killed in Paradise Valley Car Crash

    Paradise Valley (December 9, 2021) – A woman was killed and another driver was injured in a car accident near 47th Street and McDonald Drive on Monday. 36-year-old Nicole Baldovino died in the December 6 crash after her electric Tesla vehicle collided with a Ford Bronco.

    According to police, Baldovino failed to complete a turn in the bend of the road before smashing into the Bronco. While impairment is reportedly not a factor in this case, investigators say they have no way of knowing whether the Tesla’s autopilot was engaged during the crash.

    Meanwhile, Phoenix firefighters have noted that electric vehicle crashes may pose a higher risk of burn injury, since electric vehicle fires tend to burn hotter and longer than traditional vehicle fires. Source: Fox 10 Phoenix

    Red Light Runner Causes Deadly Accident

    Phoenix (November 5, 2021) – A driver ran a red light on Cactus Road just east of 43rd Avenue on Wednesday evening, resulting in a four-vehicle car crash and one fatality. Phoenix police responded to the crash around 6:00 p.m. on November 3 to find a silver GMC Yukon had plowed through the intersection, hitting a silver Toyota Highlander. A Toyota Camry and BMW were also struck.

    Investigators believe the woman in her 30s driving the Yukon was impaired and speeding before the accident. She was injured critically, along with the driver of the Highlander, a man in his 50s.

    35-year-old Paul Cosma, who was in the front passenger seat of the Highlander, died of his injuries. Two young girls in the back seat also suffered minor injuries. Source: AZ Family

    Petition Calls for Safer Bike Lanes in Downtown Phoenix

    Phoenix (October 14, 2021) – It’s been nearly two months since Downtown Phoenix Ambassador Hans Hughes was involved in a devastating bicycle accident. The avid cyclist was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike near 1st Avenue and Fillmore Street. He died of his injuries a month later on September 21, 2021.

    Now the group Phoenix Spokes People has launched a petition calling for officials to construct a protected bike lane on Fillmore Street and a continuous protected bike lane on 3rd Street. Many bike lanes in the downtown area are currently only designated by paint. The group would also like to see physical barriers like bollards and vertical standing poles implemented to better protect cyclists. Source: Fox 10 Phoenix

    1 Killed, 2 Injured in Tucson Car Accident

    Tucson (September 23, 2021) – A woman was killed and two others were injured yesterday after a car accident in midtown Tucson. 82-year-old Amelia J. Guzman died after her Toyota Camry was hit by a Dodge Challenger at the intersection of Swan Road and Camp Lowell.

    The other two victims were the driver and passenger of the Challenger, who were both hospitalized but are expected to recover. According to Tucson police, both drivers were partially at-fault for the collision. The Challenger was reportedly speeding at the time of the crash, while the Camry failed to yield the right of way while making a U-turn. Intoxication was not a factor, and no arrests have been made. Source: KOLD

    Three Hospitalized, 1 Killed After 8-Car Crash

    Phoenix (September 2, 2021) – Four people were rushed to the hospital after a car accident involving eight vehicles in Phoenix. The collision occurred on August 22 at the intersection of Central Avenue and Camelback Road.

    Police say an unnamed female driver of a Toyota Camry ran a red light at the intersection, causing a fiery crash involving eight cars. The passenger of the Camry, 35-year-old Jesus Padilla, died of his injuries. The at-fault driver reportedly exhibited signs of impairment at the scene, but is now in a coma and has not been charged.

    Two women in their 40s were also critically injured in the crash. A witness to the accident said the Camry appeared to be traveling around 60 miles per hour as it plowed through the solid red traffic light. Source: AZ Family

    Arizona Traffic Fatalities Hit 12-Year High

    Statewide (August 19, 2021) – Arizona traffic fatalities hit their highest point since 2007 last year, according to the latest data from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Although the overall number of auto accidents decreased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns, the number of people who died in collisions jumped by nearly 8% in 2020 compared to the previous year.

    Put into context, the number of people killed per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 15.6% between 2019 and 2020. Interestingly, the number of people injured per 100 million VMT decreased by 18% during the same time period. This indicates that although fewer accidents and fewer injuries occurred last year, the accidents that did occur were far more serious. Source: ADOT

    Wing May Have Fallen Off Plane Before Deadly Crash

    Wikieup (July 29, 2021) – A preliminary report and witness testimony point to the possibility that one of the wings of a Beechcraft King Air C-90 aircraft plummeted to the ground shortly before it crashed outside Wikieup, Arizona. The deadly July 10 accident involved two Arizona firefighters who were helping direct aviation resources over the Cedar Basin Fire.

    62-year-old Air Tactical Group Supervisor Jeff Piechura and his pilot, 48-year-old Matthew Miller, were both killed in the plane crash. According to a local woman, she witnessed the plane going down at a steep angle before it hit the ground. She says that Arizona Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials at the scene told her she’d seen the wing fall off the aircraft. Federal authorities continue to investigate. Source: KTAR

    33-Year-Old Man Killed in Bullhead City Boat Crash

    Bullhead City (July 8, 2021) – A 33-year-old man from Ontario, California died on July 4 after a boating accident on the Colorado River. According to the Bullhead City Police Department, Timothy Randall David Lee was sitting on the back of the boat’s swim deck when a jet ski crashed into the boat around 1:30 p.m.

    The jet-ski boat collision was powerful enough to knock Lee’s mother-in-law and baby into the river, although the police statement said the two were unharmed. Unfortunately, Lee suffered serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, where he died.

    The operator of the jet ski, a 16-year-old from Avondale, Arizona, reportedly left the scene of the accident but was apprehended and cited by boating officers. A police report regarding the accident was to be forwarded to the Mohave County Attorney’s Office for review of additional charges. Source: AP News