In a year where drivers spent far less time out on the open road, it is truly surprising to read that traffic deaths in Arizona surged during the covid-19 pandemic. Preliminary statistics indicate that the number of highway deaths rose to its highest level in more than a decade.
Phoenix, Arizona residents, like much of the nation, drove less miles as we were asked to limit travel and avoid contact with one another to stop the spread of covid-19. However, nationwide fatalities rose 8% despite the number of miles being driven falling by 13%.
The information, provided by the Governor’s Office on Highway Safety, is hard to comprehend. Gasoline sales in the state fell by 12% compared to the year before, as data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicated the biggest one-year percentage drop in gas sales in nearly 40 years.
So why do traffic accidents and fatalities continue to rise despite falling traffic, and what can Arizona residents do to make sure we, and our loved ones, are safe when driving?
- Less traffic on roads resulted in speeding and lack of seatbelt wearing
Gary Alexander, the CEO of IMPROV Defensive Driving, said “What we saw, especially during lockdown when the roads were far less congested, was that drivers were taking more risks. Due to the roads being less busy, some drivers took this as an opportunity to speed. This played a big role in the large increases in speed-related crashes and fatalities”.
Not only was speeding an issue, but general car safety appeared to take a backseat. “The use of seatbelts during the pandemic was also significantly down. Quieter roads may appear to be less dangerous, but without the correct use of a seatbelt, a fundamental safety requirement, you truly are increasing the chances of suffering life-threatening injuries should you be involved in an accident”.
- Arizona is a growing state, with over 820,000 more drivers on roads in 2019 than in 2010
Arizona has witnessed a surge in population over the past decade. There were just under 7.3 million residents in the state in 2019, a whopping 886,429 more than 2010. However, the safety in which drivers operate, especially during the most recent covid-19 pandemic, has been called into question. Many drivers are now opting to take a defensive driving course to mitigate the risks of a growing population and hazardous drivers.
- Despite a larger population, driver safety is the biggest culprit of traffic related fatalities
Having more or less drivers on the road isn’t the biggest issue according to Gary Alexander. “The issue lies with unsafe and unprepared drivers. An increase in speed-related crashes and fatalities indicates a lack of care, and also a lack of knowledge. If drivers obey speed limits, while having the skills and knowledge to deal with dangerous situations, we all have a better chance of keeping our roads safe”.
- Drivers should do all they can to follow traffic safety laws and improve their decision making and defensive driving skills with a Phoenix AZ defensive driving course
If an ever-growing population isn’t to blame, and despite quieter roads traffic collisions continuing to rise, then drivers may want to take things into their own hands through an online defensive driving course. Designed to help prevent deaths and vehicle crashes while having multiple other benefits such as saving on insurance rates and even dismissing traffic tickets and points from your license, these courses can be invaluable in ever-dangerous driving conditions.
Created by Improv Defensive Driving, they set out to make driving education fun. For over 20 years they’ve provided driving programs to over 4 million students, winning countless accolades from the media and other organizations for their unique curriculum which is created by behavioral scientists and enhanced by Hollywood writers by using humor to deliver what can be a dry and boring subject.
At the core of the curriculum is a IMPROV’s proprietary S.P.I.D.E.R Method ™ that gives students a simple set of tools to help them make safer choices and ability to predict a possible danger way before it happens.
IMPROV™ Traffic School is a division of the Interactive Education Concepts, Inc, boasting some of the best and most-used online driving courses in the US. Based on the notion that driver education doesn’t have to be dry and boring, they’ve won many awards for ‘Best Traffic School’. To learn more about their courses, visit their website: https://www.myIMPROV.com/.
Our Traffic School was created in partnership with the World Famous Improv Comedy Club to make it Fun, Fast, and Effective. Improv Traffic School’s unique edutainment courses have won copious accolades from students and the media resulting in our being…
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