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Home > AZ Cannabis News > Traffic Fatalities Surged in Arizona (And It Wasn’t Marijuana’s Fault)

Traffic Fatalities Surged in Arizona (And It Wasn’t Marijuana’s Fault)


Traffic fatalities in Arizona rose again in 2022, according to the state’s annual report on motor vehicle crashes on all roads.

There were 1,294 traffic fatalities across the state last year, an increase of 8.6% compared to 2021, according to the 2022 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report. Figures show crashes associated with speeding accounted for a greater share of deaths and injuries, providing a sobering reminder for Arizonans to avoid such unsafe driving behaviors.

The report tracked drivers’ condition – for instance, whether they were intoxicated, fell asleep, etc – to help determine the influence that caused a crash.

Crashes in Arizona:
• 201,178 drivers had no apparent influence
• 5,395 drivers under the influence of alcohol
• 1,525 drivers fell asleep
• 567 drivers under the influence of illegal drugs
• 154 drivers under the influence of marijuana
• 147 drivers under the influence of a prescription drug(s)

“We are seeing an increase in both traffic and fatal collisions,” said Major Jason Leonard, Chief of Staff of the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division. “Most of these collisions are preventable if drivers do two things. First, avoid distractions and remain focused on the task of driving. Second, be patient and drive within the law, especially relating to speed, passing and distracted driving. It is imperative that everyone in your vehicle properly utilizes seatbelts and/or car seats to reduce injury in the event of a collision. Your safety is far more important than the time you arrive, or anything on your mobile device.”

According to data published in the journal The Review of Regional Studies, medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis legalization aren’t associated with any significant upticks in motor vehicle traffic fatalities.

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