A Look At Accident Factors And Statistics

By Sun Corridor MPO and the San Tan Times Staff

Sun Corridor MPO completes first Strategic Transportation Safety Plan.

With the population growth in the Sun Corridor region of Pinal County, development of a Strategic Transportation Safety Plan (STSP) has become necessary to help reduce fatal and serious injury traffic crashes in the region. Over the 10 year period of 2005-2014, the region experienced 16,525 crashes, including 243 fatal crashes. Interstate 10 had the highest number of total (3,332) and fatal (89) crashes in the region. The most common crash type in the region was single vehicle (4,455) which also had the highest fatal crash type (120). The Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization led the development of the STSP to identify traffic safety issues and to better position the region to obtain funding to improve transportation safety.

Emphasis areas for the SCMPO region were based on the emphasis areas identified in the 2014 Arizona Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and contribute to the most overall crashes and/or fatal crashes in the region. The 10 emphasis areas for SCMPO are:

  • Speeding
  • Impaired Driving
  • Occupant Protection
  • Distracted Driving
  • Older Drivers
  • Young Drivers
  • Pedestrians
  • Intersections
  • Lane Departure
  • Weather-Related

The region defers to the Arizona SHSP for additional emphasis areas not listed above.

As part of the Strategic Transportation Safety Plan, safety strategies were generated for each of the above emphasis areas. These strategies are based on the 4 E’s of traffic safety: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency services.

The Federal Highways Administration established five safety performance measure requirements for state DOTs and MPOs: fatalities, fatality rate, serious injuries, serious injury rate, and a number of combined non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries. These performance measures have been used to set targets and evaluate year to year increase or reduction in crashes in alignment with the goals set by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

This safety plan, adopted by the Executive Board on March 14, 2017, represents the first Strategic Transportation Safety Plan for the Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization (SCMPO) region. This plan establishes a vision, goal, emphasis areas, strategies, network screening methodology, and potential safety projects for the region, consistent with those set forth by the Arizona State Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The purpose of this safety plan is to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to all transportation users in the SCMPO region.

Accident Data

95% of crashes involve behavior factors

Statewide Fatalities:

  • 50% not using a seat belt, child safety seat, helmet
  • 38% involved speeding
  • 34% involved impaired driving

Pinal County crashes for past 10 years (2007 – 2016):

  • 35,869 crashes
  • 539 fatal crashes
  • 1,543 serious injury crashes
  • 33,787 minor/no injury crashes

Most frequent crash types:

  • 29% rear-end
  • 28% single vehicle
  • 12% angle
  • 9% sideswipe same direction
  • 8% left-turn

Most frequent fatal crash types:

  • 44% single vehicle
  • 13% pedestrian
  • 13% head-on
  • 9% angle
  • 7% rear-end