On July 27, 2021, the Arizona Department of Transportation published its statistical findings of car crashes. The publication is titled the 2020 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts and, according to this publication, there were a total of 98,788 car accidents in Arizona, 18% of which were classified as single-vehicle crashes. Of this total, 970 involved a fatality. The classification of a single-car crash was placed upon 40% of these fatal accidents. This blog will focus on the leading causes of single-vehicle crashes in Arizona.

The Definition

Before speaking to the causes, it may be necessary to clearly set out the definition of a single-vehicle accident. The classification of single vehicle does not pertain to the number of vehicles involved in the crash. It pertains to the number of vehicles damaged in the crash. A multi-car collision can be classified as a single-car crash if only one vehicle was damaged. A car accident involving a fatality can be classified as a single-vehicle crash.

The Causes

The leading causes of single-car crashes in Arizona are listed below along with a brief description of each.

  1. Distraction

These days, the number one distractor is texting. The technology of voice-activated phone calls and music selections have removed these items from the main causes of distraction. The actions of eating and speaking with passengers remain on this list.

  1. Tailgating

Tailgating occurs when one car follows behind another too close without the room to maneuver or without the proper distance to completely brake. This is the leading cause of rear-end collisions.

  1. Night Driving

Even though there are 60% less cars on the roads at night, 40% of crashes occur at night. The at-dusk and the twilight hours can cause impairment to depth perception and the ability to judge curvatures in the road and distances. The reflection of headlights from the on-coming traffic and through the rear-view mirror can cause temporary blindness to road conditions.

  1. Improper Turning and Lane Changes

Often, accidents resulting from these improper maneuvers are caused by one driver not checking a blind spot, not using a turn signal or misjudging a distance or speed.

  1. Road and Weather Conditions

Although not within the control of the driver, adverse conditions of the road or the weather can cause the loss of control of the car. If it is known that a road is notorious for the lack of maintenance, or if weather conditions negatively affect visibility, then methods of defensive driving must be used.

There are many variations in the causes of single-car crashes. The five items listed and explained above are the most common in Arizona.

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