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Havasu drivers aren’t Arizona’s worst

January 5, 2019

To hear the locals complain, one might conclude that every lousy driver in Arizona resides in Lake Havasu City. Red light runners, confusion at four-way stops and the chronic inability to use turn signals are commonly-heard grievances.

Not so fast, says a Mesa law firm. Other places are far worse. In its analysis of 46 Arizona cities, Havasu ranks in the middle of the pack, coming in as the 25th worst.

Skousen Gulbrandsen & Patience, a group of personal injury lawyers, combed through 2017 statistics of Arizona cities (not towns) to determine where the majority of the worst drivers in Arizona are located. The city with the highest crash-to-population percentage is Tolleson, meaning that the total number of crashes annually when accounting for the city’s population, is the worst out of all the cities in Arizona.

The best was Bisbee.

To rank the cities for the law firm, Cody West of the marketing firm Assisted Reach took a ratio between the total annual crashes in the specified city and the population of that city. He used 2017 statistics from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity for population and crash facts from the Arizona Department of Transportation for the study.

West released the study two weeks ago, he said. The data set he used was just a few weeks old.

For 2017, West’s study calculated that Havasu’s crash-to-population average was 1.2 percent, based on a population estimate of 54,801 and 649 reported collisions. Further number crunching showed that 42 percent of Havasu’s drivers are better than average.

By comparison, Tolleson’s 6,992 population experienced 447 crashes. Negative 211 percent of its drivers are worse than the average Arizona driver. Word to the wise: Drive defensively when passing through Tolleson.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bisbee’s 2017 population of 5,320 experienced one collision.

West said he wasn’t surprised that Tolleson has the worst results.

“There are a lot of younger, inexperienced drivers and the city is jam-packed. Accidents are going to happen under those conditions,” he said.

Regionally, Kingman had the 10th worst results and Bullhead City was slightly worse than Havasu, coming in at 24th.

Other enlightening 2017 crash facts from the Arizona Department of Transportation include:

Most common type of collision: Rear end

Most common driver violation: Speed too fast for conditions

Total crashes 2017: 127,064 (Alcohol-related 4,854; motorcycle 2,907)

Approximately 2.74 persons were killed each day

One person was killed every 8 hours and 46 minutes

Peak month for all crashes: March

Peak day for all crashes: Friday

Peak hour for all crashes: 5-6 p.m.

Peak date for all crashes in 2017: Jan. 20 (640 crashes)

Peak day for fatal motorcycle crashes: Saturday

Peak hour for all motorcycle crashes: 5-6 p.m.

Helmets not used : 87% of men, 12% of women

Licensed drivers: 5,221,403

Registered vehicles: 5,843,368 (Privately-owned vehicles 5,096,093; motorcycles 207,610)

Additionally, motor vehicle crashes resulted in $10.765 billion in economic losses to Arizona. These ranged from fatalities to property damage. Mohave County’s portion of that figure is $419,844,000.

The state’s economic loss due to alcohol-related crashes for 2017 was $2.221 billion.

To review the full results of Skousen Gulbrandsen & Patience’s study, visit www.sgplaw.com/worst-arizona-drivers-by-city/.

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