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Sections of the I-10 Are Valley’s Deadliest Freeways

As Arizona’s state capital and one of the busiest cities in the Grand Canyon State, Phoenix is no stranger to heavy traffic and major vehicle collisions. However, new Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) data reports that sections of Interstate 10 run right through the deadliest freeways in the Valley. Learn which parts of I-10 post the greatest threats to drivers and how to safely navigate Arizona’s metropolitan freeways.

Areas to Look Out For

Loop 101 to I-17 is the deadliest stretch of freeway in the Valley, with 19 car accidents in a nine-mile stretch from 2013 to 2015. Between wrong-way vehicles, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and inattentive drivers, this area of I-10 poses many threats to daily commuters. Heavy congestion on this part of the road doesn’t help, causing many rear-end collisions from distracted drivers.

Between 2013 and 2015, the one-mile stretch between the Seventh Street and 16th Street exits on I-10 saw five fatal accidents. This small piece of interstate is one of the busiest roadways in the Valley, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing through every day. With this many vehicles traveling along the same stretch of freeway, it’s not surprising it’s one of the deadliest sections of freeways in the state.

Another highly dangerous area of freeway in the Valley is the one-and-a-half miles between the 24th Street and 32nd Street exits. This section of freeway sees an average of 253,774 vehicles every day. Drivers should also be careful while traveling on the sections from Seventh Avenue to Third Avenue exits and from 35th Avenue to 27th Avenue exits, both of which see more than 250,000 vehicles per day each. The busier the interstate, the more opportunities there are for car accidents.

Causes of Fatal Freeway Deaths

More than 200 people died in car accidents on the Maricopa County freeway system from 2013 to 2015. According to national traffic data, Arizona beats most states for the most fatal accidents per mile of state highway. While it’s difficult for ADOT to pinpoint exact causes of accidents, as many seem to be from unrelated events, there are certain hazards that occur on every busy interstate – namely, driver error.

Driver distraction is a major cause of freeway accidents, particularly in stop-and-go traffic. Trying to multi-task behind the wheel to pass the time can lead to a fatal collision with another driver. Failure to obey roadway rules such as posted speed limits and weaving in and out of lanes can also cause deadly freeway accidents. Other common causes of car accidents on the I-10 include reckless and aggressive drivers, vehicle part failure, and poor weather conditions. In 2015, driver distraction contributed to 96,232 accidents in Arizona. Eliminating driver error would save thousands of lives every year.

Arrive Alive: How to Drive Safe in the Valley

Staying alive on the Valley’s busiest freeways takes attentive driving, defensive techniques, and constant vigilance.  In heavy traffic conditions, a driver must pay attention to the roadway at all times. It can be tempting to get distracted from the slow-moving traffic with a cell phone, radio, or passengers, but these diversions can cause harmful rear-end collisions. In freely moving traffic, drivers need to look carefully before merging, using blinkers to signal their intent.

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to routinely maintain your vehicle and ensure the brakes, tires, lights, steering components, and other equipment work correctly before hitting the interstate. A failed car part could result in an at-fault accident where you’re liable for damages. Avoid driving in poor weather conditions, and pull off the interstate if weather gets too bad for you to safely drive. Avoid the most deadly sections of I-10 if possible, taking alternate routes to reduce your chances of an accident. If you are injured in a car accident, a Phoenix car accident attorney can help! Call Cullan & Cullan to see how we can help you.


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