Traffic deaths on the rise in Arizona

A new study released Wednesday shows an alarming rise in traffic deaths in Arizona.

According to the National Transportation Research Group (TRIP), traffic fatalities spiked 14% between 2019 and 2021 in the state.

That includes an increase in 2020 despite a decreased number of cars on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to TRIP, there were 981 deaths in 2019. That number rose to 1,054 in 2020 and 1,123 in 2021.

The research organization said that the increase in deaths can be attributed to increased risks being taken by drivers.

The National Highway Safety Administration said driving patterns changed "significantly" during the pandemic.

"Of the drivers who remained on the roads, some engaged in riskier behavior, including speeding, failure to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs," officials said.

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