Interstate-10, Arizona's second busiest highway, has been the site of numerous fatal and non-fatal accidents in recent years. These incidents have prompted renewed calls for safety improvements to enhance the safety of motorists traversing this critical transportation corridor.

Accidents and Fatalities

In 2021, there were over 6,000 crashes on I-10 within Arizona, resulting in over 100 fatalities. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need to address safety concerns on the highway. One particularly tragic incident occurred in June 2022, when a semi-truck crashed into multiple vehicles on I-10 near Tucson, claiming the lives of five people.

Contributing Factors

Several factors contribute to the high accident rate on I-10, including:

  • Speeding: Motorists frequently exceed the posted speed limit, increasing the likelihood and severity of accidents.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol and drug impairment contribute to a significant number of crashes on I-10.
  • Distracted driving: Use of cell phones, texting, and other distractions divert drivers' attention away from the road.
  • Highway design: Some sections of I-10 have narrow lanes, limited shoulders, and inadequate signage.
  • Wildlife: Deer, javelinas, and other wildlife frequently cross I-10, posing a hazard to motorists.

Proposed Safety Enhancements

To address these safety concerns, officials are proposing a comprehensive range of enhancements, including:

  • Increased enforcement: Police presence on I-10 will be increased to deter speeding and other unsafe driving practices.
  • Enhanced signage and markings: Clearer signage, pavement markings, and lighting will improve visibility and provide timely warnings to drivers.
  • Widening lanes and adding shoulders: Expanding lane widths and creating wider shoulders will provide more space for maneuvering and reduce the risk of run-off-road crashes.
  • Wildlife mitigation: Fencing, underpasses, and other measures will be implemented to minimize wildlife crossings and prevent collisions.
  • Automated enforcement: Speed cameras and other automated enforcement systems will be deployed to detect and deter speeding violations.
  • Improved road surface: Resurfacing and repairing road surfaces will enhance traction and reduce hydroplaning risks.

Support for Enhancements

Local residents, advocacy groups, and transportation officials have voiced overwhelming support for the proposed safety enhancements. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the regional planning agency for the Phoenix metropolitan area, has committed to allocating funding for these improvements.

Ongoing Implementation

Some safety enhancements have already been implemented, such as increased police patrols and improved signage. However, the full implementation of the proposed enhancements will take time and require significant resources. Officials anticipate that the complete plan will be phased in over several years.


The safety of Arizona's motorists on Interstate-10 is paramount. The proposed safety enhancements, including increased enforcement, improved highway design, and wildlife mitigation measures, are essential steps towards reducing accidents and fatalities. With the support of residents, advocacy groups, and government agencies, these enhancements will prioritize the protection of lives and ensure the safe and efficient travel of motorists on I-10.

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