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Michigan sees 10 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 

 

For the second year, Michigan traffic deaths increased 10 percent, up from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 in 2016, according to just-released information from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

For 2017, we have had 338 traffic deaths so far, which is up by 26 (eight percent) from May of 2016.

Prior to 2016, the last year Michigan exceeded 1,000 traffic fatalities was 2007. Crashes, injuries and serious injuries were up as well:

*Crashes: 297,023 in 2015 to 312,172 in 2016, up 5 percent.

*Injuries: 74,157 in 2015 to 79,724 in 2016, up 8 percent.

*Serious injuries: 4,865 in 2015 to 5,634 in 2016, up 16 percent.

Positive progress was noted in several areas, including alcohol-involved traffic deaths, which fell 11 percent, from 303 in 2015 to 271 in 2016, and a 7 percent decline for young driver-involved fatalities (age 16-20), from 158 in 2015 to 147 in 2016.

“Some trends are emerging, especially with regard to drug-impaired traffic deaths, and our office is aligning resources accordingly,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “More resources are available to train law enforcement officers in the detection of drug-impaired drivers and OHSP is continuing federal funding for impaired driving traffic patrols throughout the year. In addition, planning is underway to use new earmarked federal funds to help address the state’s bicyclist and pedestrian crashes and fatalities.

“Our core programs, focused on increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving remain as important as ever,” he added.

The increases are part of a national trend of rapidly rising traffic deaths. Researchers believe an improved economy and lower gas prices have contributed to an increase in miles driven.

N-Increase-in-fatal-crashes-table

 In other areas:

*Bicyclist fatalities increased from 33 in 2015 to 38 in 2016, up 15 percent.

*Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities increased from 85 in 2015 to 120 in 2016, up 41 percent.

*Drug-involved fatalities increased from 179 in 2015 to 236 in 2016, up 32 percent.

*Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 138 in 2015 to 141 in 2016, up 2 percent. *Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 170 in 2015 to 165 in 2016, down 3 percent. Note: More detailed 2016 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months. Statewide crash information can be found at Michigan.gov/crash.

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