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Traffic crashes and fatalities up in 2013


Drug-involved, truck-involved and bicyclist deaths on the rise

N-Fatal-crashes

For the second year in a row, traffic deaths increased in Michigan, fueled in part by increases in bicyclist, drug, and commercial motor vehicle (CMV)-involved deaths, according to the Michigan State Police (MSP) Criminal Justice Information Center.

Although the state has experienced significant decreases in traffic crashes over the past decade, from 391,486 in 2003 to 289,061 in 2013, fatalities increased 2 percent from 936 in 2012 to 951.

The biggest jumps occurred in drug-involved fatalities, which increased 22 percent from 135 in 2012 to 165 in 2013; bicyclist deaths, which increased 35 percent, from 20 in 2012 to 27 in 2013; and CMV-involved fatalities, which increased 18 percent, from 80 in 2012 to 94 in 2013.

“Michigan’s 2013 statistics mimic national trends,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director. “In recent years there has been an upswing across the country in fatalities involving large trucks, bicyclists, pedestrians and impaired driving.”

Despite an overall increase in traffic fatalities, teen fatalities, ages 13-19, fell for the second year with 69 deaths in 2013 compared to 85 in 2012.  In addition, young driver-involved deaths, ages 16-20, declined 5 percent from 142 in 2012 to 135 in 2013.

In other areas:

Cell phone-involved crashes decreased 8 percent, from 748 in 2012 to 689 in 2013. Cell phone-involved fatal crashes decreased from 8 in 2012 to 4 in 2013.  (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)

Pedestrian fatalities increased 9 percent, from 137 in 2012 to 149 in 2013.

The number of crashes involving deer increased 1 percent, from 48,918 in 2012 to 49,205 in 2013, and deer-involved fatalities increased by 50 percent from 8 deaths in 2012 to 12 in 2013.

Injuries increased 1 percent, from 70,519 in 2012 to 71,031 in 2013.

Alcohol-involved traffic deaths increased 1 percent, from 281 in 2012 to 284 in 2013.

Motorcyclist fatalities decreased 1 percent, from 129 in 2012 to 128 in 2013.

NOTE:  Additional 2013 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months.  Check frequently for updates. Information regarding crashes can be found at Michigan.gov/crash.

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H1N1 detected in three recent deaths


 

From the Kent County Health Department

Testing has confirmed three recent deaths in people over the age of 50 in Kent County who were suffering from influenza A (H1N1) virus. Two of the individuals also had other known medical complications; we do not have a medical history yet on the third person. There are over 400 reported flu cases in Kent County so far this season, and of those reported, at least 26 people have been hospitalized.

“In two of these cases, we are certain there were additional underlying medical conditions,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We have seen, in other parts of the state, healthy young adults are becoming extremely ill from H1N1, as well as several deaths.”

In late December, the CDC issued an advisory, noting an increase in severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults due to H1N1 this year.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age. The influenza vaccine this year is highly effective protection against the flu, including H1N1. The CDC recently reported that the influenza vaccination prevented approximately 6.6 million illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations last year. It is critically important that people get a flu shot now. It takes 10—14 days after receiving the vaccination for a person to develop immunity. This is why you often hear people wrongly claim that they got the flu from the flu shot.

Multiple studies have confirmed that the flu vaccine does not cause influenza. People can, however, become ill from exposure to contagious people during those 10–14 days before their immunity develops. Some children ages 6 months to 2 years old may require two doses of vaccine (parents should check with a health care provider for details).

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu viruses can spread when people with flu cough, sneeze, or even talk. Someone might also get flu by touching a surface or object (like a phone) that has flu virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose. Signs and symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (very tired), vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults). If you think you have the flu, try to limit spreading the illness. Do not go to school or work until you recover.

The Kent County Health Department seasonal influenza program provides vaccinations for all individuals six months of age and older. Vaccines start at $25 for injection, and $33 for FluMist nasal spray. Children from six months through eighteen years who have no insurance, or who have insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines, will pay a sliding scale administration fee of up to $15. The Health Department can only bill Medicaid and Medicare. Cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover are accepted. To make an appointment at any of our five clinic locations, call (616) 632-7200. You can also schedule online at www.stickittotheflu.com. Flu information is also available on our information only line at (616) 742-4FLU (358).

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Increase in drug-related crashes, deaths and injuries


The 2010 Michigan Drunk Driving Audit shows a decline in alcohol-related crashes, fatalities and arrests, but an increase in crashes, deaths and injuries involving drugs.

Overall, deaths resulting from alcohol and/or drug-related crashes increased slightly from 351 in 2009 to 357 in 2010, while injuries decreased from 6,271 to 6,175. However, alcohol-involved traffic deaths decreased from 299 to 283, while drug-involved fatalities went up 29 percent, from 119 in 2009 to 153 in 2010. Part of this increase is due to increased testing to detect drug-impaired driving.

“Law enforcement officers are continually finding drugged drivers behind the wheel during traffic stops,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). “To help address this growing issue, officers have been receiving advanced training to assist them in identifying and arresting these impaired drivers in an effort to make our roadways safer.”

The Drunk Driving Audit is an annual report issued by the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center and is a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Michigan Department of State.

“Education remains critical in preventing people from driving under the influence,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “While the drinking and driving data are encouraging, we must continue educating people about the dangers of driving under the influence and especially drugged-driving. By working with law enforcement and other safety advocates, we can make Michigan roads even safer.”

In 2010, 41,883 alcohol and drug-related driving arrests were made. Male drivers were three times as likely as female drivers to be arrested for impaired driving, with 31,021 men arrested compared to 10,862 women. There were 41,887 persons convicted of operating under the influence of liquor or other impaired driving offenses. Some of these convictions include arrests made in prior years.

The 2010 Drunk Driving Audit is available at www.michigan.gov/msp. Click on Publications, Forms & Statistics, then select Statistical Information and then choose Drunk Driving Audit.

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