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Four traffic deaths recorded during Christmas, New year’s holidays

Preliminary reports indicate two people died in crashes over the Christmas holiday and two people died in crashes over the New Year’s holiday in Michigan, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in any of the crashes.  One of the fatalities was a pedestrian.

“Wearing a seat belt and driving sober help ensure the holidays can be about family and celebration,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The Christmas holiday period began at 6 p.m. Dec. 24 and went through midnight Dec. 25. The New Year’s holiday period began at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and went through midnight Jan. 1.

In 2012, nine people died in traffic crashes during the four-day Christmas holiday, and 15 people died in traffic crashes during the four-day New Year’s holiday.  It should be noted the holiday periods in 2012 were longer than 2013 due to the day of the week where the holidays fell.

The holiday periods are determined by the National Safety Council.

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Michigan traffic deaths fall 5 percent in 2011

Fewer people died in Michigan traffic crashes last year, driven partially by significant declines in motorcyclist fatalities, commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities and alcohol and drug involvement in fatal crashes. Traffic deaths dropped 5 percent, from 937 in 2010 to 889 in 2011.

Statewide crash information is collected by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Criminal Justice Information Center.

Changes from 2010 to 2011 included a 1 percent increase in total crashes, up from 282,075 in 2010 to 284,049 in 2011; and a 2 percent increase in crash-related injuries, up from 70,501 in 2010 to 71,796 in 2011.

Crash data also showed a 3 percent drop in alcohol-involved fatalities, down from 283 in 2010 to 274 in 2011. Drug involvement in fatalities fell 17 percent, from 153 in 2010 to 127 in 2011.

“It is extremely good news that traffic deaths are down in 2011,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director. “Further study will take place to see if we can determine what may have caused the fairly large changes in the areas of motorcycles, commercial motor vehicles and drug involvement in fatal crashes.”

In other areas:

Cell phone-involved crashes decreased from 881 in 2010 to 821 in 2011. Cell phone-involved fatal crashes increased from four in 2010 to six in 2011.  (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)

Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities fell 23 percent, from 95 in 2010 to 73 in 2011.

Motorcyclist fatalities dropped 13 percent, from 125 in 2010 to 109 in 2011.

Bicyclist fatalities were down 17 percent, from 29 in 2010 to 24 in 2011.

Pedestrian fatalities increased 6 percent, from 131 in 2010 to 140 in 2011.

The number of car-deer crashes declined 4 percent, from 55,867 in 2010 to 53,592 in 2011.



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