Officials: Michigan Traffic Deaths Rose by 10% in 2016

May 15, 2017

Michigan traffic deaths rose by 10 percent last year, according to state safety officials.

According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 2016 was the second-consecutive year to show a 10 percent increase in traffic fatalities. Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center data show that traffic fatalities increased from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 in 2016.

Crashes, injuries and serious injuries were also up:

“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 in a news release. “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.”

The last year Michigan exceeded 1,000 traffic fatalities was 2007. Officials note, however, that alcohol-involved traffic deaths declined 11 percent to 271 in 2016. There was also a 7 percent decline in young driver-involved fatalities (age 16-20), from 158 in 2015 to 147 in 2016.

Other Michigan traffic fatality statistics from last year include:

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.

Michigan State Police say the state’s experience follows a national trend of a rapid rise in traffic deaths. An improved economy and lower gas prices have contributed to an increase in miles driven, authorities say.