2013-03-21 / Lifestyles

MSP: Traffic crashes down in 2012, traffic deaths on the rise

LANSING – Michigan traffic crashes and injuries were down in 2012, but fatalities increased five percent over 2011 from 889 to 936, this according to the Michigan Department of State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

The number of traffic crashes fell four percent to 273,891 from 284,049 in 2011. Injuries were down two percent to 70,519 from 71,796 in 2011.

Increases were noted in motorcyclist fatalities, up 18 percent over 2011, and alcoholand drug-involved fatalities, up three percent to 281 and six percent to 135 respectively.

“Michigan’s increase in traffic fatalities mirrors what has taken place across the country,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director. “Despite an increase in traffic deaths last year, the longterm picture indicates this is the fifth year in a row Michigan had fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths. Ten years ago there were nearly 1,300 people who died as a result of traffic crashes in our state.”

Despite increases in traffic fatalities and alcohol and drug involvement, teen fatalities declined 14 percent, from 99 in 2011 to 85 in 2012.

The state has experienced significant decreases in traffic crashes over the past decade, from 395,515 in 2002 to 273,891 in 2012. Similarly, alcohol- and/ or drug-involved fatalities have dropped from 463 in 2002 to 342 in 2012.

In other areas:

• Cell phone-involved crashes decreased 9 percent, from 821 in 2011 to 748 in 2012. Cell phoneinvolved fatal crashes increased from six in 2011 to eight in 2012. (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)

• Commercial motor vehicleinvolved fatalities increased 10 percent, from 73 in 2011 to 80 in 2012.

• Motorcyclist fatalities increased 18 percent, from 109 in 2011 to 129 in 2012.

• Bicyclist fatalities were down 17 percent, from 24 in 2011 to 20 in 2012.

• Pedestrian fatalities decreased five percent, from 140 in 2011 to 133 in 2012.

• The number of crashes involving deer declined nine percent, from 53,592 in 2011 to 48,918 in 2012.

Additional 2012 crash information will be posted to www.michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months.

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