Traffic crashes down but traffic deaths up in Michigan

Michigan State Police: Fewer crashes, more deaths on Michigan streets, highways last year


DETROIT – Michigan State Police say there were fewer crashes and more deaths on Michigan streets and highways in the latest year.

The agency said Monday that the number of crashes fell 4 percent in 2012 from the year before. It says there were 273,891 crashes last year, compared with 284,049 in 2011.

State police say traffic deaths rose 5 percent last year, from 889 in 2011 to 936. And the number of injuries fell 2 percent, from 71,796 to 70,519.

"Michigan's increase in traffic fatalities mirrors what has taken place across the country," said Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue.  "Despite an increase in traffic deaths last year, the long-term 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."

More statistics:

  • Cellphones were involved in 9 percent fewer crashes last year with 748 compared to 821.
  • Increases were seen in motorcyclist fatalities, up 18 percent over 2011.
  • Alcohol and drug involved fatalities were also up 3 percent to 281 and 6 percent to 135 respectively.
  • State police say there's been a 31 percent drop in the number of crashes over a decade. There were 395,515 crashes in the state in 2002.