The latest crash statistics show Michigan traffic deaths reached a 16-year high in 2021, when 1,131 people died in accidents across the state. This was a 4% increase over 2020, when 1,083 were killed on Michigan roadways despite reduced traffic due to the pandemic. In addition, the number of people injured in car and truck accidents rose 17% last year, from 60,986 in 2020 to 71,246 in 2021.
This year, the deadly trend may be experiencing a slight slowdown, with 628 people killed and approximately 3,000 seriously injured in Michigan traffic accidents during the first seven months of 2022.
Here are the facts behind these alarming statistics along with some tips for staying safe behind the wheel.
DISTURBING DATA FROM 2021 MICHIGAN CRASH REPORTS
Here are the highlights of the most recent crash statistics released by Michigan State Police:
- Michigan traffic deaths have not approached the number reported in 2021 (1,131) since 2005, when 1,129 people died in automobile accidents.
- For each person killed in a crash, another 63 people were injured.
- The total number of Michigan traffic accidents increased 15 percent, from 245,432 in 2020 to 282,640 in 2021.
- Construction zone fatalities rose 43 percent, from 14 in 2020 to 20 in 2021.
- Suspected serious injuries increased 10 percent, from 5,433 in 2020 to 5,979 in 2021.
- Suspected minor injuries increased 20 percent, from 17, 179 in 2020 to 20,593 in 2021.
- Motorcyclist fatalities increased 9 percent, from 152 in 2020 to 166 in 2021.
- Pedestrian fatalities increased 5 percent, from 175 in 2020 to 183 in 2021.
- For each pedestrian killed in traffic accidents, another eight pedestrians were injured.
- Commercial motor vehicle (trucks and buses) fatalities increased 32 percent, from 78 in 2020 to 103 in 2021.
- Deer-related fatalities doubled, from five in 2020 to 10 in 2021.
- Distracted driving fatalities increased 13 percent, from 52 in 2020 to 59 in 2021.
- Alcohol-involved fatalities increased from 326 in 2020 to 357 in 2021, up 10 percent.
- Of all fatal crashes, 31.3 percent occurred at intersections.
- Excessive speed was indicated as the hazardous action for 12.7 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes.
- Bicyclists were the only group that experienced fewer fatalities, with a 24 percent decrease from 29 deaths in 2021 compared to 38 in 2020.
Recommended reading: The Most Common Car Accident Injuries And What To Do After A Crash
HOW DO MICHIGAN TRAFFIC DEATHS COMPARE TO OTHER STATES?
The national motor vehicle crash statistics were more dire than the data reported in Michigan. For example, accident fatalities nationwide rose 10.5 percent last year compared to a 4 percent increase in Michigan traffic deaths. In 2021, 42,915 people died in accidents across the U.S. The highest number of nationwide crash fatalities occurred in 1972, when 54,589 people died in traffic accidents.
Recommended reading: Is It Worthwhile To Hire A Detroit Car Accident Attorney?
WHAT CAN DRIVERS DO TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MICHIGAN TRAFFIC DEATHS?
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, driver behavior plays a role in nearly 90 percent of all fatal accidents, which have steadily increased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Traffic safety analysts attribute this rise in fatalities to a concurrent escalation of reckless behaviors such as excessive speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and failing to wear seat belts.
Consequently, two of the most effective ways to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries are to implement education and enforcement programs aimed at:
- Increasing seat belt use
- Decreasing drunk and drugged driving
Despite countless studies showing that seat belts save lives, many drivers and passengers still do not use them. Of those killed while driving or riding in motor vehicles last year, 44 percent were not wearing seat belts.
While the majority of those fatalities were drivers and passengers sitting in the front seat, 17 rear-seat passengers not wearing seat belts were also killed. Therefore, it is important to wear a seat belt whenever you are in a moving vehicle, regardless of where you are sitting.
Recommended reading: Michigan Booster Seat Laws: How To Keep Your Kids Safe
Drunk and drugged driving
In 31.5 percent of all fatal crashes during 2021, at least one driver, driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian had been drinking.
20.2 percent of these accidents involved alcohol only, 13 percent involved drugs but no drinking, and 11.2 percent involved both drinking and drugs.
Of the 336 alcohol-involved fatal crashes, 214 (63.7 percent) involved one vehicle. This is a 17.6 percent increase from last year’s figure of 182 single vehicle, alcohol-involved fatal crashes.
Recommended reading: The Consequences of Drunk Driving
PUT OUR EXPERIENCED MICHIGAN CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS TO WORK FOR YOU TODAY
If you or a loved one is injured in a Michigan traffic accident, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team knows what it takes to win your case, and we have the expertise and resources to win the compensation you deserve.
Car accident law is complicated, but finding the right Michigan car accident lawyer is simple.
Get your case started today by clicking on the link below or calling 1-800-CALL-SAM for a free, no-obligation remote consultation from the safety of your home.