The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning announced today that traffic fatalities rose 10% in 2016, from 963 in 2015 to 1,064 last year.
This was the second year in a row traffic deaths rose by 10%. Officials say the last time fatalities were over 1,000 was in 2007.
In addition to the rise in traffic fatalities, crashes were up 5%, injuries up 8%, and serious injuries were up 16%. Bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities were both up from 2015, as well as drug-involved fatalities.
In a statement, Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said that the office has noticed emerging trends in traffic incidents, and that officials plan to adjust resources accordingly.
“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."
Prince said core programs, such as seatbelt use, remain important to the office's safety goals.
There were positive changes in the fatality records. Alcohol-involved traffic deaths fell 11%, and young driver-involved fatalities were down 7%.