The Michigan State Police and Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (MOHSP) delivered grim news this week, as Michigan traffic fatalities rose 10% in 2015. In 2014, Michigan saw 876 traffic-related deaths which jumped to 963 this past year. Included in those numbers is an increase of 20% in alcohol-involved, bicyclist, teen, and motorist traffic deaths.
Michael Prince, MOHSP director believes that there are many different factors that could be the cause for the increase. “...the next step is to work with our partners at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to identify factors that may have played a role in these increases. There are a lot of socio/economic and environmental variables that can affect these numbers, including the economy, gas prices, changes in travel habits, weather, as well as driver behavior,” Prince said.
The largest increase among the different groups was bicyclist fatalities, which saw a 57% increase in 2015. One positive note is a 19% decrease in commercial motor vehicle fatalities.
Other statistics related to 2015 Michigan Traffic include:
- Pedestrian fatalities increased 15 percent, from 148 in 2014 to 170 in 2015.
- Cell phone-involved crashes increased 13 percent, from 666 in 2014 to 753 in 2015.
- Deer-involved crashes increased 3 percent, up from 45,690 in 2014 to 47,001 in 2015.
The improving economy specifically, can be one of the main causes of the uptick in fatalities. More people are able to afford their own cars, which allows them to drive more frequently, which increases the number of drivers on the already crowded roads, which naturally increases the number of opportunities for accidents. As the economy continues to rebound, it would not be surprising to see another increase in 2016's report.
As new cars come out with more features for drivers to experience, the odds of car accidents become greater. Drivers should always remember to keep both hands and eyes on the wheel at all times, as it only takes a couple seconds to drive off course and cause an accident. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an motor vehicle accident, or you have lost a loved one due to an accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handing all types of collisions, including auto, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents. Call us today, 844.4MI.FIRM.