On the heels of a downward trend in recent years, Michigan traffic accident deaths jumped 10 percent in 2015 — with a whopping 57 percent spike in fatalities involving bicyclists.
In 2015, there were 963 traffic-accident deaths on the state’s roadways, up from 876 in 2014, according to new information released by the Michigan State Police (MSP)’s Office of Highway Safety Planning. This is the highest number of auto-accident fatalities since 2008.
Overall, traffic-related deaths involving alcohol, bicyclists, teens and motorcyclists all jumped by more than 20 percent.
Here are more numbers from the MSP:
- Motorcyclist fatalities were up 29 percent, from 107 in 2014 to 138 in 2015.
- Bicyclists fatalities increased 57 percent, from 21 in 2014 to 33 in 2015.
- Cell phone-involved crashes increased 13 percent, from 666 in 2014 to 753 in 2015.
- Alcohol-involved fatalities were up 28 percent, from 236 in 2014 to 303 in 2015.
- Drug-involved fatal crashes spiked 19 percent, up from 150 in 2014 to 179 in 2015.
- Teen traffic deaths (ages 13-19) were up 23 percent, from 80 in 2014 to 98 in 2015.
- Pedestrian fatalities increased 15 percent, from 148 in 2014 to 170 in 2015.
- Deer-involved crashes increased 3 percent, up from 45,690 in 2014 to 47,001 in 2015.
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Melody Kindraka, of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said various factors likely contributed to the increase, such as economy, weather, gas prices and changes in drivers’ behavior, including more drivers being distracted by their cell phones.
Fatalities are up “across the board,” except for the category of commercial motor vehicles involved fatalities, which dropped 19 percent, Kindraka noted.
More detailed information about the 2015 statistics will be posted at Michigan Traffic Crash Facts in the coming months.