Michigan traffic deaths, which had been trending downward, jumped 10 percent last year, up from 876 in 2014 to 963 in 2015. Alcohol-involved, bicyclist, teen, and motorcyclist traffic deaths were all up more than 20 percent, according to just-released information from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. 

ThinkStock; John Panella
 Michigan Traffic Crashes 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Total Crashes 297,023 298,699 289,061 273,891 284,049
Total Injuries 74,157 71,378 71,031 70,519 71,796
Total Fatalities 963 876 951 936 889

The largest increase was among bicyclist fatalities, up 57 percent from 21 in 2014 to 33 in 2015.

Other significant increases were noted among motorcyclists and alcohol-involved traffic deaths.  Motorcyclist fatalities were up 29 percent, from 107 in 2014 to138 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.  And teen traffic deaths (ages 13-19) were up 23 percent, from 80 in 2014 to 98 in 2015.

Despite increase in nearly all areas, commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities dropped 19 percent, down from 105 in 2014 to 85 in 2015.

In other areas:

  • 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.

“Now that the crash data for 2015 is finalized, 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,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning director.  “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.”

(Source: Michigan State Police)