Traffic deaths up in MI last year despite fewer crashes

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan state officials have released new data on traffic crashes last year. It shows more people died on the roads even though there were fewer crashes compared to 2019.

Officials with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning say they need to analyze the data more to get a firm grasp on why more people were killed, but they say it could mean crashes are more severe.

The data shows crashes were down 22% last year compared to 2019 and injuries were also down 22%, but nearly 1,100 people died in crashes last year. This is a 10% jump from the year before and the highest since 2007.

Officials say the reason crashes could be more severe could be anything from fewer people wearing a seatbelt to more people speeding or driving while impaired.

Leaders say they’re looking at more enforcement campaigns for the summer targeting seat belt use and impaired driving to try and reduce those trends.

They expect to release more data in the coming months.

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