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There were fewer traffic accidents in Michigan last year
There were fewer traffic accidents in Michigan last year

Michigan State Police 2

According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the number of traffic accidents in the state decreased last year.

Office Manager Katie Bower tells us that the 1,095 deaths recorded in 2023 were slightly lower than the 1,123 deaths recorded in 2022, a decrease of 2%. The total number of accidents in 2023 was also down 2% compared to the previous year.

Bower notes that alcohol-related deaths have decreased by 8%, but drug-related deaths have increased by 3%. This may be due to more people using marijuana.

Bower says the state’s new hands-free law appears to be working.

Good news on distracted driving,” Bower said. “We’ve seen about 305 fewer distracted driving incidents in the last year, which is good news. Hopefully, awareness of distracted driving and the risky behaviors associated with it has increased significantly.”

After police noted an increase in bad behavior from drivers during the pandemic, Bower says things are finally starting to calm down. She attributes some of the COVID-era statistics to less public interaction with police.

During the pandemic, law enforcement had no contact with the public due to social distancing restrictions. Now that we are out of the pandemic, mask mandates and social distancing, law enforcement is once again engaging with the public.”

A notable statistic from 2023 is that the number of pedestrian accidents increased by 11%. Pedestrian fatalities also increased by 6%. Bicycle accidents increased by 10%, although bicycle fatalities decreased by 33%.

Bower says the key to improving road safety is to remind the public of their responsibilities. She also urges parents to set a good example for their children behind the wheel.

The statistics released this week will help police departments across the state better plan their traffic enforcement programs.

You can see the crash data here.

By Isla