Traffic Crash Deaths Are Up in 2010

Information from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning



Traffic deaths up, serious injuries down

For the first time in seven years, Michigan experienced an up tick in traffic deaths in 2010. During the same time the number of traffic crashes, serious injury crashes and alcohol-involved crashes all declined. While traffic deaths were up, the overall trend continues to be one of decline. Last year, 937 people were killed in traffic crashes, an 8 percent increase from 871 in 2009. However, fatalities for 2010 are still below that of 2008 when there were 980 traffic deaths. “Additional study will be necessary to determine what factors may have played a part in the increases or decreases that we are experiencing,” said Office of Highway Safety Planning Director Michael L. Prince. “As an example, last summer was one of the warmest on record which might have played a significant role in increasing our exposure in some areas such as motorcycle fatalities where fatalities increased.”

Michigan Traffic Crash Fatalities

Overall, the number of traffic crashes dropped 3 percent, serious injury crashes declined 8 percent and alcohol-involved fatal crashes were down 5 percent. While alcohol-involved fatalities were down, drug-involved fatalities went up 29 percent, from 119 in 2009 to 153 in 2010. Part of this increase is due to increased testing to detect drug-impaired driving.

The crash data also shows:

  • Motorcycle-involved fatalities increased from 105 in 2009 to 127 in 2010, the same number of deaths reported in 2008.
  • Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities increased 25 percent, from 76 in 2009 to 95 in 2010. 
  • Pedestrian involved fatalities increased 6 percent, up from 125 in 2009 to 133 in 2010.
  • Bicycle involved fatalities were up 55 percent, from 20 in 2009 to 31 in 2010.
  • Cell phone-involved crashes decreased from 294 in 2009 to 265 in 2010. (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.
  • The number of car-deer crashes declined 9 percent, from 61,486 in 2009 to 55,867 in 2010.

NOTE: Additional 2010 crash information will be posted to in the coming months. Check frequently for updates.


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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.