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Michigan traffic fatalities remain alarmingly high

Data shows some good news as teen and alcohol-involved deaths decreased during 2022

Michigan traffic crash deaths remained above 1,100 according to recently released data from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. The 1,123 fatalities recorded in 2022 was slightly lower than the 1,131 deaths in 2021. 

While the number of crashes in 2022 was 4 percent higher than the previous year, traffic fatalities decreased 1 percent in 2022 and serious injuries were down 3 percent. However, the latest crash data reveals a disturbing five-year trend that has seen traffic fatalities on Michigan roadways rise 15 percent, from 974 deaths in 2018 to 1,123 in 2022.

There is some good news in the 2022 statistics. Teen traffic fatalities dropped 34 percent, from 83 deaths in 2021 to 55 deaths in 2022. The percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities also fell by 10 percent, from 357 deaths in 2021 to 322 in 2022. 

“Unfortunately, there has been an alarmingly consistent number of traffic fatalities over the last few years in Michigan, with more than 1,000 people losing their lives each year since 2020,” said Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “While the several areas of improvement are encouraging, including among younger drivers, we still have more to do as we work to find innovative ways to save lives and prevent crashes on our roads.

Bicycle fatalities increased to 36 in 2022, up 24 percent, from 29 in 2021. There was also a 28 percent increase in work zone crashes, from 5,814 in 2021 to 7,436 in 2022. Fatalities in work zones increased from 20 in 2021 to 23 in 2022, up 15 percent. Other important data shows:

  •    Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 183 in 2021 to 173 in 2022, down 5 percent.
  •    Drug-involved fatalities decreased from 275 in 2021 to 249 in 2022, down 9 percent.
  •    Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 166 in 2021 to 173 in 2022, up 4 percent.
  •    Distracted-driving fatalities decreased slightly from 59 in 2021 to 57 in 2022, down 3 percent. Michigan’s new hands-free law to combat distracted driving takes effect on June 30.    

For more information, please visit the 2022 crash data page