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Overall crash numbers fell in 2023 but pedestrian and bike crashes rose

Data shows crashes involving vulnerable roadway users up at least 10%

The number of overall traffic crashes and fatalities on Michigan roadways fell slightly in 2023, according to recently released data from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. However, crashes involving vulnerable roadways users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, increased by at least 10%.

The 1,095 fatalities recorded in 2023 were slightly lower than the 1,123 deaths in 2022, a 2% decrease. The number of total crashes in 2023 (287,953) decreased by 2% compared to the previous year (293,341).

• Pedestrian-involved crashes rose by 11%, with 2,114 crashes in 2023 and 1,897 in 2022.
• Pedestrian fatalities increased by 6%, with 183 deaths in 2023 and 173 in 2022.
• Bicycle-involved crashes increased by 10%, with 1,480 crashes in 2023 and 1,340 in 2022.
• Bicyclist fatalities fell by 33%, with 24 deaths in 2023 and 36 in 2022. 

“It is encouraging to see a drop in the overall crash numbers yet concerning to note the surge in incidents involving our most vulnerable road users: pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “This underscores the urgent need for heightened awareness to ensure the safety of all roadway users.”

Alcohol-involved fatalities decreased by 8%, falling from 322 deaths in 2022 to 297 in 2023, while drug-involved fatalities increased 3%, from 249 deaths in 2022 to 256 in 2023.

Bower also pointed to the impact of Michigan’s Hands-Free Law, which took effect on June 30, 2023, to address the growing issue of distracted driving. 

“We are happy to see the positive impact the Hands-Free Law has had—there were 305 fewer distracted-driver-involved crashes in 2023 (15,136) compared to 2022,” Bower said. “But there is still much work to do as we intensify efforts to educate all age groups about the dangers of distracted driving.”

To review the crash data report prepared by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center and other related documents, please visit the 2023 crash data page.

Bower said to reduce crashes on roadways we need to change the culture of traffic safety.

“Positive change starts with everyone being more engaged and involved to help save lives by reducing the risk of crashes in their communities. We encourage everyone to join the efforts for safer roads! You can help shift the gears of culture toward safer travel, where every journey, whether on foot, on a bike or behind the wheel, is one toward safety and respect for all roadway users.”

Michigan residents can play a crucial role in improving traffic safety by taking proactive steps. There are various ways residents can get involved in addressing traffic safety issues, including:
Teen Driving Programs: Encourage participation in teen-driving programs offered at Michigan schools, which often include driver’s education courses, simulated driving experiences, and awareness campaigns on the dangers of distracted or impaired driving. Examples would be the “Strive for a Safer Drive” teen safe-driving initiative in high schools (, as well as Ford Driving Skills for Life clinics ( 

4-H Projects: Get involved in 4-H projects focused on traffic safety, which may include educational workshops; community projects, such as roadside cleanups; or initiatives to promote safe-driving behaviors among peers.

Become a Car Seat Technician: Receive training to become a certified car seat technician, to assist parents in properly installing and using car seats to ensure the safety of infants and young children riding in vehicles.

Employer Programs: Advocate for or participate in employer programs that promote safe-driving practices among employees, such as offering defensive driving courses, establishing policies against distracted driving, or providing incentives for carpooling or using public transportation.

Parents, Get Involved: Take an active role as parents in promoting safe-driving habits among teenagers, including setting rules and expectations for responsible driving behavior, supervising practice driving sessions and leading by example through their own driving habits. The Teen Driver Parental Toolkit is a helpful resource.

“Valuable programs and initiatives such as these help contribute to improving traffic safety within our communities and beyond, whether through education, advocacy or practical assistance or setting positive examples for others to follow,” Bower said. “Get involved, Michigan!”