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Michigan Traffic Fatalities 2023: Statistics, Laws & Prevention

June 29, 2023 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan Traffic Fatalities

Michigan traffic fatalities have increased 15% over the past 5 years, even though total car accidents dropped 6% over the same period. Significantly, the number of fatal car crashes in Michigan went from 905 in 2018 to 1,053 in 2022 – an 16.3% increase.

These trends are also reflected in the increases in fatalities among pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists and deaths attributable to drunk- and drugged-driving crashes.

Seeing fatalities and fatal car crashes increasing in frequency while overall motor vehicle crashes in Michigan are decreasing is a disturbing trend in Michigan.

It does not need to be this way. If every driver took common-sense safety precautions while they are behind the wheel, most of these traffic fatalities and fatal crashes could be drastically reduced and lives would be saved.

Are Michigan car accidents overall increasing or decreasing?

The total number of Michigan car accidents increased over the last three years from 245,432 in 2020 to 293,341 in 2022. But in 2022 the total number of Michigan motor vehicle crashes had dropped 6% from 312,798 in 2018.

Are Michigan traffic fatalities on the rise?

Unfortunately, overall Michigan traffic fatalities are up 15% from 974 car accident-related deaths in 2018 to 1,123 in 2022. This same troubling trend is seen with pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities and lives lost due to drunk driving and drugged driving.

Here is more detail about Michigan traffic fatalities: 

  • Pedestrian fatalities: 19.3% increase from 145 in 2018 to 173 in 2022.
  • Bicyclist fatalities: 71.4% increase from 21 in 2018 to 36 in 2022.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities: 29.1% increase from 134 in 2018 to 173 in 2022.
  • Alcohol-involved fatalities: 2% increase from 315 in 2018 to 322 to 2022.
  • Drug-involved fatalities: Less than 1% increase from 247 in 2018 to 249 in 2022.

Are Michigan traffic fatalities increasing or decreasing?

The total number of fatal car crashes in Michigan jumped 16.3% over the past 5 years, from 905 in 2018 to 1,053 in 2022. This trend is also reflected in the nearly 5% (4.8%) increase in alcohol-involved fatal auto accidents and the 4% increase in drug-involved fatal crashes.

Legal liability for Michigan traffic fatalities

A person who is at-fault for causing a Michigan car accident that results in death to another person can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit for compensation and damages. A wrongful death lawsuit will include pain and suffering compensation, compensation for the family and defendants, and excess economic loss. Additionally, the at-fault driver may face a criminal conviction, fine and/or possible jail time.

Michigan law states that a driver who commits a moving violation which is “the proximate cause of the death of another person” is “guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both . . .” (MCL 257.601d(1))

Preventing Michigan traffic fatalities

To prevent traffic fatalities and save lives, drivers need to refrain from: (1) texting and driving; (2) dialing a handheld phone while driving; (3) talking on the phone while driving; (4) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and (5) speeding.

Here are the crash risks for these dangerous driving behaviors:

  • Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to crash. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
  • Drivers are 12 times more likely to crash if they are dialing a handheld cell phone while driving. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
  • “Driving while talking on cell phones – handheld and hands-free – increases risk of injury and property damage crashes fourfold.” (National Safety Council)
  • Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 to 0.079 are 7 times more likely to be in a fatal crash and 6 to 17 times more likely to be killed than sober drivers. (MADD, Studies on the Effectiveness of .05 BAC)
  • “Excessive speed” was a factor in 21% of all car accident fatalities in Michigan in 2021. (Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 2021, Fact Sheets, “Speeding”)

Have you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident in Michigan? Call the auto accident attorneys at Michigan Auto Law

Unfortunately Michigan traffic fatalities happen. If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident and you would like to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, you can call us toll free anytime 24/7 at (855) 781-7747 for a free consultation We will answer your questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, wrongful death damages, economic damages, auto No-Fault survivor’s loss benefits, and settlements in cases like yours. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced auto accident attorney by visiting our contact page or by using the chat feature on our website.

(Sources: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, “At-a-Glance,” 2018 to 2022)

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