SEMCOG Report Shows Increase in Auto Crashes, Injuries & Fatalities

SEMCOG Report Shows Increase in Auto Crashes, Injuries & Fatalities

(SEMCOG, July 1, 2017)

SE Michigan – In 2016, traffic crashes increased for the fourth consecutive year in Southeast Michigan, with a total of 145,510. Serious injuries and fatalities related to crashes also increased compared to 2015. These statistics are part of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments’ analysis of 2016 crash data.

“As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, these statistics are a reminder that everyone who walks, bikes, and drives needs to take care,” said Kevin Vettraino, manager of Plan Implementation at SEMCOG.

SEMCOG analysis of 2016 Southeast Michigan crash statistics show that:

  • Traffic crashes involving older drivers have increased for the seventh consecutive year, while fatalities involving drivers age 65 and over increased by 50 percent, the highest rate of increase for any crash emphasis area in the Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan.
  • Younger-driver related crashes continued to increase, accounting for 34 percent of all traffic crashes in 2016.
  • While crashes involving pedestrians are down from 2015, 24 percent of Southeast Michigan’s traffic fatalities were pedestrians compared to only 15 percent nationally.
  • Crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries involving bicycles are all higher than in 2015.
  • The most deadly crash factor among emphasis areas in the traffic safety plan is lane departure (vehicles running off the road or shifting lanes), which was associated with 40 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016.
  • Drug- and alcohol-involved fatalities also increased in 2016.

“Increasing awareness of traffic laws and safe practices is key to reducing crashes, injuries, and deaths,” said Vettraino. “Along with local governments throughout our region, SEMCOG has been encouraging all of Southeast Michigan to walk, bike, and drive safely.”

Information on the “Walk. Bike. Drive. Safe” campaign, including graphic resources, safety tips as well as explanations of state laws, infrastructure, and signage, is available on SEMCOG’s website.

Tips include:

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
  • Share the road with all users and stay alert.
  • Don’t tailgate – keep safe distances while driving and passing.
  • Don’t drive after consuming drugs or alcohol.
  • Avoid distractions, including talking or texting on your phone, while driving, biking, or walking.
  • Be safe. Be seen! Use lights and wear bright clothing when walking or biking.

SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of live for the seven-county region’s 4.7 million people.
To learn more about what SEMCOG does, click here.

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