Michigan traffic deaths totaled less than 900 last year for the first time since 2011 despite an increase in the total number of crashes in 2014, officials announced.
There were 876 traffic deaths in 2014, down 8 percent from 951 in 2013, the state’s Office of Highway Safety Planning said. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute will review the figures to determine the reason for the decline, said Michael L. Prince, director of the office.
“The next step is further review and analysis … to better understand these changes,” Prince said in a statement.
According to the figures from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, alcohol-involved crash fatalities dropped 17 percent, from 284 in 2013 to 236 in 2014. Drug-involved traffic deaths were down 9 percent, from 165 in 2013 to 150.
Overall traffic crashes increased 3 percent, from 289,061 in 2013 to 298,699. Declines were noted in motorcyclist and bicyclist fatalities. Motorcyclist fatalities were down 16 percent, from 128 in 2013 to 107. Bicyclist fatalities fell from 27 in 2013 to 21.
Deaths involving commercial motor vehicles increased for the third year in a row, up 12 percent, from 94 in 2013 to 105 in 2014.
Traffic injuries were nearly unchanged, at 71,031 in 2013 versus 71,378 in 2014. Crashes involving cellphones decreased 3 percent, from 689 in 2013 to 666 in 2014, while cellphone-involved fatal crashes decreased from 4 in 2013 to 2 in 2014, according to the figures.
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