Fatal crashes decline from 2017 to 2018

Becky Vargo • Apr 27, 2019 at 8:00 AM

LANSING – Michigan traffic deaths dropped below 1,000 in 2018 for the first time since 2015, according to data recently released by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. 

The 974 fatalities in 2018 marked a 5 percent drop from the 1,028 fatalities in 2017. 

In Ottawa County, 23 people died in 21 fatal crashes in 2018, according to Ottawa County Sheriff Sgt. Michael VandenBosch.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, two people have died in crashes so far in 2019 in Ottawa County, VandenBosch said. One fatality occurred on Feb. 1, on I-196 near 32nd Avenue in Hudsonville, and one occurred on Feb. 14, on Beeline Road near James Street in Holland Township.

Injuries, crashes and serious injuries also declined from 2017 to 2018, according to the State Police report. There were 78,394 people injured in 2017, compared to 75,838 in 2018. Officials reported there were 312,798 crashes in 2018, compared to 314,921 in 2017. Suspected serious injuries were also down 8 percent.

The percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities also decreased by 12 percent from 359 deaths in 2017 to 315 in 2018.

“While the news is slightly better than in recent years, there is still a long way to go,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).  “Our goal is to build on this foundation and continue reducing fatalities and injuries. The OHSP and its partners will pursue effective countermeasures, such as education and enforcement, in our ongoing effort to prevent tragedies.” 

In other areas:

• Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities increased from 95 in 2017 to 112 in 2018.

• Bicycle fatalities remained at 21 in 2018, the same as in 2017.

• Teen fatalities decreased from 64 in 2017 to 63 in 2018.

• Motorcycle fatalities decreased from 137 in 2017 to 134 in 2018.

• Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 158 in 2017 to 145 in 2018.

• Deer-involved fatalities decreased from 17 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.

Note:  More detailed 2018 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months.  Statewide crash information can be found at Michigan.gov/crash

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