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Traffic Accidents On The Rise Throughout Michigan: What The Numbers Say

Traffic Accidents on the Rise Throughout Michigan: What the Numbers Say

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of fatal traffic accidents. After recording the lowest total in over half a century in 2011, the country has seen a dramatic upward trend in motor vehicle deaths, culminating in 2021 with the highest total since 1989, according to data collected by the National Safety Council (NSC). Nor is this tragic trend confined to the nation at large, as the Michigan State Police (MSP) report on 2020/2021 traffic crash data comparison makes clear. Let’s explore this concerning trend in detail, discover what could be behind the increase, and how you can reduce your chances of being involved in an accident yourself.

A Closer Look at the Statistics

Crashes, fatalities, and injuries are up across the board year-over-year. According to the MSP report:

  • There were 282,640 total crashes in 2021, a 15 percent increase over the 245,432 crashes in 2020.
  • Of these crashes, 1,068 proved fatal, resulting in 1,131 deaths. These numbers are both 6 percent and 4 percent increases over the respective numbers in 2020.
  • Some 71,246 people suffered injuries in motor vehicle crashes in Michigan in 2021, a 17 percent increase over the 60,986 injuries reported the previous year.

What’s behind this concerning increase in preventable deaths is less clear, although experts have theories. According to an article on the topic published by NBC News, a number of risky driving behaviors that began during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to blame, including the following:

  • Speeding
  • Impaired driving
  • Failure to wear seat belts

Tips for Staying Safe on the Road in Michigan

Now more than ever, it’s important to practice defensive driving techniques when you’re behind the wheel. Taking the following steps can reduce your chances of being injured in one of Michigan’s increasing number of traffic accidents:

  • Follow the Speed Limit – Excessive speed was a factor in almost a third of fatal accidents in 2021, according to the NSC. Maintain an appropriate speed, taking into account the weather conditions and traffic.
  • Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions – Distracted driving was to blame for over 16,500 total accidents and 59 deaths in 2021, per the MSP. Avoid using your cell phone, eating, or any other activities that can distract you while driving. Focus on the road and your surroundings.
  • Use Your Seat Belt – Always wear your seat belt, and make sure all passengers do the same. In the event of a collision, seat belts significantly reduce the risk of serious injury.
  • Keep a Safe Distance – Maintain a safe following distance to give yourself time to react if the vehicle in front of you suddenly brakes or stops.
  • Don’t Drive Under the Influence – Alcohol consumption contributed to 357 Michigan traffic deaths in 2021, while drug intoxication led to another 275. Always have a designated driver, use a taxi, or stay over if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.
  • Be Extra Cautious in Bad Weather – Michigan’s weather can be unpredictable. Whether it’s heavy rain, snow, or fog, slow down and be vigilant on the road.
  • Respect Traffic Rules – The rules of the road exist to keep everyone safe. Don’t run red lights, always stop at stop signs, and yield to vehicles and pedestrians when required.
  • Be Aware of Other Drivers – Defensive driving is key. Assume other drivers may do something unpredictable, and be prepared to avoid it.

Hurt in a Car Accident? Contact Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC Today

Unfortunately, even the most careful drivers can be the victims of traffic accidents, especially when they have to share the road with increasingly reckless fellow motorists. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a collision someone else caused, you could be entitled to compensation for what you suffered as a result – and the Michigan car accident lawyers of Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC can help you demand it. Contact us today, online or by calling (586) 496-7525, and get started with a free consultation.

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