Traffic fatalities trended in the opposite direction one would hope here in Michigan last year.
According to recently released state numbers on traffic accidents in 2015, 963 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the state last year. In comparison, the state traffic fatality total for 2014 was 876. So, traffic fatalities were up about 10 percent last year. This occurred despite an overall drop in traffic accidents in the state that year.
The news was even worse for those who ride motorcycles or bicycles. Traffic deaths of motorcyclists and bicyclists rose at a significantly higher rate than traffic fatalities generally.
The motorcyclist fatality total for the state in 2015 was 138, up from 107 in 2014. Meanwhile, the state’s annual bicyclist fatality total rose from 21 to 33 between 2014 and 2015. So, last year, Michigan saw a 29 percent increase in motorcyclist deaths and a 57 percent increase in bicyclist deaths.
Increases in traffic fatalities are very troubling, particularly when they are happening at particularly high rates. One wonders what factors contributed to the general traffic fatality increase in the state and the particularly large increases in motorcyclist and bicyclist deaths last year, and if similar factors will be in play out on Michigan’s roads this year.
The smaller size and the lower level of physical protection of bicycles and motorcycles raise special traffic safety considerations, both for those who ride them and other individuals who use the roads (such as car and truck drivers). Also, motorcycle and bicycle accidents can raise unique issues in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
What sorts of things would you like to see Michigan motorists do this year to help cut down motorcyclist and bicyclist fatalities in the state?
Source: 9&10 News, “MOHSP: More Teens Dying in Car Crashes,” Lynsey Mokomel, May 9, 2016