Michigan Records Highest Traffic Death Toll In Years

More than 1,100 people died in traffic crashes around Michigan in 2021, recording the highest death toll in 16 years.

Michigan State Police released data on Friday showing that traffic crashes statewide claimed 1,131 lives last year, which is an increase of 48 from the 1,083 traffic crash deaths recorded in 2020.

That is the most traffic deaths in Michigan since 1,159 were reported in 2004.

Michigan State Police say 31% of deadly crashes — of 326 — involved an intoxicated driver. That represents a 10% increase compared to 2020.

Several other categories of traffic deaths also increased in 2021:

  • 166 motorcyclists died in crashes last year, which is a 9% increase from 152 in 2020.
  • 183 pedestrians died on Michigan roads last year, which is a 5% increase from 175 in 2020.
  • 103 people died in crashes with commercial vehicles last year, which is a 32% increase from 78 in 2020.
  • 10 people died in crashes with deer last year, which is double the number reported in 2020.
  • 20 people died in crashes that happened in road construction zones last year, which is a 43% increase from 14 in 2020.
  • 59 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver last year, which is a 13% increase from 52 in 2020.

Bicycle fatalities was the only category of deadly crashes to decline in 2021. Twenty-nine bicyclists died in crashes last year, which is a 34% drop from 38 in 2020.

Michigan State Police and the Office of Highway Safety Planning hope to boost patrols to target dangerous driving habits, which lead to deadly crashes.