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Michigan’s overall crash numbers fell in 2023, but pedestrian- and bicycle-related crashes rose

The number of overall traffic crashes and fatalities on Michigan roadways fell slightly in 2023, according to recently released data from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.

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However, crashes involving vulnerable roadways users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, increased by at least 10%. The 1,095 fatalities recorded in 2023 were slightly lower than the 1,123 deaths in 2022, a 2% decrease.

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The number of total crashes in 2023 (287,953) decreased by 2% compared to the previous year (293,341).

• Pedestrian-involved crashes rose by 11%, with 2,114 crashes in 2023 and 1,897 in 2022.

• Pedestrian fatalities increased by 6%, with 183 deaths in 2023 and 173 in 2022.

• Bicycle-involved crashes increased by 10%, with 1,480 crashes in 2023 and 1,340 in 2022.

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• Bicyclist fatalities fell by 33%, with 24 deaths in 2023 and 36 in 2022.

“It is encouraging to see a drop in the overall crash numbers yet concerning to note the surge in incidents involving our most vulnerable road users: pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “This underscores the urgent need for heightened awareness to ensure the safety of all roadway users.”

Alcohol-involved fatalities decreased by 8%, falling from 322 deaths in 2022 to 297 in 2023, while drug-involved fatalities increased 3%, from 249 deaths in 2022 to 256 in 2023.

Bower also pointed to the impact of Michigan’s Hands-Free Law, which took effect on June 30, 2023, to address the growing issue of distracted driving.

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“We are happy to see the positive impact the Hands-Free Law has had—there were 305 fewer distracted-driver-involved crashes in 2023 (15,136) compared to 2022,” Bower said. “But there is still much work to do as we intensify efforts to educate all age groups about the dangers of distracted driving.”

Bower said to reduce crashes on roadways we need to change the culture of traffic safety.

“Positive change starts with everyone being more engaged and involved to help save lives by reducing the risk of crashes in their communities. We encourage everyone to join the efforts for safer roads! You can help shift the gears of culture toward safer travel, where every journey, whether on foot, on a bike or behind the wheel, is one toward safety and respect for all roadway users.”

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