Report reflects fewer fatalities among Michigan drivers

Vehicles drive down West Washington Street during lunch hour on Monday, Since the Jan. 1, 20 people have died on Michigan roadways and 71 were seriously injured statewide, according to a MDOT report. (Journal photo by Dreyma Beronja)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE–Michigan State Police reported fewer fatalities and serious injuries on Michigan roadways so far in 2023 compared with last year.

In a recent report from the Michigan Department of Transportation, 20 people died on Michigan roadways so far this year. Additionally, 71 people were seriously injured statewide. Compared with the same period in 2022, there are 17 fewer fatalities and 19 fewer serious injuries.

According to Daniel Weingarten, MDOT Superior Region communications representative, while miles traveled dropped nationally during 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic crash deaths increased that year.

“Preliminary numbers show fatal crashes increased again in Michigan in 2021, up by about 10 percent, mirroring the disturbing national trend,” Weingarten said in an email. “Fortunately, the trend appears to have reversed slightly — for the U.P. and Michigan — last year.”

In preliminary and unofficial data, Michigan saw 1,028 fatalities on roadways in 2022 up to Dec. 13, a decrease of 59 compared with the same timeframe in 2021. Additionally, 5,381 people were seriously injured, down 118 from the same period the previous year.

Through Sept. 18, unofficial statistics showed 16 people had died on roads in the U.P. in 2022, with 150 seriously injured. Those unofficial statistics showed 15 fewer fatalities and 31 fewer serious injuries than around the same time in 2021.

Across the United States, however, in 2019, traffic crashes cost the U.S. $340 billion.

“This report drives home just how devastating traffic crashes are for families and the economic burden they place on society,” said Ann Carlson, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting administrator, in a recent press release by the NHTSA. “We need to use the safe system approach embraced in (the federal Department of Transportation’s) National Roadway Safety Strategy to dramatically decrease the number and severity of crashes: safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds and better post-crash care.”

To read the full press release, go to nhtsa.gov/press-releases/traffic-crashes-cost-america-billions-2019.

Dreyma Beronja can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 248. Their email address is dberonj@miningjournal.net.


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