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Report – 2012 traffic fatalities

State Police say while Michigan traffic crashes and injuries were down in 2012, fatalities increased 5 percent over 2011 from 889 to 936. According to the department’s Criminal Justice Information Center, the number of traffic crashes fell 4 percent to 273,891 from 284,049 in 2011. Injuries were down 2 percent to 70,519 from 71,796 in 2011. Motorcyclist fatalities were up 18 percent over 2011, alcohol-related fatalities were up 3 percent to 281 and drug-involved fatalities increased 6 percent to 135. However, teen fatalities declined 14 percent, from 99 in 2011 to 85 in 2012. State Police Director Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue says despite an increase in traffic deaths last year, this is the fifth year in a row Michigan had fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths. Ten years ago there were nearly 1,300 people who died as a result of traffic crashes in the state. Among other findings in the report, cell phone-involved crashes decreased 9 percent, from 821 in 2011 to 748 in 2012. But cell phone-related fatal crashes increased from six in 2011 to eight in 2012. Bicyclist fatalities were down 17 percent, from 24 in 2011 to 20 in 2012. Pedestrian fatalities decreased 5 percent, from 140 in 2011 to 133 in 2012. The state has experienced significant decreases in traffic crashes over the past decade, from 395,515 in 2002 to 273,891 in 2012. similarly, alcohol- and/or drug-involved fatalities have dropped from 463 in 2002 to 342 in 2012.  (MRN)