MENOMINEE — Although Michigan traffic deaths remained above 1,000, for the second consecutive year there was a 3 percent decrease in fatalities during 2017, according to just-released data from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. The 1,028 fatalities in 2017 marked a small decline from 1,064 fatalities in 2016.

Injuries decreased by 2 percent, but crashes were up by 1 percent and serious injuries were up by 8 percent. 

The percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities increased 32 percent from 271 in 2016 to 359 in 2017. This rise reflects, in part, better reporting methods and data collection.

“Attention must be paid when we see nearly half of all traffic crash fatalities involving alcohol or drugs,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “This noteworthy change is causing great concern, and effective safety strategies to address this issue require a comprehensive approach in coordination with our local, county, state and federal partners. The OHSP will continue to allocate resources in the form of federal funding to improve our capabilities in the detection, apprehension, prosecution and treatment of impaired drivers.”

“Clearly, our most basic safety countermeasures, focused on increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving, remain just as important now as they have ever been,” he added.

In other areas:

¦ Bicyclist fatalities decreased from 38 in 2016 to 21 in 2017, down 45 percent.

¦ Teen fatalities decreased from 94 in 2016 to 64 in 2017, down 32 percent.

¦ Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities decreased from 120 in 2016 to 95 in 2017, down 21 percent.

¦ Motorcyclist fatalities decreased from 141 in 2016 to 137 in 2017, down 3 percent.

¦ Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 165 in 2016 to 158 in 2017, down 4 percent.

¦ Deer-involved fatalities increased from 14 in 2016 to 17 in 2017, up 21 percent. 

Menominee County saw 427 crashes overall, with two resulting in fatalities, 82 resulting in injuries and 343 resulting in property damage. 

More detailed 2017 crash information will be posted to Michigantrafficcrashfacts.org in the coming months. Statewide crash information can be found at Michigan.gov/crash.