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Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Number of crashes up in Washtenaw County in 2012; fatalities down

By Cindy Heflin

The number of crashes on Washtenaw County roads and freeways went up about 3 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year, statistics released Monday by the Michigan State Police show.

The number of fatal crashes and the number of fatalities both dropped, however. Twenty-three people died in 22 crashes in the county in 2012, the statistics showed. That compares with 35 people in 33 crashes the year before.

The total number of crashes in Washtenaw County in 2012 was 10,007, compared with 9,715 the year before. The rise in the number of crashes follows a drop of 220 in the number of crashes from 2010 to 2011.

Statewide, the number of traffic fatalities increased 5 percent compared with 2011. The number of motorcycle fatalities increased by 18 percent in the state.

In Washtenaw County, however, the number of fatalities in motorcycle crashes decreased from 3 in 2011 to 2 in 2012. The number of motorcycle crashes in the county went up, from 93 in 2011 to 120 in 2012, a 29 percent increase.

"Michigan’s increase in traffic fatalities mirrors what has taken place across the country," Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police, said in a news release from the Office of Highway Safety Planning. State police also said that teen fatalities declined 14 percent, from 99 in 2011 to 85 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, state police pointed out. Similarly, alcohol- and/or drug-involved fatalities have dropped from 463 in 2002 to 342 in 2012, police said in the release.

  • Other statewide information from the release:
  • Cellphone-involved crashes decreased 9 percent, from 821 in 2011 to 748 in 2012. Cellphone-involved fatal crashes increased from six in 2011 to eight in 2012. (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)
  • Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities increased 10 percent, from 73 in 2011 to 80 in 2012.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities increased 18 percent, from 109 in 2011 to 129 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 number of crashes involving deer declined 9 percent, from 53,592 in 2011 to 48,918 in 2012.


You can read more information about the crashes and download the report on the Michigan State Police website.


Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

I wonder what percentage of the crashes in Washtenaw County are snow related versus the percentage statewide? Is that data available?


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 10:44 a.m.

There would be less crashes if drivers would pay more attention to driving, be respectful, and responsible while driving, i.e. less tail gating, driving the speed limit and especially driving safely in snowy weather. and not just switch on turn signal and immediately move to another lane without being aware of who might be in that lane.


Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

"Motorcyclist fatalities increased 18 percent" So the no helmet law was a good idea?

Basic Bob

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

It's still a good idea to wear a helmet.