MDOT reports 8 fewer fatalities this year than last year, but injuries are up


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Department of Transportation is reporting 8 fewer fatalities this year compared to this time last year.

However, MDOT logged 28 more serious injuries this time than last year.

A new report shows 18 people died on Michigan roadways since last week making a total of 73 this year. In addition, 103 more were seriously injured for a statewide total of 337 to date.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 9,500 lives were lost across America in speeding-related traffic crashes in 2015. Of those, 174 occurred in Michigan.

NHTSA considers a crash to be speeding-related if the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense, or if the responding officer indicated the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time, or was exceeding the posted speed limit.

In 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes nationally.

Crash data since 2011 shows an overall decrease in the number of deaths and injuries attributed to speed. Despite gains in vehicle safety and passenger protection, thousands of Americans still die each year in speed-related crashes.

According to NHTSA, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below.

Speeding is usually defined as driving in excess of the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions and can have dangerous consequences including:

  • Reducing a driver’s ability to negotiate curves or maneuver around obstacles in the roadway;
  • Extending the distance traveled before a vehicle can stop;
  • Increasing the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a hazard;
  • Increasing the risk of crashes and injuries because other vehicles and pedestrians may not be able to judge distance accurately.

Nationally in 2015, 85 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on non-Interstate roadways — where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or less. Only 15 percent of the nation’s speeding-related fatalities occurred on Interstate highways that year.

In 2015, speeding was involved in 28 percent of the fatal crashes in construction or maintenance zones.

In 2015, speeding was a factor in 17 percent of all fatal crashes on dry roads, and in 21 percent on wet roads. In wintry conditions, the numbers were even worse — with speeding a factor in 34 percent of the fatal crashes when there was snow on the road, and in 43 percent of the fatal crashes that occurred on icy roads.

Young Males and Motorcyclists Most Often in Speeding-Related Crashes

Among drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are the most likely to have been found speeding. In 2015, 32 percent of the males age 15-20 and 21-24 who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash.

Drivers of all ages may exceed posted speed limits, but the relative proportion of speeding-related crashes to all crashes decreases with increasing driver age.

Speeding motorcyclists are also over-represented in crashes. In 2015, 33 percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time, compared with 19 percent for passenger car drivers, 15 percent for light-truck drivers and 7 percent for large-truck drivers.

Speeding and Impaired Driving: A Deadly Combination

Impaired driving and speeding are a deadly combination.

Between midnight and 3 a.m., 68 percent of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

In 2015, 39 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, compared to 16 percent of non-speeding drivers.

In 2015, 30 percent of speeding drivers under age 21 who were involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .01 or higher. In contrast, only 15 percent of non-speeding drivers under age 21 involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .01 or higher.

For drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 who were speeding and involved in fatal crashes in 2015, 44 percent of them had a BAC of .08 or higher, compared with only 22 percent of non-speeding drivers.

Help Save Lives by Obeying Posted Speed Limits

Our goal is to save lives. Please join us in reminding all drivers to be alert, watch for speed limit signs and obey those signs, especially in school zones, in residential neighborhoods and on secondary roads.

Drivers need to remember that there is a reason for posted speed limits. The roadways are a dangerous place and the speed limits are designed to protect everyone – drivers, passengers, pedestrians – everyone!

Please remember, Stop Speeding Before it Stops You.

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