Michigan Distracted Driving Crashes Doubled Drunk Driving Accidents in 2017
University of Michigan researchers, using Michigan State Police traffic crash reports, concluded distracted driving crashes tallied twice as high as drunk driving across the state in 2017. Distracted driving resulted in 20,115 vehicle crashes while drunken driving and alcohol-related crashes peaked at 10,265. About 27 percent, or 1 in 4 people, involved in those distracted driving accidents sustained at least one injury, 7 percent of which were serious or life-threatening. 60 accidents resulted in 73 deaths, including 29 drivers, 18 passengers, 12 pedestrians, 10 motorcyclists, two bicyclists and one person operating a snowmobile. 24 percent of these distracted driving accidents were causes by electronic devices.
5 Michigan Communities with Highest Number of Distracted Driving Accidents
State Police recently started collecting these statistics on distracted driving in 2016 but it’s obvious the new data is proving to be helpful in creating awareness and prevention messages for Michigan drivers. The motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg took a deeper look into the state’s urban hubs or heavily populated suburban communities to reveal the highest number of distracted driving related crashes.
- Detroit: 1,501
- 6% of all Detroit crashes reported to police
- 24% injured at least one person
- Grand Rapids: 657
- 7% of all Grand Rapids crashes reported to police
- About 23% injured at least one person
- Bloomfield Township, Oakland County: 326
- 20% of all Bloomfield Township crashes reported to police
- 23% injured at least one person
- Lansing: 302
- 7% of all Lansing crashes reported to police
- 30% injured at least one person
- Sterling Heights: 290
- 6% of all Sterling Heights crashes reported to police
- 29% injured at least one person
When you look at county-wide distracted driving incidences, with higher populations considered, Wayne County ranked No. 1 with 1,752 collisions, followed by Oakland (1,634), Kent (1,504) and Macomb (952). Wayne County also had the highest number of traffic deaths among Michigan’s 83 counties last year (2017). The Nos. 1 and 2 counties for distracted driving crashes scaled by population ratios were Wexford and Grand Traverse counties, which are the Cadillac and Traverse City regions. 275 miles on I-94, from the southwest corner of Michigan is the No. 1 location for statewide distracted driving accidents. About 23 percent of distracted-driving crashes occur on a highway.
Check out Michigan Traffic Crash Facts website maintained by University of Michigan to review the number of distracted driving and other types of crashes in your Michigan community.
Distracted Driving Lessons
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from operating your vehicle. The poor driving choice can increase the chance of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
There are three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
- Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
Distracting activities include:
- Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.
- Eating and drinking
- Reading, including maps
- Talking to passengers
- Using a cell phone and/or texting
- As of July 1, 2010, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving. For a first offense, motorists are fined $100. Subsequent offenses cost $200.
- Using a PDA or navigation system
- Watching a video
Michigan State Police offer these suggestions on how to avoid becoming a distracted driver by focusing on the task at hand.
- Get familiar with vehicle features and equipment before pulling out into traffic.
- Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
- Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion. Do not reach down or behind the seat to pick up items.
- Do not text, access the Internet, watch videos, play video games, search MP3 devices, or use any other distracting technology while driving.
- Avoid smoking, eating, drinking, and reading while driving.
- Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
- Do personal grooming at home – not in the vehicle.
- Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
- Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
- Ask a passenger to help with activities that may be distracting.
- If driving long distances, schedule regular stops; every 100 miles or two hours.
- Travel at times when you are normally awake and stay overnight rather than driving straight through.
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy.
Michigan AAA’s distracted driving surveys show that nearly 95 percent of residents polled said texting while driving was their number one concern when asked about driving distractions. This response was alarming since more than a third of drivers admit to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle. These statistics are similar in most states across the nation and show cause for the texting-while-driving laws currently in place.
Under Michigan’s anti-texting law (sec. 257.602.b) a driver shall not “read, manually type, or send a text message on a wireless 2-way communication device that is located in the person’s hand or in the person’s lap, including a wireless telephone used in cellular telephone service or personal communication service, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a highway or street in this state.”
In general, practicing good driving behaviors including patience and recognizing distractions can reduce crash risk factors all drivers face, each and every day.
Contact Us Now About Your Michigan Accident Injury
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash and believe it was caused by someone else’s poor driving decision or a distracted driver, the motor vehicle and motorcycle accident injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg are ready to support your claim. Not only can a personal injury lawsuit help ease financial burdens, it can help create awareness to prevent driver errors that pose serious risks to road users every single day. Please call and speak to our car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form.
Source: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 2017