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2016 Deadliest Year for Michigan Drivers: Economy and Gas Prices to Blame?

According to the Michigan Highway Safety Planning, 2016 was the deadliest year for Michigan drivers since 2007.

Stats revealed that at least 1,021 people were killed in Michigan car accidents last year.

Ann Readett with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning said gas prices and the economy is why the state has seen an increase in traffic deaths.

“We know the economy has been good for a couple of years, and we know gas prices have been quite low for sometime. Those two things together means people are driving more miles, and that means there’s an increase in exposure. So that explains at least partially what’s happening in terms of increases in traffic deaths,” Readett explained.

Readett said that key safety tips will help drivers avoid accidents in the future.

“It’s very important that people buckle up whether they are on a long trip or a short trip, whether they are the driver of the passenger of the front seat or the back seat. It’s one of the very most important things people can do. It’s also crucial that people make sure that they are either a sober driver or with they’re with a sober driver, or they’ve found a sober ride home. We know that about a third of our traffic deaths involve a driver that is impaired by drugs and or alcohol,” she added.

The Highway Safety Planning’s goals for 2017, is to increase seat-belt use, reduce impaired driving, drive at speeds that are correct for the road’s condition, and to teach drivers how to become less distracted while on the roads.