2016 road deaths in the state highest since 2007

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Traffic related deaths in Michigan last year reached their highest level in almost a decade.

Transportation officials say 2016 claimed more than one-thousand lives on Michigan roads, a number that hasn’t been seen since 2007.

Ann Readett is the Communications Manager with the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

“We do know that fatalities in the state are up by at least ten percent, but what Michigan is experiencing is also part of a national trend, not only are fatalities up in our state but they’re up across the country.”

Readett says more jobs and lower gas prices are allowing more people on the roads. The increase in travel likely played a role in the higher fatality numbers.

She says data are still being taken to find what else may have contributed to the increase. She says alcohol, and cellphone use may have played a role.

She says traffic related deaths in Michigan peaked in 1969 with almost 25-hundred road deaths.