Crashes in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan

The charts below show the rate of crashes or the rate of people involved (for various types of crashes) for the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan from 2004 to 2011. These rates were calculated using data provided by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and population numbers for both the state and Detroit. Each rate is based on 100,000 residents. We are seeking total vehicle miles travelled (VMT) as alternative way of calculating rates, and we will provide an additional post when that data becomes available. It may be that VMT will yield either higher or lower rates for Detroit relative to the state because, while a smaller proportion of Detroit residents are drivers, many commuters drive in and out of Detroit.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (michigantrafficcrashfacts.org) has data about crashes in the State of Michigan from 1982 until 2011, but data are only available by county from 1992 to 2011 and by city from 2004 to 2011. Crash data include motor vehicles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, busses, and farm and snow equipment, unless otherwise specified. Specific charts in this post also look at the number of pedestrians and bicyclists involved in crashes.

Crash1

The chart above shows the total crash rate for the State of Michigan is consistently higher than that in the City of Detroit. Overall, both the state and Detroit have seen a decrease in the number of crashes from 2004 to 2011. For example, in 2004 the total crash rate in the state was 3,697 and by 2011 it was 2,876. In the City of Detroit the total crash rate was 3,665 and by 2011 it was 2,786. Also, 2004 and 2011 are years in which the state’s and Detroit’s total crash rates were the closest. The largest difference between the total crash rate for the two was in 2009.crash2

The above chart shows the rate at which male and female drivers were in crashes for both the City of Detroit and Michigan. As can be seen in the chart, male drivers are in motor vehicle accidents more often than females when comparing them just at the state or city level. However, there is a higher rate of drivers at the state level being in crashes, whether male or female, than people in crashes in the City of Detroit. The rate of uncoded/error cases for the City of Detroit is higher than those at the state level.

Crash3

According to the chart above, the rate of alcohol related motor vehicle accidents is higher for the State of Michigan than the rate for the City of Detroit.  While both rates have experienced an overall decline from 2004 to 2011, the decline at the state level has been much more consistent. For example, in 2008 the rate of alcohol related motor vehicle accidents in the City of Detroit was 61 and by 2010 that number was 80. In 2011 though the rate of such accidents in Detroit decreased to 68; the rate for Michigan in 2011 was 100.

Crash4

As can be seen in the chart above, the trend of the rate of crashes in the state being higher than those in the City of Detroit continues. In this chart we see an increase in the rate of crashes where drugs were involved for both the state and the City of Detroit. In 2004, there was a rate of 14 drug related motor vehicle crashes in the state and 4 for Detroit. By 2011 that number increased to 19 in the state and 5 in Detroit. From 2004 to 2011 the rate in Detroit did not go above 5 or below 3. For the state though, the rate never dropped below 14 (which was in 2004) and the high was 20 in 2010.

Crash5

The chart above shows the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents per 100,000 residents. Detroit’s rate has remained below the state rate in most years. There has been an overall decline for both Detroit and the state for the rate of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents from 2004 to 2011. In 2004 the rate of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents at the state level was 16; that number was 14 for Detroit. In 2011 that rate decreased to 12 for the state and 10 for Detroit. Detroit’s rates have been much more inconsistent than those at the state level.

Crash6

The number of bicyclists involved in motor vehicle accidents has been much more erratic for the City of Detroit than for the State of Michigan. In 2004 the rate for Detroit (24) was higher than state’s rate (22). By 2011 Detroit’s rate decreased to 15, but there were a few peaks and valleys along the way. The state’s rates for motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists has been much more consistent. By 2011 the state’s rate had decreased to 19, and while this was the low, the high was 22 in 2007.

Crash7

Unlike the other charts we have seen throughout this post, the rate at which pedestrians were involved in crashes with motor vehicles was consistently higher in Detroit than the rate at the state level. In 2004, there were 85 pedestrians involved in such a crash in the City of Detroit; that number was 28 at the state level. While Detroit’s rate has been higher than the 2004 since then, it has not dropped below 54 (this was in 2008 and 2009). In 2011, the rate was 72 for the City of Detroit and 24 for the state.

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3 Responses to “Crashes in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan”

  1. Alex Says:

    If you drink and drive, it’s not an accident, in that you deliberately did not take due care. Similarly, one can’t accurately label any of these graphs as accidents, since that implies an evaluation of intention that has not taken place. Moreover, it encourages the notion that collisions resulting from a buffet of second rate driving behaviors are “just mistakes.”

    Otherwise, good post.

  2. Alex Says:

    I should add that I’m pleased that DD is covering this topic, and think overall this was a really well presented post, just w/ the one glaring flaw (that most Americans would not note anyway.)

  3. E væske nikotin Says:

    What’s up to all, the contents existing at this web site are truly awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

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