By Sara Powers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nearly 100 more people died in traffic crashes in Michigan last year than in 2019, according to preliminary data released by the state police.

The state police Criminal Justice Information Center said Wednesday that 1,083 people were killed in 2020, compared to 985 in 2019. The number of deaths last year also were the most since 1,084 people were killed in crashes in 2007.

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Crashes and the number of people injured were down in 2020.

Data showed 60,986 injuries in 2020 and 74,963 in 2019. There were 314,377 crashes in 2019 and 245,432 last year.

Traffic deaths involving alcohol increased from 295 in 2019 to 326 last year.

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“Even though there was a dramatic drop in traffic crashes and injuries during 2020, there was an unfortunate surge in fatalities,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning director.

Prince said his office “will be coordinating high-visibility enforcement campaigns this summer focusing on impaired driving and seat belt use to reverse the trends we are seeing.”

Fatalities involving bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians all increased last year over 2019.

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