If you live in West Michigan and it seems like you've been seeing and hearing about more traffic deaths in the news, you have. At least in two counties. But fatalities related to traffic accidents as a whole in Michigan were down in 2017 compared to 2016.

Information compiled by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning related to traffic accidents and fatalities in 2017 has been released. Statewide, there were 1,028 fatalities in 2017 down from 1,064 in 2016. The percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities increased 32 percent from 271 in 2016 to 359 in 2017.  Attention must be paid when we see nearly half of all traffic crash fatalities involving alcohol or drugs,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

Kalamazoo and Kent Counties have seen a moderate rise in deaths on the roads and are both ranked in the top ten for deadly accidents in 2017. Kalamazoo County had 37 auto deaths in 2017 compared to 31 in 2016. Kent County had an even bigger increase with 69 fatalities in 2017 up from 55 in 2016. Most of the other counties on the list are in the more heavily populated southeastern area of the state and in the Detroit metro areas.

Top 10 counties for traffic deaths in 2017:

  1. Wayne County - 159 fatalities - 16,988 injuries
  2. Oakland County - 69 fatalities - 10,570 injuries
  3. Kent County - 69 fatalities - 5,442 injuries
  4. Macomb County - 42 fatalities - 7,348 injuries
  5. Genessee County - 39 fatalities - 3,504 injuries
  6. Washtenaw County - 39 fatalities - 2,614 injuries
  7. Kalamazoo County - 37 fatalities - 2,084 injuries
  8. Ingham County - 26 fatalities - 2,511 injuries
  9. Livingston County - 23 fatalities - 941 injuries
  10. Monroe County - 23 fatalities - 920 injuries