Thanksgiving weekend traffic crash fatalties down from 2013

Courtesy:  Michigan State Police

LANSING —  The Michigan State Police (MSP) today announced the results of preliminary reports that indicate three people lost their lives in three traffic crashes during the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This is a significant decrease from 12 deaths that occurred in 11 traffic crashes during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Of the three deaths, one was a pedestrian, one was a vehicle driver and one was a vehicle passenger. Alcohol use was a known factor in one of the crashes.

“These numbers, which reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 9 a.m. today, represent a 75 percent reduction in traffic fatalities from this same five-day period last year,” stated Capt. Kari Kusmierz, commander of the MSP Training Division. “We are thankful for this reduction in fatalities, but even one traffic death is too many.”

As part of Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), MSP troopers utilized federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning to conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding from Nov. 26 – 30.

The effort was also supported by the Give thanks. Drive safely. public awareness campaign that included illustrations of traditional Thanksgiving items to create a connection between driving safely and enjoying the holiday.

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.

The 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014.