DETROIT — The number of traffic crashes in Southeast Michigan increased in 2016 for the fourth consecutive year, according to MLive Detroit.

Total traffic crashes in the seven counties surrounding Detroit (Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Wayne) increased six percent in 2016 from 2015, when 138,710 crashes were reported, according to a preliminary analysis by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

Fatalities and critical injuries also jumped 10 percent in the region. SEMCOG said the rise is consistent with state and national trends.

A total of 74,157 injuries were reported, along with 963 fatalities across the state.

Here are SEMCOG’s tips to avoid crashes:

  • Always wear a safety belt.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle.
  • Use lights and/or wear bright clothing when walking, cycling, or riding a motorcycle.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Share the road safely.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, biking and walking.
  • Reading, typing, or sending a text while driving is illegal in Michigan.

SEMCOG calls “personal behavior” a major cause in the rising number of traffic crashes.

Statewide, the latest numbers available show there were 297,023 total crashes reported in 2015, a slight drop from 2014’s 298,699.

SEMCOG also publishes a Traffic Volume Map which has lots of information about Southeast Michigan roads.