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Top 10 worst Michigan highways for winter car accidents

Not so much a winter wonderland, these freeways have the most car crashes in the snow and ice

As Michiganders know, highway driving in winter can be a white-knuckled experience. With speeding, accumulations of snow and ice, blowing snow, big commercial trucks and treacherous on/off ramps and bridges, freeways pose elevated driving hazards in winter.

As an auto accident attorney, today I want to share a list of the highway stretches in Michigan that had the most car crashes in snowy, slushy or icy conditions over the past five years, according to statistics from the Michigan State Police.

Michigan Auto Law

Top 10 Michigan Highway Car Crashes in Winter Conditions*

Rank Highway Segment Total Crashes
1 Westbound I-94 between 50th Street and 46th Street
Lawrence Township/Van Buren County
2 Westbound I-94 between 62nd Street and County Road 681
Hartford Township/Van Buren County
3 Eastbound I-96 between I-96 Crossover and 68th Avenue
Polkton Township/Ottawa County
4 Eastbound I-94 between 41st Street and Paw Paw Road
Paw Paw Township/Van Buren County
5 Eastbound I-94 between 62 Street and County Road 681
Hartford Township/Van Buren County
6 Westbound I-96 between I-96 Crossover and 24th Avenue
Wright Township/Ottawa County
7 Eastbound I-96 between I-96 Crossover and 24th Avenue
Wright Township/Ottawa County
8 Eastbound I-94 between County Road 653 and I-94 Crossover
Antwerp Township/Van Buren County
9 Southbound US31 between I-96 and Business 31/Seaway Drive
Norton Shores/Muskegon County
10 Eastbound I-94 between I-94 Crossover and 64th Street
Hartford Towship/Van Buren County

*Winter accidents that occurred in November through March, for the past five years, in snowy, slushy or icy conditions only. A highway segment is defined as a stretch of any interstate or highway, varying in length but usually a mile or less.

– Source: Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit

Just last week, a series of three motor vehicle accidents occurred on I-94 west of Kalamazoo that involved 13 semi-trucks and 52 cars. Police cited driving too fast for snowy road conditions, following too closely and low visibility as the main causes of these crashes, where one person was tragically killed and several more people suffered serious personal injury. Unfortunately, periods of low-visibility and winter weather road conditions can cause these types of chain reaction crashes.  And pile-ups like this one in Kalamazoo are often the dangerous result.

As we saw in the series of accidents that occurred last week, a stretch of I-94 between Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor is particularly dangerous, as it has three of those top 10 stretches of road. Lake effect snow in the western side of the state is one big reason many stretches of highway are on this list.

Hopefully, this list is a good reminder for us all to slow down in winter conditions. Don’t forget to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

As always, our Michigan Auto Law attorneys would like to hear from you. Are there any freeways that you think are dangerous during the winter and should be included in our list? Let us know by making a comment below or on our Michigan Auto Law Facebook page.

Winter Infrographic

Here are some safe winter driving tips:

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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