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What areas on I-696 have the most car accidents in Southeast Michigan?

April 4, 2016 by Steven M. Gursten

Be extra careful with these top 10 areas of the Walter P. Reuther Freeway, which had the most car accidents in 2015

I696 car accidents MI, image

I-696, which is also known as the Walter P. Reuther Freeway, carries over 30,000 vehicles each day between I-275 in Novi and  I-94 in St. Clair Shores and in all, more than 185,000 each day. It has also been called “Detroit’s autobahn” by some local residents because of its reputation for people driving very fast.  The freeway is also dangerous, with exit and entrance ramps for major roads and freeways every few miles in Southeast Michigan, and especially around the Southfield “mixing bowl” area.

Our  attorneys worked with the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit (which collects motor vehicle accident reports from local law enforcement) to identify what road segments along I-696 had the most  auto accidents in 2015. Please use extra caution in the following areas:

Top 10 I-696 road segments with the most automobile accidents in Michigan

Rank Highway Segment Total Crashes
1 Eastbound I-696 between Helene and I-75
Royal Oak/Oakland County
2 Eastbound I-696 between Bermuda/Mohawk and Campbell/Hilton/
Royal Oak/Oakland County
3 Westbound I-696 between Halsted and Drake Road
Farmington Hills/Oakland County
4 Eastbound I-696 between American Drive ramp and Franklin Road
Southfield/Oakland County
5 Eastbound I-696 between Campbell/Hilton Road and Helene
Royal Oak/Oakland County
6 Eastbound I-696 between S M-10/Lodge ramp and US-24/Telegraph
Southfield/Oakland County
7 Westbound I-696 between Drake Road and Farmington Road
Farmington Hills/Oakland County
8 Eastbound I-696 between Middlebelt Road and Inkster Road
Farmington Hills/Oakland County
9 Westbound I-696 between Northwestern Highway and US-24/Telegraph Road
Southfield/Oakland County
10 Eastbound I-696 between Halsted Road and Drake Road
Farmington Hills/Oakland County

Source:  Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit

Note: 2015 data is still considered preliminary

*Road segments are defined as sections of a road as reported by law enforcement observation at the scene of an accident Segments can vary from less than 2/10 of a mile to up to two miles in length.

When reviewing the top 10 road segments for car accidents along I-696 last year, three of the most dangerous all occur within just a half mile of the I-75/I-696 interchange.

From Bermuda/Mohawk to I-75 in Royal Oak, there were a whopping 170 crashes on eastbound I-696 when adding up the No. 1, 2 and 5 segments on the list.  These areas also had the highest level of injury accidents compared to any other area along the freeway.

Another stretch that showed up was the “mixing bowl” – a moniker given to the complex interchange where I-696 passes through the M-10/Lodge freeway and Telegraph Road exits in Southfield. Both East and Eestbound I-696 saw a high amount of crashes through this area.

Please use extra caution when driving on interstates in congested areas. As the I-75/I-696 interchange demonstrates, these are challenging for even an experienced driver and very dangerous. Commercial motor vehicle traffic, varying speeds on exit ramps and overall high speeds limits also add to the risk.

Please also follow the posted speed limits and avoid all distractions when driving.


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