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Winter Driving Accident Statistics and 10 Roads To Avoid In Michigan Winters

January 28, 2021 by Steven M. Gursten

Winter Driving Accident Statistics and 10 Roads To Avoid In Michigan Winters

Knowing the winter driving accident statistics will alert Michigan drivers to the roads they should avoid and help them stay focused on safety when they are driving on snowy, icy and slushy roads this winter. Dangerous weather road conditions can come on quickly and it is best that everyone is prepared.

Our automobile crash attorneys hope that by sharing this information, we can help make drivers aware of the road conditions and road segments that put you and your families at higher risk of being involved in a winter car crash.

We encourage drivers to pay attention to weather and Michigan winter road conditions, slow down and drive for the conditions to minimize your risk of an automobile crash.

For more safety-related information, visit our Michigan’s Most Dangerous Intersections page for a complete list of intersection car crashes that can be searched by any Michigan city or county.

Winter driving accident statistics for fatal and injury car crashes

The most current winter driving accident statistics available for fatal and injury car crashes – as well as overall crashes – show that in 2019:

  • 8 % of all fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush
  • 11% of all injury motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush
  • Nearly 15% of all motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush

Winter driving accident statistics from 2015 to 2019

The winter driving accident statistics for Michigan show what a significant safety challenge drivers face on roads that are covered by snow, ice and/or slush.

Of the more than 1.5 million total car crashes reported in Michigan from 2015-2019, 14.2 % (220,526) were winter-weather related, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Tragically, between 2015-2019, there were 402 fatalities and 2,699 serious injuries on snowy, icy, or slushy roads in Michigan, according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning,

Winter driving accident statistics and driving too fast for conditions

According to the winter driving accident statistics, approximately 65% of the overall winter crashes involve drivers driving “too fast for conditions,” the Michigan State Police has reported.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) emphasizes this point in its “Drive Slow on Ice and Snow” public safety campaign when it reminds drivers: “Most winter crashes are caused by drivers traveling too fast for conditions.”

It is important that drivers know they can be ticketed for driving “too fast for conditions” even if they are driving at or below the posted speed limit. That is because Michigan’s “basic speed law” requires drivers to drive at “a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition existing at the time.” (MCL 257.627(1))

This year, the OHSP is expanding its winter driving safety outreach by launching a new website packed with tips and useful resources. When drivers visit www.michigan.gov/WinterDriving, they can find advice addressing a wide range of cold-weather challenges, including: planning a safe route, how to control their vehicle, what to do in an emergency, passenger safety, tire tips and more.

With the winter driving accident statistics along with our automobile crash attorneys first-hand experience helping car crash victims that speed – especially excessive speed with Michigan winter road conditions – is the top contributing factor to causing otherwise completely preventable car crashes.

SAFETY REMINDER: Slowing down is always your best defense during icy Michigan winter road conditions and winter weather.

Winter Driving Accident Statistics Reveal The Top 10 Road Segments With Most Winter Car Accidents in Michigan 2015-2019

We thank the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit for sharing its winter driving accident statistics which identifies the road segments that had the most car crashes due to snowy, icy and slushy road conditions during the five-year period from 2015 to 2019.

Every Michigan winter is different, but with no two seasons alike, we felt a five-year period would provide a better overall picture instead of just focusing on one season alone.

According to the winter driving accident statistics, below are the Michigan roads that put you at the highest risk for crashes during wintery road conditions:

  1. US 31 Between 4 Mile Road and State Park Entrance, East Bay Twp, Grand Traverse County, 45 Total Crashes, 18 Injuries
  2. Westbound I-94 Between County Road 681 and 62nd Street, Hartford Twp, Van Buren County, 45 Total Crashes, 8 Injuries
  3. Northbound I-475 Between Atherton Road Ramp and S Grand Traverse Street, Flint, Genesee County, 40 Total Crashes, 12 Injuries
  4. Eastbound I 94 Between County Road 653/Almena Dr. and 30th Street, Antwerp Twp, Van Buren County, 39 Total Crashes, 6 Injuries
  5. Eastbound I 94 Between Red Arrow Hwy and Red Arrow Entrance Ramp, Lincoln Twp, Berrien County, 37 Total Crashes, 5 Injuries
  6. US 41 Between Brickyard Road and Northwoods Road, Marquette Twp, Marquette County, 36 Total Crashes, 10 Injuries
  7. Stadium Drive Between Rambling Road and Howard Street, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, 36 Total Crashes, 7 Injuries
  8. Eastbound I 96 Between Cheney Avenue and Plainfield Avenue, Grand Rapids, Kent County, 35 Total Crashes, 8 Injuries
  9. Razorback Drive Between Memorial Road and Ridge Road, Houghton, Houghton County, 35 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries
  10. Eastbound I 94 Between Main Street Entrance Ramp and Amtrak Tracks, Mattawan, Van Buren County, 35 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries
    Note: These statistics refer to crashes that occurred from 2015 through 2019 where the Michigan winter road conditions were reported to be snow, slush and/or ice. Additionally, a “road segment” is defined as a stretch of any public road, varying in length but usually a mile or less.

Common characteristics for roadways with a high frequency of winter car crashes

When looking at stretches of public roads and highways in Michigan, it should come as no surprise that many of the road segments with high numbers of winter car crashes are major freeways throughout the state. With varying speeds, commercial trucks and on/off ramps, freeways pose many hazards in winter conditions.

Need help finding the right lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law first

If you have been injured in or lost a loved one in a winter crash and would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

(Source: Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Statewide 2019, “Crash,” “Road Condition”; Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit)

Winter Driving Accident Statistics and 10 Roads To Avoid In Michigan Winters

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