Michigan is the most dangerous state for winter driving, with nearly 50 road deaths every year, according to an analysis by a personal finance website that looked at government data.
Another group, the Michigan Auto Law, looked at the roads with the most winter car crashes in recent years. All but one of the top 10 roads were in west Michigan.
“Michigan is known for its harsh winters, as are most of the other 10 deadliest states for winter driving,” the California-based website, Moneygeek.com, concluded by averaging winter driving fatalities reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2015 to 2017. “The only exception is Texas, where snow rarely falls, but when it does, drivers are not accustomed to it.”
The analysis comes as Thanksgiving travelers nationally brace themselves for a winter storm that’s expected to unload up to a foot of snow from the Rockies to the Great Lakes and leading the National Weather Service to issue weather warnings.
Every year, more than 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement, and more than 70% of the nation’s roads are in snowy areas, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
The site did not say why Michigan had so many road deaths, outpacing the second most dangerous state, Pennsylvania, by nearly 20 deaths.
The third most dangerous state was New York, with 29 fatalities, Ohio, with 26, and Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, each averaging 17 deaths. Illinois was No. 9 with 15, and Texas — the southernmost state in the top 10 — averaged 12 fatalities.
Several states, mostly in the South — Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi — had only one death; and two states — Florida and Hawaii — had none.
Michigan roadways with the most winter crashes from 2014 to 2018 were in:
Paw Paw: Eastbound I-94 between 41st Street and Paw Paw Road.
Flint: Northbound I-475 between Atherton Road and South Grand Traverse Street.
Polkton: Eastbound I-96 between the I-96 crossover and 68th Avenue.
Hartford: Westbound I-94 between 66th Street and North County Line.
Hartford: Westbound I-94 between County Road 681 and 62nd Street.
Wright: Westbound I-96 between 24th Avenue and 48th Avenue.
Wright: Eastbound I-96 between 48th Avenue and 24th Avenue.
Comstock: Sprinkle Road between Michigan Avenue and East Main Street.
Wyoming: Southbound US-131 between 44th Street entrance ramp and 54th Street exit ramp.
Antwerp: Eastbound I-94 between County Road and 30th Street.
Michigan Auto Law, a group of auto accident lawyers, noted that about 65% of the winter car accidents in Michigan were linked to drivers driving “too fast for conditions,” according to a Michigan State Police analysis.
In addition, most of the road segments with high numbers of winter car accidents are major freeways.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.