Winter took a while to get here but we’re getting a taste of it now. And that means dicey driving conditions. Brandon Hewitt is an attorney with Michigan Auto Law and he shared some State of Michigan statistics that demonstrate how dangerous winter driving conditions can be:
- In 2019, 8% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush
- In 2019, 11% of all injury motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush
- In 2019, nearly 15% of all motor vehicle crashes occurred on roads covered in snow, ice and slush
- Between 2015-2019, there were 402 fatalities on snowy, icy, or slushy roads in Michigan
- Between 2015-2019, there were 2,699 serious injuries on snowy, icy, or slushy roads in Michigan
Hewitt says one major cause of accidents is simply Driving Too Fast For Conditions:
- 65% of the overall winter crashes involve drivers driving “too fast for conditions”
- A driver can be ticketed for driving too fast in winter conditions even if he or she is driving at or below the speed limit
- 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))
According to Hewitt, 6 of the 10 road segments with the most winter driving accidents due to snowy, icy and slushy conditions are in southwest Michigan (Van Buren (3); Berrien (1); Kalamazoo (1); Kent (1).) Here are the Top 10 road segments with the most winter driving accidents between 2015 and 2019:
- US 31 Between 4 Mile Road and State Park Entrance, East Bay Twp, Grand Traverse County, 45 Total Crashes, 18 Injuries
- Westbound I-94 Between County Road 681 and 62nd Street, Hartford Twp, Van Buren County, 45 Total Crashes, 8 Injuries
- Northbound I-475 Between Atherton Road Ramp and S Grand Traverse Street, Flint, Genesee County, 40 Total Crashes, 12 Injuries
- Eastbound I 94 Between County Road 653/Almena Dr. and 30th Street, Antwerp Twp, Van Buren County, 39 Total Crashes, 6 Injuries
- Eastbound I 94 Between Red Arrow Hwy and Red Arrow Entrance Ramp, Lincoln Twp, Berrien County, 37 Total Crashes, 5 Injuries
- US 41 Between Brickyard Road and Northwoods Road, Marquette Twp, Marquette County, 36 Total Crashes, 10 Injuries
- Stadium Drive Between Rambling Road and Howard Street, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, 36 Total Crashes, 7 Injuries
- Eastbound I 96 Between Cheney Avenue and Plainfield Avenue, Grand Rapids, Kent County, 35 Total Crashes, 8 Injuries
- Razorback Drive Between Memorial Road and Ridge Road, Houghton, Houghton County, 35 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries
- Eastbound I 94 Between Main Street Entrance Ramp and Amtrak Tracks, Mattawan, Van Buren County, 35 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries
You can learn more about Michigan Auto Law or connect with Brandon on their website at www.MichiganAutoLaw.com.
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