Michigan Recently Ranked The Deadliest State for Winter Driving
Michigan is known for its brutal and chilling winters. If you enjoy hitting the ski slopes, this may be good news, but Michigan recently ranked no. 2 for having the worst winters in the nation in an article by The Thrillist. This is primarily due to the state’s high snowfall and icy roadways brought on by lake effect storms.
According to a report by ValuePenguin, Michigan ranked the most dangerous state in the nation for winter-related traffic fatalities. Between 2013-2017, the death toll reached 282. The most dangerous road in the state was Interstate 94, which had a total of 15 deaths.
These statistics were based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reported 2,718 winter- driving-related deaths during the same time period.
What makes Michigan roads so dangerous during the winter?
The most common winter driving risks include, but are not limited to:
- Slippery road conditions: Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (updated in 2017) concludes that 24 percent of all weather-related traffic accidents happen on roads compromised by snow, slush, or ice.
- Blowing snow and whiteout conditions: Heavy winds during the winter, especially after a snowstorm, can cause blowing snow – which can impact road conditions and visibility.
- Black ice: In Michigan, it’s common for temperatures to rise just enough above freezing to cause some snow and ice to melt. When temperatures dip below freezing overnight, black ice can make for a dangerous morning commute.
- Potholes: Ice and salt can cause the roadways to become eroded over time. This can result in large potholes – potentially putting drivers at risk of tire blowouts.
What you can do if you’re involved in a crash
While there is no disputing that weather is often a contributing factor in car accidents, we can’t place the blame on it entirely. Most winter-related crashes involving two or more vehicles are usually caused by one driver’s irresponsible driving habits.
When Michigan roads are compromised by snow, ice, or sleet, drivers are expected to give themselves more time to reach their destination and reduce their speed. Some drivers fail to prepare themselves for inclement weather conditions. They may be in a hurry to get to work. As a result, they may exceed the speed limit, weave in and out of traffic, or tailgate other vehicles.
In other cases, an at-fault driver may be distracted by a handheld device or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash, due to someone else’s reckless behavior, an experienced Macomb County car accident attorney can help you explore your legal options. Contact Fraser & Souweidane, P.C. today to start your claim.