Michigan ranked deadliest state for winter driving

Michigan is the deadliest state for winter drivers, according to a new study.

ValuePenguin released an analysis of the most dangerous states for winters driving. 

"We analyzed the last five years' worth of data and found that hazardous conditions in the five worst states—Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Illinois—accounted for 36% of winter weather-related driving fatalities," ValuePenguin wrote.

The group analyzed the total number of fatalities caused by winter-driving crashes from 2013 to 2017, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

"We considered crashes that occurred under the following atmospheric conditions to be winter weather-related crashes: 

  • Sleet or hail
  • Snow
  • Blowing snow
  • Freezing rain or drizzle

Data on the average annual number of days where the temperature dropped below freezing was gathered from Comparative Climatic Data tables, maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Specifically, we averaged the mean number of days with a minimum temperature of 32ºF or less across the major U.S. weather observing stations in each state."

Michigan ranked as the deadliest state, with 282 winter-driving fatalities in that timeframe.

"Michigan is by far the state with the highest number of winter weather-related driving fatalities. Between 2013 and 2017, there were 282 fatalities in winter weather-related accidents, which is 85 more fatalities than the second-highest state. This may seem unsurprising, considering the state is known for its harsh winters. However, even when you account for the number days the temperature drops to freezing or below, Michigan ranks as the second worst state for winter weather driving accidents—the state averages 37 fatalities per 100 below-freezing days each year."

I-94, I-75 and I-96 accounted for the majority of the crash locations. 

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.