10 most dangerous Michigan winter roads

Driving too fast is top issue

We all know how tough Michigan roads can get during the winter months. Just ask your knuckles.

Michigan Auto Law recently compiled a list of the most dangerous stretches of road in Michigan during the winter months, using five years of crash statistics, from 2015 to 2019.

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 reported.

Most of the top 10 list is in West and Northern Michigan. None of them are in Metro Detroit.

These are the 10 riskiest Michigan winter drives:

  • 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 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.

Let us know where you have seen the worst winter roads in Michigan in the comment section below.

Tips for driving in the snow (from AAA)

  • Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
  • Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.