Michigan Found to Be Deadliest State for Driving in the Winter

March 11, 2019

Every year, there are about 5.5 million car accidents across the United States. In fact, 20 percent of 11th graders, reported being in a crash in the last year. But, as many drivers can attest to, there are certainly some areas that are worse to drive in during the winter months. And a new study has found that Michigan is the deadliest state when it comes to winter driving.

The study, released by finance company ValuePenguin, looked at the number of fatalities in crashes caused by winter weather from 2013 to 2017. The data was pulled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. According to this data, there were 2,718 fatalities as a result of winter weather-related crashes during this timeframe.

ValuePenguin stated, “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.”

The crashes the finance company looked all happened under winter weather conditions including freezing rain, snow, blowing snow, and sleet or hail.

And after analyzing the number of annual crashes in each state, Michigan came out on top as the deadliest state. The state had 282 winter-driving fatalities between 2013 and 2017. Many of the crashes occurred on 1-94, 1-75, and 1-96, which are all high-traffic roads.

The report stated, “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… Michigan ranks as the second worst state for winter weather driving accidents—the state averages 37 fatalities per 100 below-freezing days each year.”

Pennsylvania came in second, with 197 winter-driving fatalities. Following Pennsylvania was New York with 183 fatalities. But fortunately, New York’s number of winter-driving deaths has dropped drastically over the past few years, decreasing from 53 to 24 per year between 2013 and 2017.

In third place, Ohio had 172 winter-driving deaths. But the state did rank second for most deaths of any state in 2017. And lastly, Illinois had an average of 27 winter-driving fatalities each year during the studied timeframe.

So despite the fact that the three main causes of car accidents on U.S. roads are speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving, weather-related accidents are still prominent. And with most of the country still dealing with winter weather, drivers are advised to slow down when driving in harsh winter weather conditions.

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