Michigan Fatal Accident Study:

Michigan’s Deadliest Roads and Fatal Accident Statistics

To determine which roads in Michigan are the deadliest and which factors contribute to deadly crashes, MoneyGeek analyzed 2,820 fatal accidents between 2018 and 2020.

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Last Updated: 11/18/2022
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MoneyGeek analyzed 2,820 fatal crashes on Michigan’s roadways between 2018 and 2020 to find the deadliest stretches of road in the state. In Michigan, there are 256,579 miles of road; we included 1,742 roads in our study.

MoneyGeek’s study also examined what factors contributed to fatal accidents across the state and shed light on how drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, winter driving and time of the year played a role in these fatal accidents. Additionally, we summarized county-specific data, including the deadliest roads in each area.

Key Findings

  • SR-3 Gratiot Avenue from Liberal Street to Van Dyke Avenue is the deadliest stretch of road in Michigan. Between 2018 and 2020, 16 fatal accidents occurred here.
  • A total of 28.5% of fatal accidents were related to drunk driving. These accounted for 803 of the 2,820 total fatal accidents in the state.
  • Just 4.8% of Michigan’s deadly crashes involved winter weather conditions, despite the state ranking as MoneyGeek’s deadliest state for winter driving.
  • Speeding contributed to 25.9% of accidents, or 729 fatal accidents, between 2018 and 2020. Within the same time period, distracted driving contributed to 6.3% of crashes, or 179 fatal accidents.
  • August had the most fatal accidents (331) between 2018 and 2020. This month was followed by July (301) and September (289).
  • Wayne County had the highest number of deadly crashes (539) of any county. The deadliest road within the county was 1-94: 24 fatal accidents occurred on that stretch of road.

10 Deadliest Road Stretches in Michigan


  • DEADLIEST ROAD IN MICHIGAN
    SR-3 Gratiot Avenue from Liberal Street to Van Dyke Avenue
    Detroit
    SR-3 Gratiot Avenue from Liberal Street to Van Dyke Avenue
    • Fatal Accidents:16
    • fatalities:18
    • Crashes Per Mile:3.4
    • distance:4.7 miles
  • I-94 from Exit 198A to Exit 202
    Romulus | Taylor
    I-94 from Exit 198A to Exit 202
    • Fatal Accidents:12
    • fatalities:12
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.8
    • distance:4.2 miles
  • I-96 from Exit 182 to Exit 188
    Detroit
    I-96 from Exit 182 to Exit 188
    • Fatal Accidents:10
    • fatalities:11
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.0
    • distance:5.0 miles
  • US-24 Telegraph Road from 7 Mile Road to Cathedral Avenue
    Redford Township | Detroit
    US-24 Telegraph Road from 7 Mile Road to Cathedral Avenue
    • Fatal Accidents:8
    • fatalities:9
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.7
    • distance:4.6 miles
  • I-94 from Exit 222A to Exit 227
    Harper Woods | Detroit | Saint Clair Shores
    I-94 from Exit 222A to Exit 227
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:9
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.4
    • distance:5.0 miles
  • SR-59 Highland Road from N Oakland Boulevard to Cass Lake Road
    Waterford
    SR-59 Highland Road from N Oakland Boulevard to Cass Lake Road
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.7
    • distance:4.1 miles
  • I-696 from Exit 21 to Exit 16
    Warren | Pleasant Ridge | Madison Heights | Royal Oak
    I-696 from Exit 21 to Exit 16
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.9
    • distance:3.7 miles
  • SR-120 Holton Road from Hallstrom Castle Drive to East River Road
    Muskegon County
    SR-120 Holton Road from Hallstrom Castle Drive to East River Road
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.5
    • distance:4.8 miles
  • US-131 from Exit 84A to Exit 82B
    Grand Rapids
    US-131 from Exit 84A to Exit 82B
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:3.1
    • distance:1.9 miles
  • Greenfield Road from Joy Road to Curtis Street
    Detroit
    Greenfield Road from Joy Road to Curtis Street
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.3
    • distance:4.5 miles

Drunk Driving Involved in 28.5% of Fatal Accidents

Between 2018 and 2020, 803 of the 2,820 total fatal accidents in Michigan involved drunk driving. Drunk driving far outweighs fatal accidents related to distracted driving, speeding and winter weather, making it the most common factor involved in fatal accidents in Michigan.

It’s easy to underestimate the effects of alcohol. While a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8% marks you as legally intoxicated in Michigan, even a BAC of 0.2% can impair your vision and make it harder to perform two tasks simultaneously. This small amount of alcohol may diminish your driving abilities and make you and others more vulnerable on the road.

Whether or not drunk driving results in a fatal crash, the costs of a DUI are severe and long-lasting, possibly resulting in suspension of your license, restrictions on your driving privileges or jail time. Being convicted of a DUI will make it much harder to find affordable auto insurance in Michigan. This is because you will be required to obtain Michigan SR-22 insurance, which is often more costly than traditional policies.

Speeding Is a Factor in 25.9% of Fatal Crashes

In the three years between 2018 and 2020, speeding caused 729 fatal accidents in Michigan, accounting for 25.9% of all fatal accidents. It is the second-leading cause of deadly accidents in the state.

When you speed, you jeopardize yourself and others. Driving too fast, whether in suburban areas or on highways, can make it difficult to stop when needed, increasing your risk of causing a crash.

Distracted Driving Contributed to 6.3% of Fatal Accidents

Of the factors we measured, the third-leading contributing factor to fatal car accidents in Michigan is driving while distracted. Distracted driving was involved in 179 deadly crashes in Michigan between 2018 and 2020, or 6.3% of all fatal accidents. Based on MoneyGeek's analysis of the worst states for distracted driving, Michigan ranked better than 66% of states.

August Had More Fatal Accidents Than Any Other Month

In Michigan, the month of August had the highest number of fatal accidents between 2018 and 2020, accounting for 11.7% of all fatal accidents. A total of 331 accidents occurred in August.

Following this is July, during which 10.7% of accidents occurred, or 301 fatal crashes. September ranked third, with 289 or 10.2% of fatal accidents. Based on these statistics, more accidents seem to happen in Michigan when the climate is warmer. This phenomenon is somewhat surprising, considering that Michigan ranked as the most dangerous state for winter driving.

Average Fatal Accidents by Month
Month
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Winter Conditions
Speeding Related
% of Total

January

176

38

11

22

44

6.2%

February

167

45

6

32

58

5.9%

March

167

59

10

13

40

5.9%

April

172

51

8

10

50

6.1%

May

242

73

17

0

70

8.6%

June

271

77

19

0

71

9.6%

July

301

95

15

0

93

10.7%

August

331

88

23

0

69

11.7%

September

289

91

22

1

61

10.2%

October

276

65

20

6

54

9.8%

November

228

65

15

27

66

8.1%

December

200

56

13

23

53

7.1%

Driving Safely Protects You, Others and Your Wallet

Safety is crucial to your well-being and that of other drivers. In addition, it can help you save money in the long run. Unfortunately, accidents cannot always be avoided. Therefore, we recommend getting an affordable full coverage auto insurance policy to better protect you and your family.

The average cost of auto insurance in Michigan is $4,333 per year. The actual cost will, however, vary by county and even city. For instance, the average cost of auto insurance in Detroit is $5,471, while car insurance in Grand Rapids costs an average of $1,738 per year. This is a difference of a whopping $3,733.

It should be noted that while MoneyGeek collected premiums across Michigan, these figures are simply averages. To get the most affordable auto insurance for your requirements, consider comparing quotes from other providers. Providers will determine your premiums based on a wide range of factors, including your age, driving record and ZIP code, among others.

Fatal Accidents and Most Dangerous Roads: County Breakdown

In the top five Michigan counties with the highest number of fatal accidents, there were a combined total of 1,156 accidents — which accounts for 41% of all accidents between 2018 and 2020.

In particular, Wayne County has the highest number of accidents, with 539 fatal accidents — or 19% of all accidents state-wide. The stretch of road with the most crashes was I-94 (24). Speeding-related accidents occurred the most, with 172 fatal accidents across the county, followed by drunk driving incidents (142).

Fatal Accidents and Contributing Factors By County
County
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Speeding Related
Most Deadly Road (Fatal Accidents)

Wayne

539

142

15

172

I-94 (24)

Oakland

171

39

8

37

SR-59 Highland Rd (12)

Kent

163

54

16

38

US-131 (13)

Macomb

142

29

9

25

I-94 (10)

Genesee

141

37

10

37

SR-54 Dort Hwy (7)

Washtenaw

72

20

6

20

I-94 (12)

Kalamazoo

65

20

4

17

I-94 (5)

Muskegon

64

18

6

15

SR-120 Holton Rd (9)

Monroe

58

23

6

13

I-75 (9)

Ottawa

57

17

5

12

US-31 (5)

Saginaw

57

14

3

5

Cr-Dixie Hwy (5)

Calhoun

56

23

3

21

I-69 (6)

St. Clair

55

13

0

11

I-69 (3)

Berrien

54

18

3

8

I-94 (10)

Allegan

52

10

6

12

US-131 (5)

Livingston

47

12

5

9

I-96 (7)

Ingham

46

15

1

12

US-127 (4)

Jackson

45

7

3

7

I-94 (6)

Van Buren

40

17

3

11

SR-40 (3)

St. Joseph

40

9

4

10

US-131 (8)

Eaton

39

11

3

10

Lansing Rd (3)

Montcalm

35

13

3

11

SR-46 Howard City Edmore Rd (5)

Lenawee

33

12

4

5

US-223 (7)

Newaygo

32

10

0

10

Cr-9 Mile Rd (1)

Clinton

31

4

2

8

US-127 (6)

Lapeer

31

8

0

10

Cr-Silverwood Rd (3)

Bay

29

9

2

7

I-75 (4)

Midland

26

11

1

5

US-10 (3)

Tuscola

26

11

2

8

SR-81 Caro Rd (2)

Cass

25

10

1

7

US-12 (7)

Isabella

25

11

1

8

Cr-Weidman Rd (3)

Shiawassee

24

8

5

6

I-69 (7)

Barry

24

3

3

5

SR-37 (3)

Osceola

21

8

1

7

Cr-Mackinaw Trl (3)

Hillsdale

21

4

0

7

US-12/SR-99 Chicago St (1)

Ionia

20

6

5

8

I-96 (2)

Clare

20

3

2

7

US-127 Br N Clare Ave (2)

Mason

19

6

0

4

US-10 (4)

Marquette

19

7

0

6

SR-553 (4)

Grand Traverse

19

7

1

3

US-31 (6)

Gratiot

16

1

2

2

US-127 (4)

Iosco

14

1

2

4

US-23 (3)

Chippewa

13

5

2

2

I-75 (2)

Roscommon

13

5

0

4

I-75 (2)

Arenac

12

4

3

3

SR-61 (2)

Ogemaw

12

3

1

4

I-75 (2)

Wexford

12

2

0

2

SR-115 (2)

Manistee

11

4

0

2

US-31 Lake St (1)

Oceana

11

6

1

1

US-31 (2)

Menominee

11

5

0

3

US-41 (2)

Mecosta

10

1

1

4

US-131 (3)

Sanilac

10

3

2

2

Cr-E Sheridan Line Rd (1)

Kalkaska

10

3

1

4

Cr-612 (2)

Antrim

9

3

0

3

US-31 (2)

Branch

9

2

0

3

I-69 (2)

Benzie

9

3

0

2

US-31 (2)

Emmet

9

4

1

2

US-31 (1)

Mackinac

9

2

0

3

US-2 (2)

Houghton

9

1

0

2

US-41 (4)

Otsego

9

3

0

6

I-75 (3)

Delta

8

2

1

2

US-2 (4)

Leelanau

8

1

3

1

SR-72 W Empire Hwy (1)

Cheboygan

8

3

1

5

I-75 (3)

Charlevoix

8

2

0

2

US-131 (3)

Lake

7

1

0

5

US-10 (1)

Oscoda

7

4

1

1

SR-72 (1)

Huron

7

1

0

2

SR-142 Sand Beach Rd (1)

Gladwin

7

4

0

3

SR-61 (1)

Baraga

6

4

1

0

US-41 (4)

Alger

6

0

0

1

Cr-H58 (2)

Missaukee

6

2

0

1

SR-66 S Burkett Rd (1)

Dickinson

6

1

0

2

SR-95 (3)

Presque Isle

5

3

2

0

US-23 (2)

Alpena

5

2

0

2

SR-32 (1)

Crawford

5

2

1

1

SR-93 (1)

Alcona

4

2

1

2

Cr-Ausable Rd (1)

Schoolcraft

4

3

0

3

SR-77 (1)

Iron

4

2

0

1

US-2 (1)

Ontonagon

3

2

0

1

Cr-107Th Engineers Memorial Hw (1)

Gogebic

3

0

0

1

US-2 Lead St (1)

Montmorency

1

1

0

1

Cr-487 (1)

Keweenaw

1

1

0

0

Cr-Ahmeek St (1)

Methodology

MoneyGeek analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) database using fatality data from 2018, 2019 and 2020. Currently, 2020 is the latest data available in the system.

About the Author


expert-profile

Doug Milnes is the head of marketing and communications at MoneyGeek. He has spent more than a decade in corporate finance performing valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies including OpenTable. He holds a master’s degree in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University and is a CFA charter holder. Doug geeks out on building financial and predictive models and using data to make informed decisions.


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