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Most Dangerous Highways in Michigan


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When driving on Michigan’s highways and interstates, none of us expects to end up in an auto accident. However, depending on where you are traveling, you could have a higher chance of being involved in a crash. Some of the most dangerous highways in Michigan include Interstate 96, Interstate 94, and Interstate 75. Although you should always drive defensively, you will want to pay particular attention to your surroundings and the potential dangers when traveling on these highways.

Dangers Abound on Michigan Roads

The latest Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Report tells us that there were a total of 282,640 crashes on Michigan roads in 2021, killing 1,131 and injuring 71,246.  According to this report, Wayne County alone saw more than 50,000 total crashes, with 219 people losing their lives and 16,662 being injured.

While I-96, I-94 and I-75 are helpful for getting from Point A to Point B, and certainly enhance Michigan’s place in nationwide commerce, interstate highways also present special dangers to drivers.  More than 23,388 (greater than 8 percent) of Michigan’s 2021 crashes happened on interstate highways, per the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Report; 89 of those were fatal crashes.

Bringing the focus in on Wayne County specifically (which includes the Detroit area), we can refer to a Southeast Michigan Council of Governments report.  Accidents on interstate roads located in Wayne County in 2021 involved:

  • 19 fatalities

  • 123 serious injuries

  • 446 minor injuries

  • 1,083 possible injuries

  • 5,247 reports of property damage.

Dangers of Busy Roads

Not surprisingly, Interstates 96, 94, and 75 are some of the busiest roads in the state of Michigan, which leads to a greater level of potential danger for drivers. They carry hundreds of thousands of vehicles throughout the Detroit area every day. With so many vehicles on these roads, the chances of a reckless driver’s crashing into you and causing injuries will increase. Should you encounter a dangerous situation on a crowded roadway, you may be unable to swerve to avoid the crash. Driving on especially congested roads requires extra care.

Dangers of Weather

The Detroit area has significant weather situations throughout the year, but the winter months can be especially challenging for drivers. Snow and ice can leave roads slick, contributing to the potential issues on these most dangerous highways in Michigan. It just takes one driver who is traveling too fast for the weather and road conditions to increase your chances of being in an injury crash that was not your fault.

Dangers of Road Rage and Speeding

Drivers choosing to exceed the posted speed limit and drivers who are engaging in road rage incidents reduce the safety for everyone else using the roads, potentially leading to injury accidents. If you believe another driver was speeding or was behaving recklessly because of road rage on one of the most dangerous highways in Michigan before hitting you and causing your injuries, you can seek damages against that driver.

Most Dangerous Highways in Michigan: I-94

Interstate 94 is an interstate that stretches from Montana to Michigan. It runs across the entire east-west length of southern Michigan, terminating in Detroit in the east. A study from MoneyGeek showed that I-94 ranks as the most dangerous road in the state.

The study looked at the 2,751 fatal crashes in Michigan occurring from 2017 to 2019. About 2% of these fatal crashes occurred on I-94, making it the most deadly road in Michigan. (The study also found that 7 of the 10 deadliest 5-mile stretches in Michigan are part of the Detroit Metro area.)

Dangers Near DTW Airport

I-94 between Viking Road and Telegraph Road, a roughly 4-mile stretch of road near Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport, saw eight fatal crashes during the three-year period, according to MoneyGeek. MoneyGeek ranked this as the most dangerous stretch of I-94.

However, I-94 also ranks as the most dangerous highway in Michigan because of additional fatal accidents elsewhere during the study period. MoneyGeek found 20 fatal crashes on I-94 in Wayne County from 2017-2019 out of the total 444 fatal crashes in Wayne County during that time period. Six other counties in Michigan also count I-94 as the most dangerous road in those counties because of fatal accidents on I-94.

Dangers of Construction Zones on I-94

This interstate’s initial completion occurred in 1960, and sections of I-94 are showing their age. Consequently, the State of Michigan is planning the I-94 Modernization Project, which will cost $3 billion and will widen and make various aspects of the interstate safer for drivers. This project will rebuild I-94 through a section of Detroit.

Although the road will be much safer after completion of the project, during the construction phase, drivers may have to deal with reduced speeds, tighter lanes, alternate routes, and lane closures. All these items will create a tougher driving situation for those using I-94, creating a greater possibility that drivers could end up in a serious accident resulting in injuries. If you as a driver do not exercise extra caution when traveling in the construction zones on these types of dangerous roads, you could have an increased risk of suffering an injury accident that was not your fault.

Most Dangerous Highways in Michigan: I-96

Interstate 96 exists only within the state of Michigan, running east to west across the state for 192 miles from downtown Detroit to near Muskegon.

This ranks as one of the most dangerous highways in Michigan, and especially in the Detroit area, because of frequent issues with speeding and road rage. Law enforcement officers in the Detroit area often target stretches of I-96 for special enforcement programs, hoping to make the roadway safer for everyone.

I-96 Speeding Enforcement Programs

Michigan State Police occasionally crack down on speeders on I-96 and on other types of dangerous roads, all in an effort to limit the number of dangerous situations and potential road rage incidents. In July 2021, police issued 133 speeding tickets on a single day along I-96 in Detroit, including stopping a driver clocked at 115 mph. These programs happen on a regular basis, but police certainly don’t catch every speeder on I-96, which is why it’s important to drive defensively. Drivers exceeding the speed limit represent a significant cause of injury accidents everywhere, not just on the most dangerous highways in Michigan, according to the National Safety Council.

I-96 Operation Freeway of Love Enforcement Program

Things were so dangerous on I-96 during a period in summer 2019 that Michigan State Police created an enforcement program called the Operation Freeway of Love. Police attempted to stop speeders, while also thwarting other types of aggressive driving behavior, like following too closely and changing lanes recklessly, that can play a role in serious accidents at the high speeds occurring on an interstate. Police emphasized when announcing the program that they would be targeting drivers who were exhibiting behaviors that could lead to a greater chance of a traffic accident with injuries.

Most Dangerous Highways in Michigan: I-75

Interstate 75 also has stretches where quite a few fatal accidents and serious injury accidents occur. I-75 is Michigan’s longest north-south highway in the state, covering almost 400 miles. The section of the interstate that runs through Detroit is extremely busy. According to Michigan Highways, I-75 in Detroit carries about 200,000 vehicles on a daily basis.

One of the most deadly stretches of I-75 is the 5-mile section that runs between the I-94 and I-96 interchange. I-75 ranks as the most dangerous road in four Michigan counties.

Dangerous Driving Behaviors on the Most Dangerous Highways in Michigan

Even though road congestion, road design, and road conditions play a role in determining the most dangerous highways in Michigan, driver behavior plays a bigger role. Because interstates have high speed limits, offer multiple lanes of traffic, and don’t have stoplights, drivers often will travel far faster on this type of road than they would on a two-lane county road. Weaving in and out of traffic is another dangerous driver behavior that occurs more frequently on a multi-lane interstate. These types of actions from drivers increase the possibility of a high-speed crash that could leave you with injuries, even though you were following traffic laws.

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Another reason why these roads tend to be more dangerous occurs because some drivers choose to drink alcohol or take drugs before climbing behind the wheel. On an interstate where traffic numbers are high, drivers must make constant decisions about how to react to the movements of other drivers or road conditions. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is far more difficult to make these decisions quickly and safely.

Should another driver behave in a reckless manner – such as by speeding, by driving too aggressively, by failing to slow down for poor weather, or by driving under the influence – it could make you even more susceptible to the possibility of becoming a victim in an injury accident on these types of dangerous roads.

After an Accident on Any of the Dangerous Roads in Michigan, Contact Goodman Acker

If you suffered injuries on Interstate 94, Interstate 96, or Interstate 75 after a car accident – or on any other roads in the Detroit area – and if the crash was not your fault, reach out to Goodman Acker today for a free consultation about your case.

Our car accident lawyer takes pride in standing up for our clients against unfair treatment from insurance companies. We will be ready to begin working on your case as soon as you choose to hire us. We have a strong track record of success helping our clients receive the judgments they should win to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Through our decades of work representing victims of car accidents and the negligence of others, we know that insurance companies rarely treat these victims with the respect or professionalism they deserve. When you hire our team, we will work tirelessly to try to help you receive the most favorable financial award. For a free consultation, contact us today at 248-286-8100.