Winter Driving I-94 at Capital Avenue
Winter Driving I-94 at Capital Avenue

From 2014 to 2018, there were 248 fatalities resulting from winter weather-related car crashes on Michigan roadways, according to data analyzed by Rural counties tended to be more dangerous for drivers relative to their urban peers, and speeding at the time of the crash was involved in more than 50% of fatalities over the period.

Lending Tree News research analyst Michael Hoffman appeared on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.  He said lake-effect snow definitely contributed to the higher rates in some counties, but that driving too fast for conditions was also a big factor.  Hoffman also said that these winter accidents can lead to higher insurance rates. 

With that being said, these are the five worst counties in Michigan for winter driving fatalities:

  1. Calhoun County

Calhoun County, just east of Kalamazoo, ranks as the worst large county in Michigan for winter weather-related driving fatalities. Between 2014 and 2018 there were 7 deaths, or 5.20 fatalities per 100,00 residents -- more than double the Michigan average of 2.48.

  1. Genesee County

Genesee County, home to Flint and the birthplace of General Motors, had the second highest rate of winter weather-related driving fatalities per resident among large Michigan counties -- seeing a total of 14 deaths over the five year period.

  1. Allegan County

Allegan County is located just to the north of Kalamazoo and on Lake Michigan's eastern shore. Allegan County and many of its lakeside peers are frequently subject to lake effect snow in the winter.

  1. Kalamazoo County

Kalamazoo County saw 9 winter driving fatalities over the period analyzed and shares a border with both Calhoun and Allegan counties, which had the first and third highest rates of winter driving deaths among large Michigan counties.

  1. Muskegon County

Muskegon County, just north of Grand Rapids, saw the fifth-highest rate of winter driving deaths relative to population among large Michigan counties. Similar to Allegan County, Muskegon sits on Lake Michigan's eastern shore, and is often subject to lake effect snow.

Across Michigan counties of all sizes, many winter weather-related fatalities occurred in the Western part of the state, particularly near the city of Kalamazoo. These areas included Calhoun, Allegan, Kalamazoo, Cass and Van Buren  counties, many of which are on or near Lake Michigan and frequently subject to lake effect snow in the winter.

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