Key Points of This Article:
- Despite being known as a safe driving state, not every driver in Michigan is a good one, mostly due to failures in following simple rules of the road.
- Motor vehicle operators who are considered accident-prone also share the same bad driver habits.
- Bad drivers clog up roadways with their poor driving decisions like speeding, violating traffic sign laws, distracted driving, and driving under the influence or with aggressive anger.
- Drivers who violate any Michigan motor vehicle law and choose to put
themselves and others at risk for serious injury or even a motor vehicle fatality can and should be held accountable by the courts.
10 Things Michigan’s Worst Drivers Have in Common
Although Michigan drivers have outpaced most other states in worst driver rankings and consistently rank in the top ten for best drivers, the pile-up accidents on I-696 and preventable crashes on I-94 may have many thinking otherwise. Regardless, our goal is to help make driving safer for Michigan residents and visitors. Watch out for these ten qualities the state’s worst drivers share.
- They Refrain from Seatbelt Use – 50 percent of fatalities occur among people who are unbuckled. If you are the driver responsible for others, make sure all passengers are appropriately buckled up, including children who should be in the right size seat. And don’t forget to strap yourself in.
- They Text While Driving – Michigan is now one of a handful of states where distracted drivers are responsible for doubling the number of vehicle crashes vs. those caused by drunk drivers. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from operating your vehicle. Texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction of all and a choice that dramatically increases the chance of being involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash.
- They Don’t Share the Road with Bicyclists – Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists via MCL Section 257.657. Yet, nearly 2,000 cyclists are injured on Michigan roads each year, a number that continues to climb. And unfortunately, the majority of these bicyclists will be killed by a motorist while riding safe and straight on the road.
- They Speed – Michigan raised the speed limit to 75 on some highways in 2017, a 5 mph increase associated with an eight percent increase in the fatality rate on interstates and freeways by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Drivers who speed are also likely to be intoxicated, more aggressive, and practice bad driving habits that put other motorists, as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists at risk of death or serious injuries.
- They Aren’t Courteous – Michiganders who are not proactive in practicing safe driving can be found in just about any community, and their dangerous behaviors typically get worse as they continue to practice them. That may include not using turn signals, driving in the passing lane for too long, keeping a safe distance from other motorists, and allowing moments of rage to direct their decisions. If you feel yourself getting anxious, angry, or impatient while driving, take a break by pulling off the road.
- They Are Red Light Runners – Out of the 974 people killed on Michigan roads in 2018, 32 were the result of a red-light-running crash. Michigan State Police (MSP) agree that red-light runners and those drivers who choose to speed through intersections are increasingly becoming a crash risk problem on all kinds of Michigan roadways.
- They Don’t Watch for Pedestrians at Crosswalks – Many natural factors have caused a rise in pedestrian accidents, including a shift in SUV and light truck use, and the more considerable amount of time people now spend outdoors exercising and walking to work. But bad drivers who are distracted, speeding, drunk, or erratic also contribute.
- They Drive Carelessly During Weather Events – About 65% of the weather-related car accidents in Michigan have been linked to driving “too fast for conditions,” according to a 2018 MSP analysis. Likewise, Michigan drivers may believe they are better than most at driving in heavy snow, ice, and slush, but data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2015 to 2017 says Michigan is the most dangerous state for winter driving, with nearly 50 road deaths reported every year.
- They Drive While Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol – Drunk driving continues to be a significant factor in traffic deaths as a whole, accounting for 29% of overall fatalities in 2018. A March 2019 report by the Impaired Driving Safety Commission showed drug-involved crashes and fatal crashes were on the rise in Michigan. After alcohol, prescription drugs, cannabinoids and recreational marijuana, and cocaine are the drugs most often linked to impaired driving. According to the report, nearly 90% of drivers who tested positive for cannabinoids were also consuming alcohol, and almost 50% had been drinking before getting behind the wheel. If you decide to drink or do drugs, including recreational marijuana, it’s always best to have a plan before you start. Set yourself up with a ride-share service or have a designated driver.
- They Don’t Pay Attention and Allow for Interference – Drowsiness, eating and drinking while driving, grooming, tending to children and pets, or playing with in-vehicle technologies are all harmful distractions. Review our several suggestions on how to avoid becoming a distracted driver and staying focused on the task at hand.
Do you have any of these lousy driver habits? Or do you know someone with “worst driver” characteristics? If so, please don’t be shy in sharing this list and advice with them in hopes it may reduce their likelihood of causing a deadly crash.
Michigan Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you have any questions about being injured in a Michigan accident due to another driver’s negligence, please call our office to speak with an experienced car accident injury lawyer who can answer your questions. The phone call is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case. Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).