Michigan Speeding and Red-Light-Running Accidents - Lee Steinberg Law Firm

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Michigan Speeding and Red-Light-Running Accidents

michigan car accidents

michigan car accidents


  • Red-light runners and those drivers who choose to speed are increasingly becoming a crash risk problem on Michigan roadways, according to Michigan State Police.
  • Thirty-two people were killed in an increasing number of red-light running crashes which hiked up 18.4 percent since 2014.
  • In 2018, there were 31,003 accidents involving speeding, including excessive speeders which led to 191 speed-related crash fatalities.
  • In Michigan, drivers must prepare to stop at an intersection when a light is yellow and follow the Basic Speed Law and drive at posted speed limits and for road conditions.

Two Bad Driving Choices That Need to Stop: Red-Light-Running and Speeding

The majority of car crashes are often the result of just one lousy driving decision that could have been prevented such as texting while driving (distracted driving), operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and general disregard for traffic laws including running red lights and speeding. The latter two are surprisingly not talked about as much as the others. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has provided statistical overviews of the serious impacts red-light-runners and speeding drivers had on Michigan motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists in 2018.

Red-Light-Runners Were Responsible For 4,164 Injuries in 2018

In a red-light-running crash, at least one motor vehicle driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist will have disregarded a traffic control classified as a signal, within 150 feet of an intersection. In 2019, there were a total of 6,114 crashes involving red-light-running, and the number of red-light running crashes increased 18.4 percent in the five-year period from 5,163 in 2014 to 6,114 in 2018. Tragically, of the 16,333 people involved in red-light-running crashes, 32 were killed, and 4,164 more were injured in 2018. Other red-light-running crash statistics provided with the help of the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan Traffic Crash Facts by the University of Michigan include:

  • The most common red-light-running crashes were angle crashes, which account for 79.9 percent of all red-light-running crashes.
  • Red-light-running crashes commonly involved more than one motor vehicle (98.5 percent).
  • The number of motor vehicle drivers who had-been-drinking and also ran red lights in crashes was 145 (2.4 percent).
  • The number of motor vehicle drivers who were using drugs and also ran red lights in crashes was 26.
  • Twelve motorcycle drivers failed to stop at a red light.
  • Out of the 974 people killed on Michigan roads, 32 were the result of a red-light-running crash.

Red-light-runners also kill or hurt non-motorists while rushing through intersections and crosswalks. A total of 37 pedestrians and 52 bicyclists were involved in red-light-running crashes in 2018 and two pedestrians were killed, and 71 non-motorists were injured.

michigan accident stats

Michigan Traffic Light Laws – Stop When the Light Turns Yellow

Referencing MCL 257.612 from Michigan State Police, unless it is dangerous to stop, you must stop when the light turns yellow and when a light is red. The only exception is when you are preparing to make a left turn and you are already within the intersection.

MCL 257.612 says ” …vehicular traffic facing the signal shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection or at a limit line when marked, but if the stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be driven cautiously through the intersection.”

Drivers Who Were Speeding Killed 191 People in Michigan Last Year

Michigan Traffic Crash Facts – Speeding was published by the University of Michigan in 2019 and confirmed there were 31,003 crashes involving speeding, which accounted for 9.9 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the previous year. In addition, 191 people were killed, and 5,446 possible speed-related injuries were reported, 918 of which were serious.

  • Out of the 534,223 motor vehicle drivers involved in crashes, 31,239 (5.8 percent) had a hazardous action of speed too fast.
  • Single motor vehicle crashes were the most common crash type associated with speed-involved crashes at 71.2 percent (22,085).
  • The highest number of excessive speed crashes occurred during icy road conditions at 9,403 (30.3 percent), followed by snowy road conditions with 7,990 (25.8 percent).
  • Excessive speed was a factor in 191 (19.6 percent) fatalities in motor vehicle crashes and 918 (16.4 percent) suspected serious injuries in 2018.
  • In addition to the 31,003 crashes where speeding was a hazardous action, “speed too slow” was reported as a hazardous action for 268 crashes.
  • A total of 1,436 (4.6 percent) of the speeding motor vehicle drivers had also been drinking at the time of the crash.

Drivers who speed are also likely to be more aggressive and practice other bad driving habits that put other motorists, as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists at risk of death or serious injuries. So, if you are a “speedster” be warned as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says you may have:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
  • Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
  • Increased fuel consumption/cost.

Drive the posted speed limit, sober and never distracted, follow the rules of the road and travel in the right lane vs. the left if a speed feels uncomfortable for you, or have others drive you to your destination.

Detroit Roadways Known for Careless Speeders

Michigan State Police say these local freeways in Detroit are popular for speeders including:

  • I-96 on the west side, between Beck and Wixom Road and the Southfield Freeway
  • I-75 north of Pontiac
  • I-75 between M-59 and Sashabaw Roads
  • the Lodge between Wyoming and Linwood

Help reduce deadly crashes in these areas by lowering your speed.

The Lee Steinberg Law Firm Can Handle Your Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim

If you or a family member was injured in an accident caused by a red-light-runner or speeding driver, be sure to seek out the qualified advice of a car accident attorney before discussing anything with an insurance company. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C., has been representing accident victims for over 40 years, and we can help you through this challenging and stressful time.

Contact us today for a free consultation about your potential case or call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE.

Also read: Are Higher Speed Limits Worth the Rise in Traffic Fatalities?