US-131 from Wyoming up to Comstock Park is one of the most dangerous roadways in the Grand Rapids area. According to data supplied by Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, from the start of 2017, and the end of 2021, this area saw nearly 5,000 car crashes, with Michigan Traffic Crash Fact reporting roughly half being on Northbound and half on Southbound US-131.
This area of road runs right through the heart of Grand Rapids and intersects with I-196 and I-96 right in the center of the city. This alone creates a significant amount of traffic, with people heading in and out of the area, particularly during work commute rush hour times. This in addition to the multiple exit and entrance ramps, and interchanges with other major highways makes this an especially dangerous roadway.
As part of our Michigan dangerous roads campaign, Sinas Dramis Law Firm took a look at the city roadways and determined the top five dangerous areas to drive in Grand Rapids. While US-131 did take the top spot on the list, it was only listed one time, and there were four other more dangerous locations than the rest of the US-131. However, we thought it would be beneficial to still look at the riskiest areas of US-131 near Grand Rapids. The nine segments of the road with the highest number of crashes all fall from the Wealthy Street on and off ramps, to the Burton Street on and off ramps. In total, 1,212 of the nearly 5,000 crashes occurred in these areas, making it the most dangerous stretch of US-131 near the city. We broke down and described the top 5 below.
As the most dangerous location in our Grand Rapids dangerous roads overview, once again the North US 131 Martin Luther King Junior Exit Ramps, makes the top of the list with 261 crashes over the last 5 years. This section can be heavily congested, and with people entering and exiting the freeway in a very short distance, crashes often occur.
It’s no surprise that our second and third most dangerous sections of the north and south heading freeway, both deal with Wealthy Street. At number two, South US 131 near the exit ramp saw 210 crashes in the last 5 years, and 147 crashes occurred at its Northern counterpart. Wealthy Street is a highly congested area, particularly during rush hour traffic. This area also sees many semi-trucks entering and exiting the highway. Complicating matters more, the entrance and exit are both on a narrow bridge with several traffic lights, making turns difficult, and allowing traffic to get bottled up. Additionally in this area, the highway itself is on a large curve, as it prepares to cross the grand river, which runs through the center of the city (See Map).
Our fourth area on the list is where 104 crashes occurred in the last 5 years, and on North US 131 near the Hall Steet exit ramp. As an entry point to one of Grand Rapids’ major highways, this spot creates opportunities for crashes to occur when a large volume of vehicles are already north into the city, while others are making their way onto the highway.
Our fifth sport where 101 crashes happened, is between the Hall entrance ramp and the MLK exit ramp. In this location, cars merge right to get on the freeway and left to get off the freeway in a short distance. Given the congestion created naturally by the area, the movement in both directions creates a risky situation for potential crashes.
The Grand Rapids car accident lawyers at Sinas Dramis Law Firm want you to stay safe when you’re out on the road, and the following is a list of ways you can take extra precautions while driving:
Unfortunately, despite those listed above, crashes happen, and they result in serious injuries. If you or a loved one are involved in a crash and are unsure of your next steps, contact Sinas Dramis Law Firm, where our attorneys are regarded as the state’s top auto no-fault experts and can help you understand your rights, and point you in the right direction.