I don't know how I feel getting my worst possible thought confirmed about how Michiganders drive in the winter. 

I think we've all kind of known this for a long time, but we thought it was just us.

Now it's official -- Michigan is the most dangerous state when it comes to winter driving.

The web site MoneyGeek.com took a look at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data for driving deaths caused by harsh winter weather (snow, blowing snow, freezing rain, and sleet) during the years 2015-2017.

Michigan had far and away the worst record, with 49 deaths caused by winter weather in those years. The next highest was Pennsylvania at 30.

MoneyGeek says there are some great ways to stay safe when it's slippery out:

 

Slow down! On slick roads, it is harder to stop your vehicle, so decrease your speed and increase your following distance.

Like stopping, accelerating is also more challenging in icy conditions. Apply the gas slowly to gain traction as you get started, and once you're going, don't stop if you can avoid it. "If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it," says AAA's Ellen Edmonds. This advice is especially true for hills, she notes. “There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some traction going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill."

If you do skid, don't panic. Dan Robinson, a storm chaser who writes the blog Storm Highway, says there are three rules to follow when you lose control:

  1. Don't hit the brakes. Braking makes the slide worse; ease your foot off the gas instead.
  2. Turn into the slide. Turn your wheels in the direction the back of the vehicle is sliding.
  3. Don't overcorrect. Overcorrecting causes the car to keep spinning and is more likely to cause an accident.

When the winter weather hits, it's a good idea to enjoy it safely from home. But if you have to venture out, be prepared and take it slowly. And no matter what the driving conditions, when you’re behind the wheel, remove distractions and stay alert.