Winter Driving Safety Tips

From sledding down the most prestigious hill in the neighborhood in a dark blue, plastic sled, to skating on the ice rink at Campus Martius in Detroit, winter in Michigan can be the most joyous time of year! However, winter in Michigan isn’t all hot chocolate and toasty fireplaces. Unfortunately, the same snow and freezing cold temperatures that allow Michiganders to have winter fun can also lead to car crashes and serious injuries.

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Drivers unlucky enough to have experienced Michigan winters know that winter drives are unpredictable and can make drivers feel like they’re participating in a Winter Olympics event! Visible road conditions in the morning might allow drivers to feel as confident as Bode Miller swishing and swooshing down a freshly groomed mountaintop. But by the drive home, heavy snowfall and terrible road conditions may create so many hurdles, that drivers feel like they not only missed the podium but placed last in the Olympic qualifier event. In fact, driving in the snow is such a gruesome task that over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy pavements annually, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). So many of these winter weather car accidents are caused by drivers who don’t know how to respond to the treacherous winter weather conditions or how to navigate their vehicles over ice and snow. Since driving in the snow can be a very daunting task, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published the following winter driving tips:

Winter Driving Tips

  1. Stay Alert

  • Keep your gas tank close to full, even with a hybrid-electric vehicle. If you get stuck in a traffic jam or in snow, you might need more fuel than you anticipated to get home or to keep warm.

  • If road conditions are hazardous, avoid driving if possible. Wait until road and weather conditions improve before venturing out in your vehicle.

  • On longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.

2. Avoid Risky Driving Behaviors

  • Do not text or engage in any activities that may distract you while driving.

  • Obey all posted speed limits, but drive even slower if necessary for weather conditions.

  • Drive sober. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory – the skills critical for safe and responsible driving.

3. Driving in Winter Conditions

  • Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.

  • Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up.

4. Navigating Around Snow Plows

  • Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside it. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently.

  • The road behind an active snow plow is safer to drive on. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay behind it or use caution when passing.

  • When you are driving behind a snow plow, don’t follow or stop too closely. A snow plow operator’s field-of-vision is limited; if you can't see the mirrors, the driver can't see you. Also, materials used to de-ice the road could hit your vehicle.

  • Snow plows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Never drive into a snow cloud – it can conceal vehicles or hazards.

What To Do In A Winter Emergency

If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, follow these safety rules:

  1. Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself.

  2. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on.

  3. To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.

Folks in Michigan have plenty to do in the winter, like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, building snowmen, and so much more. Unfortunately, extreme winter weather can also cause many hazards, especially when traveling in snow and ice. While people may cheer on a winter storm for freezing a lake well enough to skate on, they also boo at it for causing pile-ups on the freeway. Since we can’t manipulate Michigan’s weather to be more like Florida’s, Michigan drivers have no choice but to learn how to safely navigate their vehicles in snow, slush, and ice. Hopefully, by following the aforementioned winter driving safety tips, drivers can learn to endure the next snowstorm as Olympic gold medalists and not ER patients!


Winter weather may have it’s up and downs, so it’s important for drivers to stay cautious in order to avoid car crashes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by snowy or icy driving conditions, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Get A Date, Not A DUI, This Valentine's Day

Being handcuffed and placed into the backseat of a police car for drunk driving can kill the romance of a Valentine’s Day date in a second.

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Picking out the most attractive outfit, spraying the most fragrant perfume, and finding the perfect dozen red roses are, of course, important parts of preparing for the perfect Valentine’s Day date. But the plan that matters most is how to get home safely after drinking a bottle of bubbly or a few Valentine-themed cocktails.

In 2014, a BACtrack report found that, “14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.” Of these holidays, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd drunkest holiday! What is even more astonishing is that, “the day after Valentine’s Day had a high of 0.092% BAC.” So, while some people are venturing out to Meijer for 50% off Valentine’s Day candies like heart-shaped Reese’s cups and chocolate covered strawberries, others may be hitting the road after a few glasses of red wine left over from the night before.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 10,847 deaths caused by drunk driving, and, “in every State, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017.” With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday this year, many individuals may want to drive home after their night of celebrating so they can wake up early and drive to work the next morning. These potential drunk drivers should know that not only are they putting themselves and others at risk of drunk driving car crashes, but they may also be endangering their driving record. The Michigan State Police (MSP) found that “annually, tens of thousands of drivers are arrested in Michigan for alcohol-related offenses.”

The MSP has a few suggestions on how to avoid drunk driving car crashes. People enjoying Valentine's Day festivities can adapt these tips to their plans to stay safe this tomorrow. After all, the police station drunk tank isn’t the ideal venue for a intimate date and you don’t want to blow your date budget on bail money!

How To Avoid A Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol. An Uber driver, particularly an Uber Black driver, is technically a chauffeur right? And chauffeurs instantly make a date feel classier and allow couples to converse in the back seat instead of having to focus on the road.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus. Aren’t midnight strolls in the moonlight the height of romanticism? So, picking a restaurant near the house will give couples the chance to pick out constellations on the walk home after dining and drinking.

  • Stay overnight. Similar to bringing over a sleeping bag to a friend’s house to crash after a rager, one way to safely drink without limitations on Valentine’s Day, is by staying the night at a hotel. Some upscale hotels even have 5-star restaurants located inside, so the only drunk traveling to worry about is walking to the nearest elevator. Take the Shinola Hotel in Downtown Detroit for example. Inside the hotel is the San Morello restaurant, but if you don’t want Italian, there are dozens of other dining options in walking distance!

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Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving on Valentine’s Day, is to just not drink! Isn’t the sugar high from the candy hearts, smarties necklaces, and the decadent dessert from dinner enough to keep people hyper?! Drunk driving car crashes can occur just as quickly as it takes Cupid to shoot an arrow. So, stop and smell the roses (bouquet) on Valentine’s Day by having a drink or two, but don’t let drunk driving become a thorn in your side!


Choosing a piece of chocolate from a newly opened, heart-shaped box of Russell Stover’s chocolate may be a difficult task, but choosing a law firm to represent a drunk driving accident victim can be very easy. The Michigan Law Firm, PC helps those who have been injured in car crashes identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us a 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation.

Medical or Not, Marijuana May Impair Drivers

In Michigan, more than half of medical marijuana users have admitted to having driven under the influence of marijuana within two hours of using it.

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This information was found in a study conducted by the University of Michigan Addiction Center and published in the Drug & Alcohol Dependence Journal. Researchers noted that roughly 270,000 people have state approval to use medical marijuana for pain, nausea, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and for other medical reasons in the State of Michigan. 790 medical cannabis users in Michigan were surveyed and it was found that 56% reported driving within two hours of using cannabis and 51% reported driving while, "a little high" and 21% reported driving while, "very high." 1 in 5 individuals even admitted that they have operated a vehicle while being under the influence of marijuana once in the past six months.

Why is driving under the influence of marijuana a bad thing? After all, it’s prescribed by doctors for suffering patients! Well, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, according to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), “driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana, like alcohol, negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving.”

In July 2018, WWMT Kalamazoo reported that 2 newlywed Michiganders were killed in a car crash when a driver sped through a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle, pushing into another lane, causing them to be struck by a third vehicle. 2 of the 3 occupants of the vehicle involved in the car accident had medical marijuana prescriptions. This doesn’t mean that the at-fault driver was under the influence of marijuana but, “Investigators said the medical marijuana cards found at the scene of the crash complicate their case and the charges the at-fault driver will face.” Allegan County Sheriff Capt. Chris Kuhn, believes investigations can become very puzzling for law enforcement and the establishment of testing procedures or blood levels to suspect the impairment of a driver. “Even with a medical marijuana card, it is illegal to drive with active levels of the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana in your system, but there is no legal limit to say what’s considered, high,” Kuhn said.

No tests currently exist for law enforcement to measure marijuana impairment of drivers, so field sobriety tests have been adapted from their use in detecting alcohol-impaired drivers. Research conducted in the HLDI study suggests however that field sobriety tests designed to assess alcohol-impaired drivers are only moderately successful at detecting impairment from marijuana.. The study also suggests that, “this ineffective enforcement may encourage drivers to engage in driving under the influence of marijuana, because they think they can get away with it.”

While the presence of marijuana initially complicated the investigation of the fatal newlyweds car crash, toxicology reports later uncovered that the at-fault driver had both alcohol and marijuana in his system while operating his vehicle.

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Over 50% of Michigan drivers have been driving while under the influence of prescribed medical marijuana, according to the University of Michigan Addiction Center. Although the causal link between marijuana use and car crash risk remains unproven, the consistent pattern of findings in the CDC’s research suggests that car crash rates do increase when drivers use marijuana. Driving in Michigan is dangerous enough with all the potholes and poor road conditions causing car accidents, so adding drugs into the driving mix makes car crashes even more likely to occur. Just as people know they shouldn’t drink and drive, they should know not to smoke and drive, even if they’re using marijuana for medical purposes.


Medical marijuana has been prescribed to over 270,000 individuals in the State of Michigan, and now, as of January 2019, Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use for individuals 21 and older. While many citizens are overjoyed at this new legislation, the legalization of marijuana may lead to more impaired drivers and more car crashes. The Michigan Law Firm, PC, helps victims who have been injured in a medical marijuana car crashes, and help to identify and receive any compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation regarding your car crash.

Vehicle App Downloads Increase As Temperatures Decrease

Grandpa may not understand how to use Facebook but he sure wasn’t going to go out in -50°F windchill to start up his car! The polar vortex brought many troubles, challenges, and delays to Michigan drivers. The bone-chilling wind and subzero temperatures were horrifying enough that even technophobic people downloaded and used mobile connected apps to self start their vehicle engines.

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On January 30, 2019, self-starting apps were used more than 59 million times, which is a 70% increase from an average day in January, according to General Motors. These apps include myChevrolet, myBuick, myGMC, and myCadillac.

Santiago Chamorro, GM’s Vice President for Global Connected Customer Experience said, “With access to an app that connects directly to the vehicle, our customers are able remote start their vehicle from anywhere, and avoid spending extra time outside during unpleasant weather conditions."

GM stated that Michigan, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Minnesota were the states with the most users hitting “start” on their phones to warm up their vehicles.

According to USA Today, the GM vehicle self-starting app was introduced 9 years ago and was the auto industry’s first connected mobile app. In addition to starting up their engines, GM owners of Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles can also check their vehicle's oil life, tire pressure, and fuel level. The app can even help drivers locate the car if it’s ever lost.

Other automotive brands have also jumped at the vehicle app trend. For example, Chrysler vehicles such as Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and FIAT have Uconnect, Toyota has Toyota Owners, and the Ford Motor Company has FordPass. All of these apps allow drivers to start their vehicle engines, check their vehicle's oil life, tire pressure, fuel level, locates the car in a crowded parking lot, and some even allow users to sound the vehicle's horn and flash the headlights. Though connected car apps used to only be a feature in luxury vehicles, like BMW’s BMW Connected Drive, this technology has become widely available for most newer model vehicles regardless of their price tag.

There is nothing like stepping into a toasty car on a frosty morning, and thanks to automakers’ mobile connected apps, many people can start off their morning drive without worrying about their hands freezing and sticking to the steering wheel! However, there are dangers to letting a car warm up. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog recently informed readers of some bad habits drivers carry out that can hurt their vehicles. One such bad habit is letting the engine idle too long in an effort to warm up the car. According to AutoBlog, “idling for too long causes buildup on the spark plugs, rendering them less efficient. This may be bad news for your wallet, too, as it wastes gas.”


Mobile connected apps have made winter driving a bit more tolerable for Michigan drivers. However, the winter driving dangers of icy roads, vision-impairing snowfall, and other car accident causing winter driving threats still exist. Car accidents may lead to serious injuries and seriously expensive medical bills. Like a snow plow clearing the road, the car accident attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help clear up the legal process for victims of car crashes. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney, call 844.4MI.FIRM.

Caution: Don't Slip Into Spring

Finally! A glimmer of hope at the end of a polar vortex! Spring is coming early!

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Americans were crossing their fingers and waiting on bated breath for Punxsutawney Phil to make his annual Groundhog Day prediction. As tradition dictates, if the groundhog sees his shadow and goes back into his burrow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. But, if he doesn’t see his shadow and stays outside, spring will come early. And if you haven’t already heard, Phil did not see his shadow!

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Punxsutawney Phil might just be the best meteorologist in America because Michiganders have been enjoying warm temperatures this week. Monday reached a high of 54 °F, which after the subzero temperatures the day before, made it feel like a heatwave hit Metro Detroit! But just because spring is coming early, doesn’t mean winter is over just yet. There may not be a blizzard on the horizon, but Metro Detroit is experiencing an ice storm. According to The National Weather Service (NWS), “Freezing rain develops as falling snow encounters a layer of warm air deep enough for the snow to completely melt and become rain. As the rain continues to fall, it passes through a thin layer of cold air just above the surface and cools to a temperature below freezing. However, the drops themselves do not freeze, a phenomenon called supercooling (or forming "supercooled drops"). When the supercooled drops strike the frozen ground (power lines, or tree branches), they instantly freeze, forming a thin film of ice, hence freezing rain... Ice storms result from the accumulation of freezing rain.”

The NWS also mentions that, “Ice storms can be the most devastating of winter weather phenomena and are often the cause of automobile accidents, power outages and personal injury.” In 2014, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 42,480 work injuries involved ice, sleet, or snow. 2,040 of them were Michigan work injuries. The report also indicates that the injuries resulted from, “falls, slips or trips; overexertion and bodily reaction; transportation incidents; and contact with objects and equipment.”

Icy sidewalks, driveways, and even roads may cause disasters and lead to a higher risk of slips, falls, and even car accidents. Don’t slip into spring; walk and drive slowly.


Slip and falls and car accidents caused by ice may lead to minor injuries such as twisted ankles and scraped knees and to serious injuries like broken bones and even traumatic brain injuries, leaving victims in the hospital for days and out of work for weeks. The Michigan Law Firm, PC provides legal services to those who have been injured in slip and fall accidents and icy car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Is Uber the New 9-1-1?

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In November 2015, a Grand Rapids, Michigan man was shot and was bleeding heavily. Instead of calling 911, he called an Uber.

Slow ambulance response times and the astronomical service fees that follow, have many individuals taking matters into their own hands, or phones actually. Individuals in need of emergency care are now picking up their smartphones, opening their favorite ridesharing app, and instead of adding their local bar as their destination, users are requesting to be dropped off at the nearest emergency room. Uber, in particular, has responded to this trend by creating a non-emergency transportation application to help healthcare providers, Uber Health.

Distressed people find themselves waiting long periods of time for an emergency vehicle to arrive. These slow response times have caused life-threatening obstacles for many individuals. In 2013, “the city of Detroit had fewer than 10 working ambulances. A 911 caller with a medical emergency was likely to wait 20 minutes or more for help to arrive,” according to the Altarum Institute. In 2014, Detroit had seen some of its worst response times in decades. In January 2014, the average response time of Detroit's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was 18 minutes, as mentioned by, The Motor City Muckraker. But, the article also mentions that in 2015, The City of Detroit saw an increase from 12 to 25 EMS vehicles after Mayor Mike Duggan took office, and started an initiative to improve Detroit’s ambulance response time. The article also mentions that the initiative, which began in April 2015, saw response times surpassing the national average, dropping 10 minutes to 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

But even with improved emergency service response times, many individuals are still choosing ridesharing services over calling 9-1-1. Why? Ambulance rides are expensive! A deciding factor in choosing transportation for many individuals is how much it will cost them. People love Uber for the simple reasons that they can arrive at a destination quickly and without breaking their wallets. And when the price of an ambulance ride to the hospital can range from $600 to $1,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, it’s no wonder people prefer an Uber! According to the University of Kansas, “the use of Uber in cities across the country has reduced per capita ambulance volume by at least 7%,” likely because patients want to avoid the expensive ambulance ride with paramedics. The study looked at ambulance rates in 766 U.S. cities across 43 states from the time Uber was made available in the area from 2013-2015.

Although taking an Uber to the hospital may be much cheaper and at times faster, it might not be a medically sound decision to rule out an ambulance. A 5-star uber driver may provide bottled water and your choice of music but ambulances come equipped with trained professionals who provide life-saving care! Also, an emergency vehicle can legally impede traffic to race an individual to an emergency room, where ridesharing services cannot.

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While Uber does not encourage using their services in place of emergency care, they have recognized the need for more efficient and easy to use transportation in the medical sector, and have introduced Uber Health. According to Uber, “Uber health is a technology solution for healthcare organizations that leverages the ride hailing power of Uber platform... the app allows hospitals and other healthcare professionals to request, manage, and pay for rides for others, at a scale.” Healthcare organizations use Uber Health to allow patients to request or schedule a ride to and from their place or treatment, and for staff to get to and from work, 24/7. Uber Health is currently available in the United States everywhere Uber is already available. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “services like Uber Health could help patients avoid missing appointments because of lack of affordable transportation.”

But it should be stressed again that Uber Health is not an alternative to calling 911, but rather an aid for healthcare providers to arrange higher quality transportation services for patients. Requesting ridesharing services instead of emergency vehicles because of slow EMS response times or hefty medical bills may put injured victims at a higher risk of not getting proper medical attention.


Calling an Uber to go to the ER for a paper cut is a better idea than calling an ambulance. But, taking an Uber to the ER after experiencing a heart attack may not be the best medical decision. No one likes going to the hospital or dealing with piling medical bills. The personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC understand the frustration that injured victims feel and help them so they can focus on their recovery. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

A Play by Play To A Safe Super Bowl Party

Is everyone ready to see the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams duke it out this Sunday, during the Super Bowl?! What should go on a Super Bowl Sunday checklist? Chips? Check. Dip? Check. Designated driver? Check!

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According to a study conducted by BACtrack, Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd drunkest American holiday! To many Americans, football is a religion and the Super Bowl is the holiest holiday. And one of the ways to worship during the Super Bowl is by consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Celebrations involve red solo cups filled with alcoholic mixed drinks, bottles of Bud Light wrapped in a lucky koozie, fancy craft brews in snifter glasses, and even carafes of wine. And if you need to calm the fire in your mouth after eating a hot wing, there are jello shots. Plus with drinking games in which everyone takes a shot when there’s a touchdown or when an announcer says a specific word, there is a lot of alcohol being consumed during a Super Bowl party!

Unfortunately, the buzz from the thrill of the Big Game can wear off long before the buzz of the alcohol. After all, the game is on Sunday evening and people have to work the next day. And especially if your favorite team loses, you may want to get home as soon as possible. But Super Bowl partygoers need to remember that, “drunk driving kills.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, “In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.” Since the Super Bowl is the 2nd drunkest holiday of the year, many drunk driving car crashes are likely to occur. In order to prevent drunk driving car accidents, the NHTSA offers drivers a play by play on how to drive safely on Super Bowl Sunday.

How To Avoid Super Bowl Drunk Driving

  • Known the Rules: It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. When it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement doesn’t throw a yellow flag; they throw the book at you. You’ll get pulled over, arrested, and prosecuted. Your wallet takes a big hit, too: the average DUI court case cost approximately $10,000.

  • Play It Safe: Defenses win championships; your best defense is to plan a safe ride. From buses and trains to car services and designated drivers, connect with the option that will get you home safely. NHTSA even has an app for the-SaferRide-which is available for Apple and Android devices and can connect you to a local cab company or with a friend who can come pick you up.

  • Be a Party MVP: Volunteer to be a designated driver. Let your squad know that you’ll be there for them when the party’s over with a safe, sober ride home. (You can even tweet their names to @NHTSAgov to make them part of the NHTSA’s Wall of Fame. Use the hashtag #designateddriver.)

  • If You’ve Been Drinking, You’re Benched: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. There’s no place on the road for anyone who has been drinking. If someone tries to drive after drinking, tell them to ride the bench until you help them find a sober ride home. If you’re hosting the party, you’re the head coach. Make the right call: take their keys before they drink and drive.

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The Super Bowl will end with one team winning it all, but by not engaging in drunk driving, everyone can win. Sure, a shiny trophy signifying a football season full of hard work and dedication is nice, but drivers should avoid the shiny prize of handcuffs signifying a night of bad drunk driving decisions. People planning to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl should sober up before leaving the party, celebrate at home, find a designated driver, or call an Uber or Lyft. Drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Drunk driving car accidents ruin the lives of the drunk driver and anyone they injure in a car crash. Drunk driving attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC, seek to help victims injured in drunk driving car crashes identify and collect benefits and compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan drunk driving lawyer, call 844.4MI.FIRM.


9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

Just as Michiganders started to get their hopes up believing that this year’s winter may be mild, the state was hit with a snow storm yesterday and is expecting subzero temperatures today. Governor Gretchen Whitmer even declared a state of emergency, stating, “Keeping Michiganders safe during this stretch of dangerously cold temperatures is our priority. Such widespread, extreme conditions have not occurred in Michigan for many years and it is imperative that we are proactive with record-low temperatures being predicted by the National Weather Service. Wind chills are predicted as low as 50 degrees below zero in many places, such as metro Detroit which is especially unaccustomed to these temps.”

Since humans can’t hibernate in the winter, it’s important for people to know how to drive in snowy, icy, and freezing temperature so that they can get to work, the grocery store, the hospital, Zumba, or wherever else they have to go. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog shared a vehicle safety to-do list from The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) that informs drivers of vehicle maintenance they should peform before heading out on winter roads. However, just as it’s important to know what to do, it’s also important to know what not to do when it comes to winter vehicle safety. Weather.com has collected some advice for drivers regarding some winter vehicle maintenance mistakes that can hurt a car rather than help it.

9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

1. Forgetting to Change the Windshield Wipers

Changing the windshield wipers is one of the easiest items to forget when it comes to car maintenance. See the streaks your wipers are leaving on the window? Pep Boys says, "the trick is changing your wipers as soon as they don't clear the windshield well." Windshield wipers are vital to your safety on the road; better wipers mean better visibility. 

2. Warming the Car for Too Long

Climbing into a freezing car is not fun, so many resort to starting the vehicle and letting it warm up before they leave for the day. This is viable for a couple minutes; however, engines are not designed to idle for long periods of time. According to AutoBlog, idling for too long causes buildup on the spark plugs, rendering them less efficient. This may be bad news for your wallet, too, as it wastes gas. 

3. Continuing to Use Summer Tires When Winter Hits

Many who live in cities that rarely see snowfall neglect changing their tires for the appropriate season. Summer tires begin experiencing faulty performance when the temperature falls below 44.6 °F, Giti Tires says. A thin layer of ice on the road can weaken summer tires, leading to poor handling and braking. 

4. Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

Tires tend to be a bigger issue in the winter due to compressed air that cooler weather brings. CarInsuranceQuotes.net notes that the pressure in your tires is reduced by one PSI every 10-degree drop in the temperature. It may be a good idea to keep an emergency maintenance kit in the car and include a portable air pump and pressure gauge. 

5. Failing to Protect the Dashboard

It may be cold outside, but the sun is just as intense as it is in the summer. If you park in the sunlight, you may see the color of the dashboard fade, and the material may crack or blister. AutoBlog suggests keeping a cardboard sunshade in the trunk for days when the sun is bright and likely to cause damage. 

6. Keeping Up with the Amount of Gas in Your Car

During the winter months, it's better to fill up frequently as a near-empty tank can cause problems. CNN Money reports the moist air in an empty tank can freeze and crystallize, leading to ice in the fuel lines. 

7. Pouring a Bucket of Hot Water on the Windshield for Deicing 

The temperature difference between the scalding water and your freezing car may crack your windshield. Remember that rock that put a lovely crack in the glass yesterday? The hot water will work its way in there and expand, creating a problem you don't want to see. Instead, go for the old fashioned way: the ice scraper. 

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8. Slamming on the Brakes and Overcorrecting When You Hit a Patch of Ice

This may put you on the front page of local newspapers after you cause an accident involving several cars. If you slam on your brakes, you're almost guaranteed to spin out of control and into traffic or the guardrail. To avoid a costly accident, stay calm, gently turn the steering wheel in the direction you are sliding and lightly tap the brake. 

9. Speeding in Snowy Conditions 

Yes, even the most experienced drivers can falter in their winter driving skills. Overconfidence in one's abilities can be detrimental and end up causing a serious crash. Black ice may be lurking beneath that fresh coat of snow, and if you're speeding, it all goes downhill from there. Keep your speed steady and drive below the speed limit when roads are icy or the threat of ice is possible.

Extreme winter weather does a great job of ruining vehicles on its own, without needing help from human error. It’s easier on the wallet to take care of vehicle maintenance before the car inconveniently breaks down or doesn’t start, or before poor vehicle conditions causes a car crash.


Car maintenance bills in the hundreds are easier to stomach than medical and legal bills in the thousands. Many winter car crashes may be avoidable if the right winter vehicle maintenance is performed. But for victims of those winter weather car accidents that occur anyway, the car crash attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC are available to help ease the burden of being involved in a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan car accident lawyer, call 844.4MI.FIRM today.

#BirdBoxChallenge Is Becoming A Bigger Horror Than The Movie

Move over In My Feelings Challenge! The Bird Box Challenge, a recent viral challenge inspired by Netflix’s hit horror movie Bird Box, has taken over!

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Starring Sandra Bullock, the movie’s antagonist is a supernatural entity that shows people their worst fears and terrorizes them to the point where they kill themselves. To avoid certain and painful death, the characters blindfold themselves as they travel to safety. Fans of Bird Box have started performing various tasks while blindfolded and have been sharing images and videos as #BirdBoxChallenge.

Unfortunately, this dangerous ‘challenge’ has been causing tons of injuries, including a car accident on January 11, 2019. Layton, Utah law enforcement stated that a 17-year-old driver was partaking in the “Bird Box Challenge” when she swerved into an approaching vehicle and crashed into a light pole, according to a local news report.

“Apparently, as a part of this ‘Bird Box Challenge,’ (the driver) used her beanie to pull over her eyes as she was driving on Layton Parkway, and she ended up losing control of her car and skidded into the westbound lanes of Layton Parkway and hit another car and ended up hitting a light pole as well,” Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said.

After the challenge went viral, Netflix urged people to not participate in the challenge, tweeting, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”

In 2016, the NHTSA reported that 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Although no car accident injuries occurred in this Bird Box car crash, it must be noted that drivers who take part in distracted driving “challenges” not only put themselves, but also others, at risk of a being involved serious car crashes.


The car accident attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC take care of the legal hassles involved car accident lawsuits so that car crash victims can focus on getting their lives back on track after a serious car accident. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation if you have been injured a distracted driving car crash.

(Legally) Get High But Don't Drive

Michigan Marijuana Lawyer

On November 8, 2018, Michiganders made some sweeping changes in the Great Lakes state when they went out to the polling stations. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected Governor, hourly minimum wage was increased from $10 in 2019 to $12 in 2022, and legislative district lines will be re-drawn! Also, an awesome number of women were elected to the US Senate, US House, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan House of Representatives, and for the first time in Michigan history, all of the top Michigan offices of Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General!

Perhaps the most controversial and astonishing result of this election was the victory of Proposal 1, the legalization of marijuana, with a 56% - 44% margin! As such, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana. But before people start to search Google Maps for the nearest hydroponic shop or post pictures of themselves lighting up on Facebook or Instagram, they should know that it may be a few years until they can commercially grow or purchase marijuana. While smoking marijuana is now legal, residents likely won’t be able to legally buy recreational marijuana until early 2020.

It should be clarified however, that Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, so the proposal that just passed governs, “the personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.” So, what does adult recreational use of marijuana entail? Well, The Detroit Free Press discusses the new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

Michigan’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

  • Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.

  • Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.

  • Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

While many are celebrating this new legislation, Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana may have negative consequences. Marijuana legalization may result in increased crime, abuse of the substance, and even more car accidents. A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, which have legalized recreational marijuana, were associated with a 6% increase in collision claims compared with 5 neighboring states that did not legalize the drug. According to the study, “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, “results from simulator studies suggest that consuming marijuana increases lane weaving behavior and interferes with drivers’ ability to maintain a constant headway.”

Michigan has already been seeing some marijuana car crashes. On January 20, 2019, a driver under the influence of marijuana crashed into a parked Michigan State Police trooper who was responding to an accident on I-75. According to a local report, the 26-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and was taken to the hospital for a blood test. The driver admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and was issued a DWI.

With new laws come new responsibilities. Michigan drivers should know that the legalization of recreational marijuana doesn’t mean they can get high and drive. Most people know better than to drive under the influence of alcohol, so since marijuana is a psychoactive drug, they should know better than to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving while impaired under the influence of any drug can cause car accidents! In fact, other states that have legalized marijuana have seen an increase in the number of marijuana car accidents, so there may be an increase in Michigan marijuana car accidents soon. And instead of calling a lawyer to get them off of a drug charge, Michigan marijuana smokers may soon be seeking marijuana car crash legal representation.


People typically don’t call attorneys for good reasons. Being hit by a driver under the influence of marijuana, or worse, being the impaired driver who causes a car accident, is a terrible circumstance in which to call a lawyer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC recognizes that calling a lawyer and dealing with a marijuana car accident case can be a tough process. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with all types of car crash cases and help clients make the legal process as easy as possible. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan marijuana lawyer, call us at 844.4MI.Firm.

Cyberbullying Is Now A Crime In Michigan

On July 6, 2015, 13-year-old Zoe Johnson committed suicide a day after classmates tagged her name was tagged on a Facebook post reading, “tag a b**h you don’t like.” Zoe had just finished the seventh grade and was a member of the cheer team. According to her mother, Rebecca Abbott, Zoe had been experiencing bullying for many years and therefore suffered from mild depression. Towards the end of the school year, the bullying may have reached an all-time high, leading Zoe to her breaking point, Even after Zoe’s death, kids continued to post on the Facebook page, with one even writing, "good ur gone."

Michigan Cyberbully Lawyer

On December 27, 2018, former Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Lucido R-Shelby Township, into Michigan law that makes cyberbullying a misdemeanor crime. Going in effect in March 2019, Public Act 457 of 2018 mentions that cyberbullying includes posting a message or statement in a public media forum about any other person if both the following apply:

  • The message or statement is intended to place a person in fear of bodily harm or death and expresses an intent to commit violence against the person.

  • The message or statement is posted with the intent to communicate a threat or with knowledge that it will be.

The law defines cyberbullying as a “misdemeanor punishable by 93 days’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.” Repeat offenders could face a 1 year sentence, and fines up to $1,000. Individuals involved in a “pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior causing serious injury to the victim” are guilty of a crime punishable up to 5 years and, or a fine up to $5,000. If the online harassment is found to cause death, the violator is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.   

Governor Snyder stated, “Cyberbullying can cause just as much trauma as traditional bullying so it's important that it be considered a crime… With this bill, we are sending a message that bullying of any kind is not tolerated in Michigan.”


Hopefully now that cyberbullying is illegal in Michigan, fewer people will engage in this harmful behavior. They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but in the case of cyberbullying, the keyboard can hurt people so deeply that they consider suicide as the only option to make the pain stop. The cyberbullies who inflict this pain on innocent victims deserve to be punished by the fullest extent of the law. The Michigan Law Firm, PC can now assist cyberbullying victims with obtaining pain and suffering compensation for cyberbullying in Michigan. Please call us at 844.4MI.FIRM. for a free legal consultation.

Winter Driving Vehicle Safety Check List

The 2004 movie, Dodgeball taught the lesson, “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” A similar philosophy can be applied to winter weather driving: If you can service your vehicle, you can handle the snow. Knowing how to drive in the snowy conditions is very important, especially to avoid getting into car accidents. But before even backing out of the driveway and into the blizzard, drivers should diligently check their vehicle to make sure it can weather the storm. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) provides drivers with a vehicle safety to-do list before they hit the road.

Source: Giphy, Dodgeball

Before You Go:

Get Your Car Serviced

  • No one wants their car to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition.

  • Visit your mechanic for a tune-up and other routine maintenance.

  • Have your vehicle checked thoroughly for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Check for Recalls

  • Owners may not always know that their vehicle is under an open recall and needs to be repaired. NHTSA's Recalls Look-up Tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if your vehicle or one you are looking to purchase has a critical safety issue that has not been repaired. Check for recalls on your vehicle by searching now: nhtsa.gov/recalls. If your vehicle is under a recall, get it fixed at your nearest dealer FOR FREE.

Know Your Car

Winter Car Crash Lawyer Detroit
  • Every vehicle handles differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Take time now to learn how your vehicle handles under winter weather driving conditions.

  • Before driving your vehicle, clean snow, ice or dirt from the windows, the forward sensors, headlights, tail lights, backup camera and other sensors around the vehicle.

  • When your area gets snow, practice driving on snow-covered or icy roads—but not on a main road. Sharpen your winter weather driving skills and know how your vehicle handles in snowy conditions by practicing in an empty parking lot. See your vehicle’s manual to familiarize yourself with the features on your vehicle—such as antilock brakes and electronic stability control—and how the features perform in slippery conditions. For example, your vehicle or pedals may pulsate when controlling traction.

  • For electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, minimize the drain on the battery. If the vehicle has a thermal heating pack for the battery, plug your vehicle in whenever it’s not in use. Preheat the passenger compartment before you unplug your vehicle in the morning.

  • When renting a car, become familiar with the vehicle before driving it off the lot. Know the location of the hazard lights switch in case of emergency, and review the owner’s manual so that you’re prepared for any driving situation that may arise.

Stock Your Vehicle

  • Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks, such as cleaning off your windshield, as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following in your vehicle:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.

  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.

  • Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers.

  • Blankets for protection from the cold.

  • A cell phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas).

Plan Your Travel and Route

  • Keep yourself and others safe by planning ahead before you venture out into bad weather.

  • Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic.

  • Don’t rush; allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely. Plan to leave early if necessary.

  • Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go, even if you use a GPS system, and let others know your route and anticipated arrival time.

Go Over Your Vehicle Safety Checklist

Battery

  • When the temperature drops, so does battery power. For gasoline and diesel engines, it takes more battery power to start your vehicle in cold weather. For electric and hybrid electric vehicles, the driving range is reduced when the battery is cold, and battery systems work better after they warm up. Make sure your battery is up to the challenges of winter.

  • Have your mechanic check your battery for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity.

  • Have the charging system and belts inspected.

  • Replace the battery or make necessary system repairs, including simple things like tightening the battery cable connections.

  • Keep gasoline in a hybrid-electric vehicle, to support the gasoline engine.

Lights

  • See and be seen! Make sure all the lights on your vehicle are in working order. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights. Towing a trailer? Be sure to also check your trailer brake lights and turn signals. Trailer light connection failure is a common problem and a serious safety hazard.

Cooling System

  • Make sure the cooling system is in proper working order.

  • Make sure you have enough coolant in your vehicle and the coolant meets the manufacturer’s specifications. See your vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations on coolant.

  • Thoroughly check the cooling system for leaks or have your mechanic do it for you.

  • Have the coolant tested for proper mix, proper pH (acidity) and strength of the built-in corrosion inhibitors. Over time, the rust inhibitors in antifreeze break down and become ineffective.

  • Drain and replace the coolant in your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer, to remove dirt and rust particles that can clog the cooling system and cause it to fail.

Windshield

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer
  • You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so be prepared for whatever might come your way.

  • Completely fill your vehicle’s reservoir before the first snow hits.

  • Use high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer and keep extra in your vehicle.

Wipers and Defrosters

  • Safe winter driving depends on achieving and maintaining the best visibility possible.

  • Make sure your windshield wipers work; replace worn blades.

  • Consider installing heavy-duty winter wipers if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice.

  • Check to see that your front and rear window defrosters work properly.

Floor Mats

  • Improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle may interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash.

  • Remove old floor mats before installing new mats; never stack mats.

  • Use mats that are the correct size and fit for your vehicle.

  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation. Use available retention clips to secure the mat and prevent it from sliding forward.

  • Every time the mats are removed for any reason, verify that the driver’s mat is reinstalled correctly.

Tires

  • If you plan to use snow tires, have them installed in the fall so you are prepared before it snows. Check out nhtsa.gov/tires for tire ratings before buying new ones and look for winter tires with the snowflake symbol.

  • Regardless of season, inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips. It only takes about five minutes. If you find yourself driving under less-than-optimal road conditions this winter, you’ll be glad you took the time. Don’t forget to check your spare tire.

  • As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner’s manual and on a placard located on the driver's side door frame. The correct pressure is NOT the number listed on the tire. Be sure to check tires when they are cold, which means the car hasn’t been driven for at least 3 hours.

  • Look closely at your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. Tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires.

  • Check the age of each tire. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use, but check your owner’s manual to find out.

  • For more information on tire safety, visit NHTSA’s Tires page.

Michigan Snow Car Crash Lawyer

Driving in the winter, especially on Michigan roads can be a lot like playing Mario Kart. It can be a thrill to race down Rainbow Road as Mario, but seconds later the kart might hit with a banana peel and spin out landing the player in last place. A driver who neglects safety measures before heading out into winter driving conditions may end up in a real life game of Mario Kart. Therefore, to avoid car crashes, it’s important to go over every winter driving safety rule before getting behind the wheel.


Taking a vehicle to get serviced can be a pain of a process, but failing to do so may lead to larger consequences which no driver wants to endure. Servicing a vehicle before heading out is very important during winter in Michigan and keeps drivers safe on the roads. The personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC represent individuals who have been injured in serious winter accidents. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

MSP Responded To Nearly 100 Icy Road Car Crashes Today!

Source: Giphy, HBO’s Game of Thrones

It’s January 16th, but some days have been unbelievably warm and sunny with 50°F weather. People are still flocking to outdoor ice cream stands like it’s still summer! Unfortunately, it appears as our good luck has faded and as they say on Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” Metro Detroit citizens woke up to the surprise of slick, icy roads this morning after getting used to the mild winter that that graced Michigan so far.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) responded to nearly 100 car accidents, just today! Not only did they have to provide emergency services for car crash calls, but an MSP patrol car was also involved in a speeding car crash. The MSP tweeted about the crash saying, “We got lucky overnight! A courtesy van, road commission salt truck and a state police patrol car were all hit while trying to keep you safe overnight. Fortunately, we can fix metal. No one was hurt. Please, Move Over!!”

Clearly winter weather is dangerous to drive in. But, since we can’t stay indoors for months at a time, it’s important to learn how to properly navigate vehicles through snow and ice. The MSP even tweeted a winter driving safety tip, “Another quick pointer this morning. Four wheel drive is great in snow and mud. On ice four wheel drive becomes four wheel slide! So pick up drivers and SUV drivers need to slow down this morning.” The MSP also informed readers of, "Some hot spots in the district: I 75 downriver and I94 in Detroit. Multiple crashes in both areas causing temporary closures and lane restrictions."


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,259,000 weather related accidents occurred between 2005 and 2015. Specifically in winter months, the data shows that 17% of crashes occurred during snow or sleet, 13% occurred on icy pavement, and 14% occurred due to snowy or slushy pavement. Therefore, drivers need to be very careful when driving in winter weather conditions. Driving safely in the snow is better than being a passenger in an ambulance.

Takata Faulty Airbag Update: More Deaths, More Recalls

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Takata’s airbag nightmare seems to be never-ending. Readers who follow The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog, are familiar with the now notorious Takata scandal which started on November 18, 2014. After an intensive investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Takata airbags were defective and could explode when deployed during a car accident. More specifically, upon deployment of the airbags, defective inflator and propellant devices may shoot metal fragments into the vehicle occupants they’re supposed to protect. These exploding airbags have caused serious injuries and even deaths. So many recalls were issued due to these faulty airbags, that Takata of Japan saught bankruptcy protection and sold most of its assets to pay for the repairs.

While the scandal erupted in 2014, it is still causing problems in 2019, with Toyota issuing a recall of 1.7 million vehicles in North America on January 9, according to the Detroit Free Press. Toyota is urging the drivers of these recalled vehicles to get their front passenger airbags fixed immediately, to avoid airbag injuries in the event of a car crash. Toyota is scheduled to replace 10 million airbags starting this month. This report comes just after Ford recently recalled nearly 1 million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, on December 28, 2018.

The Detroit Free Press lists the Toyota and Ford vehicle models included in both recalls.

Toyota Faulty Airbag Recalls Ford and Lincoln Faulty Airbag Recalls
2010 through 2016 4Runner 2010 Ford Edge
2010 through 2013 Corolla and Matrix 2010 Lincoln MKX
2011 through 2014 Sienna 2010 through 2011 Ford Ranger
2010 through 2012 ES Lexus models including the 350 2010 through 2012 Lincoln MKZ
2010 through 2017 GX 460 2010 through 2011 Mercury Milan
2010 through 2015 IS 250C and 350C 2010 through 2014 Ford Mustang
2010 through 2013 250 and 350
2010 through 2015 Scion XB
2010 through 2014 IS-F

NHTSA’s December 2018 report, Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls, mentions that 15 people have been killed in the U.S. and hundreds have been injured worldwide due to Takata’s faulty airbags. According to the report, “more exposure over more time to high heat and humidity further degrades the Takata inflators phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate compound, making it more porous, more volatile and more prone to transform from a life-saving device to a life-threatening one.” The report also mentions that one-third of the recalled inflators still have not been replaced! Also, as of October 2018, approximately 16.7 million recalled Takata airbag inflators remain unrepaired and close to 10 million more inflators will be added to the recalls in January of this year.

Drivers can enter their vehicle’s VIN number in the Safety Issues and Recalls lookup tool on the NHTSA’s website to find out if their vehicle, “needs to be repaired as part of a recall.” It’s recommended that vehicle owners regularly check to see if there are any recalls out on their cars to avoid any accident injuries that result from not making these repairs.


Drivers of recalled vehicles are encouraged to have their automobiles serviced by certified professionals, in order to prevent more serious injuries and deaths resulting from the Takata airbag scandal. Faulty airbag deaths can occur if defective inflator and propellant devices shoot metal fragments into a vehicle’s occupants upon deflating during a car crash. The defective airbags may also deploy randomly and not just during car accidents if the chemical compound inside deteriorates. Drivers can enroll in NHTSA’s recall notification email system to receive alerts regarding recalls affecting their vehicles. If you or someone you know was injured due to faulty airbags or any other recall defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC today at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

I-696 Ready To Go, But Please Drive Slow

Interstate 696 (I-696) officially reopened on January 6, 2019 for drivers travelling eastbound in Macomb County from I-94 to I-75. Eastbound 696 is also open, with the exception of Hoover Rd. to Eastbound 696, which are expected to reopen Saturday, January 12. This is exciting news! Still not excited? Well, this means many drivers are going back to their scheduled routines, will no longer see “workers ahead” signs, and face less stop and go traffic in the early mornings. Not to mention, drivers will no longer travel in constant fear of dodging potholes! While these new, smooth, wide, open lanes may put on a smile on commuters faces, they may also cause drivers to take advantage of these repairs and speed, which may then lead to traffic violations, monstrous fines, and even car crash fatalities.

Failing to follow the posted speed limit may lead to traffic violations issued by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Driving recklessly, speeding, or even travelling 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit are examples of traffic violations. According to Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS), “each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, drivers will have to pay certain court fines and costs.” In addition, points may be posted to a driver’s record. Under Michigan's point system, “each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code.” Also, “points are placed on someone’s driver record only after they have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction.”

Points For Speeding Traffic Convictions:

Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

Six Points:

  • Reckless Driving.

  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag Racing, 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.

Three Points:

  • Careless Driving, 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.

Once convicted of a traffic conviction, points remain on the offender’s driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction. Racking up points might seem fun in an arcade game but in terms of driving, may lead to suspended licenses.

If traffic convictions such as tickets or license suspension don’t alarm drivers and persuade them to follow posted speed limits, maybe the possibility of a car accident, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or even death might. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “there were 37,461 traffic fatalities in 2016. Among them, 10,111 (27%) were in crashes where at least one driver was speeding.” Furthermore, the speed of a vehicle at the time of a motor vehicle accident also has an impact on the severity of a car crash and any subsequent injuries. According to a study presented at the University of California Berkeley, “for every 1% increase in speed, a driver’s chance of an accident increases by 2%, the chance of serious injury increases 3%, and the chance of fatality increases by about 4%.” So, while drivers may feel the “need for speed,” it’s imperative to remember that I-696’s posted speed limit is 70 mph. However, it is important to note that according to the Michigan Department of Transportation ( MDOT), semi trucks are not permitted to exceed 65 mph on the freeway. Going faster than these recommended speed limits may cause severe injuries or even death in the event of a speeding car crash.

Source: Giphy, Top Gun

Newly repaired roads are a treat for Michigan drivers. Aside from their shiny, smooth, aesthetic appeal, new roads mean that drivers no longer have to swerve to dodge potholes and they reach their destinations faster since their drive no longer impeded by roadblocks and machinery taking up some of the lanes. However, drivers shouldn’t take advantage of this new luxury and speed! Even the slightest speed increase may reroute a driver’s life forever if they cause a speeding car crash.


Speeding comes with a price tag, and no one can afford a traffic fatality. Drivers must use caution when travelling on the freeway. Traffic violations can be a pain to deal with, but car accident injuries like herniated discs, broken bones, and TBI’s are far more painful. If you’ve been involved in a car crash caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

What benefits are you entitled to after a Michigan Bird scooter accident?

While Bird Scooters have been popping up across the country, there isn’t much information available to the public about what benefits someone is entitled to after an bird scooter accident. Scooter laws are still evolving, and the regulations and ordinances may vary by county or by city.

scooter lawyer

In Michigan, bird scooter accidents generally only come into the “No-Fault” world when there is a collision with a motor vehicle. For example, in order to activate No-Fault benefits such as wage loss, medical bill coverage, household services, attendant care, and medical mileage, a bird scooter rider would have to be involved in a collision with a car. Depending on the particular circumstances of the electric scooter accident, the scooter rider might be entitled to pain and suffering compensation as well if the accident resulted in serious injuries and if it was due to the negligence of the driver of the car.

Because bird scooters are quickly cropping up in Michigan, it’s important for Michiganders to know their rights should they ever become involved in a scooter accident. Someone involved in a scooter accident should contact a Michigan personal injury attorney right away because there can be certain time periods to file your claim by, complex order of priority issues relating to which No-Fault insurance company is supposed to pay for the benefits, and even to maximize your pain and suffering compensation.



The Michigan Law Firm, PC is located in Birmingham, MI and handles personal injury cases across Michigan. Our experienced legal team is ready to help maximize your compensation after a personal injury accident. Give us a call for free anytime at 844.464.3476!

Getting Out Alive After Being Trapped In A Car

Auto safety expert Byron Bloch recently provided tips for escaping from being trapped in a car, which may prove helpful for drivers. In addition to providing the Detroit Free Press with important details about car safety and tips for car emergencies, Bloch frequently testifies in courts across the country as an expert witness.

The first key to getting out of a car alive is to arm yourself with knowledge so that you don't panic.

Study the owner's manual to know where any emergency handles for escape are located, said Bloch. Be sure every family member who uses the car knows where they are, he said. 

trapped in car accident

Car entrapment can occur in a number of settings. It may result from an serious auto accident, a popped tire could crash the vehicle, vandalism or crime could be the cause of car entrapment, and even flash flooding could put drivers in this type of emergency situation. Oftentimes people involved in car entrapment situations are suffering from injuries. Things might be foggy if you have a head injury, concussion, TBI, or dizziness after an accident, so it’s always best to be prepared, just in case.

Some of the solutions that car safety expert Byron Block suggests are:

  • keeping a charged cellphone available

  • ensuring that the key fob battery is charged every couple of years

  • having a spare key available for emergency situations

  • remain calm if you find yourself in an emergency situation

While these are just a few of the options to increase preparedness in a car emergency situation, drivers should always remain cautious and keep an eye on their surroundings. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for releasing the brief guide on the topic of car entrapment and escaping from a car after begin trapped.


The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles auto accident cases throughout the state of Michigan. Our injury attorneys are ready to help you collect benefits for pain and suffering, lost wages, household services, attendant care, and other types of compensation as well. Contact our experienced legal team today for a free consultation. Speak to a Michigan injury lawyer today!

Mark Your Calendars For The 24th Woodward Dream Cruise!

In Metro Detroit, the beginning of August means it’s almost that time of year again - time to cruise Woodward Avenue! According to The Detroit Free Press, The Woodward Dream Cruise is, “the world’s biggest one-day car event on the nation’s signature cruising highway, M-1.” For the 24th year, the Woodward Dream Cruise will take place on Saturday August 18, 2018 from 9 AM to 9 PM. Each year, over 1 million Michigan residents and car enthusiasts from across the country head to Metro Detroit to check out, “more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.”

Pontiac Car Accident Lawyer

The Dream Cruise takes place across 16 miles of Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Pontiac, as reported by Crain’s Detroit. While it’s a day to admire and enjoy vehicles of every model, make, and color, navigating around the Dream Cruise can be highly frustrating for visitors as well as local residents, because of the heavy traffic. Finding nearby parking can also be an equally difficult task for the thousands of individuals that choose to enjoy the Dream Cruise on foot or in a lawn chair along Woodward Avenue. Below are some tips courtesy of The Detroit Free Press, to help drivers stay safe and get the most fun out of the Dream Cruise this year!

Guide to the Woodward Dream Cruise

  • Where to park:
    • Berkley: Downtown in municipal lots or on side streets adjoining Woodward. No public parking areas near Woodward, no overnight parking.
    • Birmingham: Five city parking decks, first two hours free.
    • Bloomfield Township: 36700 Woodward for $5.
    • Ferndale: Metered city parking lots are metered surrounding downtown at Woodward and Nine Mile Road.
    • Huntington Woods: Parking areas on Woodward have been leased by car clubs or reserved for city residents’ activities. No public parking near Woodward.
    • Pleasant Ridge: On side streets adjoining Woodward but no public parking areas near Woodward. Overnight parking is not permitted.
    • Pontiac: Downtown and surrounding areas.
    • Royal Oak: At municipal parking lots in the downtown area and walking distance from Woodward.
  • For the best way to get there, take roadways roughly parallel to Woodward Avenue — like Coolidge, Southfield, Crooks, Greenfield and I-75. DON'T try to exit I-696 at Woodward and think you'll get anywhere quickly on Woodward.
  • Take a water bottle. It's always hot out there, and the lines can be long even if you have money to spend.
  • Wear a hat. What'd we say about the heat? Also apply sunscreen on all family members.
  • Go early. People always seem to enjoy watching, and cruising, early in the day. Parking, too, is immensely easier at 7 a.m. than three hours later.
  • Stay totally sober. That is, if you plan to drive and don't want to be arrested. The Dream Cruise is crawling with cops. And that's a good thing -- because the event has never had a serious accident or injury, not since it began as a fundraiser for a children's soccer field in 1995. Police from numerous cities will be up and down Woodward, on foot as well as astride motorcycles and inside patrol cars. If you try to imbibe in public, you'll be asked to "pour it out." No drinking is allowed outside the bounds of the cruise strip's bars and restaurants.

The Woodward Dream Cruise shows off how special cars and car culture are in Michigan, the state that is known for its automotive industry. While it’s a weekend full of celebration, it’s important to keep in mind that cars and alcohol do not mix! Spectators can enjoy the event with alcohol, however they should not attempt to drink outside of the surrounding bars and restaurants, nor should they drive while intoxicated. The risk of car accidents and pedestrian accidents occurring will be high with the volume of attendants expected, so even if staying sober, drivers and pedestrians should take cautionary safety measures.

As August 18th approaches, The Michigan Law Firm, PC wants to encourage motor vehicle safety at all times for both spectators and drivers. While it’s a classic Michigan summer event, The Woodward Dream Cruise attracts over 1,000,000 visitors, and their vehicles, to Metro Detroit each year, creating the potential for serious car crashes and pedestrian accidents to occur. In fact, last year during the Woodward Dream Cruise an 18 year old man driving a 2015 Corvette lost control while drag racing and hit a 1954 Chevy pickup. According to Hometown Life, the couple from Ohio who owned the pickup were not hurt, however they were unable to showcase their truck as they had planned. If drivers use caution during the event, these accidents may be prevented. Thankfully, in 24 years there has never been a serious accident or injury occur during the event, but that doesn’t mean that car accidents won’t happen this year. The Woodward Dream Cruise should continue to be an accident-free day dedicated to admiring the thousands of motor vehicle that drive by, from muscle cars to hot rods, and having a great time with family and friends!


There’s something special about motor vehicles that captivates the attention of Michiganders, as well as other individuals across the country. Whether it’s the freedom that a car provides, the intricate detail of each vehicle design, or the wide variety of makes and models, The Woodward Dream Cruise is a day to commemorate everything amazing about cars! But with so many people wanting to join in on the celebration, the risk of  car accidents or pedestrian accidents increases. It’s important for drivers and pedestrians to be aware of the risk of car crashes and to make sure to keep their safety and the safety of other visitors in mind. If you or someone you know has been hit with a car or been in a car accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC. Our experienced accident attorneys help car accident victims identify and recover any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today at 844-844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.