Driverless Pizza Delivery In Ann Arbor

Pizza delivery in Ann Arbor, Michigan just got a lot more interesting. Starting this month, Domino’s customers in Northeast Ann Arbor have the opportunity to have their pizza delivered to them by car and car alone - no delivery man required! The Ford Motor Company and Domino’s Pizza are working together on a project to deliver pizza via autonomous vehicle, to randomly selected customers in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Autonomous Car Crash Lawyer

According to The New York Times (NYT), Ford is using specially designed self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrids to deliver Domino’s pizza. The cars have been designed to deliver data back to Ford regarding how smoothly the car travels through the city and makes the deliveries. That data is extremely important to the company, as they are hoping to start producing fully autonomous vehicles, without steering wheels or pedals, by 2021. It’s an especially daunting task as the NYT reports that Ford has been viewed as relatively "lagging" in the autonomous technology game compared to other car manufacturers. So, Ford may be hoping this pizza delivery experiment will help to put them ahead.

Domino’s Pizza, a company founded near Ann Arbor, is more interested in what happens specifically during the last few minutes of the delivery. What will happen when customers are faced with a self-driving car and no delivery man? Will customers be unhappy about having to come out of their houses to interact with the delivery car? What happens if the customer can’t figure out how to get the pizza out of the car, or there’s a problem with the order? This is all information Domino’s, and the autonomous service industry as a whole, need to know in order to move forward with driverless delivery vehicles. One thing customers are sure to love is that no driver means no tip!

Ann Arbor Car Crash Lawyer

So, what about the delivery vehicle itself? Well, these aren’t your standard delivery cars, on the inside or the outside. The cars are white with large black lettering that says “self-driving” and “experimental,” in an effort to avoid as many car collisions as possible. On the roof of the car are sensors, software, fusions, and radar laser beams that are all used to scan the road and send data back to Ford. The car is even able to text the customer when it is approaching the delivery address. On the rear passenger side window is large red arrow that says “start here,” directing the customer to a touchscreen. Here, the customer will enter the last 4 digits of their phone number, which will open the compartment of the car that holds the food. There is space for 5 pizzas and 4 sides and each car is designed to keep the food warm during the ride.

The driverless delivery experiment was supposed to start on August 28, 2017, but was delayed due to inclement weather, since the equipment on the outside of the car cannot yet withstand heavy rain. Domino’s and Ford say they plan on continuing the experiment through September, with the cars making 3-6 deliveries a day. While the project is in testing, the cars will be manned, with both a Ford researcher who can override the vehicle in order to avoid any motor vehicle accidents, and a Domino’s employee who is there to observe the behavior of the customer. With two humans in the car until all of the autonomous kinks are ironed out, hopefully, no one in Ann Arbor will have to call a car accident lawyer!

Contrary to the popular belief that 'robots' such as self-driving cars are going to put humans out of work, Domino’s insists they are not looking to replace drivers with autonomous cars. Mr. Kelly Garcia, Domino’s senior vice president for e-commerce development, said, “We could use autonomous cars to fill in where we have a shortage of drivers, or add capacity during surges in business. We will have drivers for a long time. This is not about reducing labor costs.”

Ford Car Crash Lawyer

While self-driving pizza delivery may seem outlandish to some, it’s quite possible it did not come as much of a surprise to Ann Arbor residents, since the city and the University of Michigan are home to a great deal of autonomous vehicle testing. Readers may remember The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC has written about the university’s driverless shuttles that transport students around the North Campus, as well as MCity, the university’s testing ground for self-driving cars.

Driverless food delivery is yet another leap forward for self driving technology. While many organizations are still concentrating on autonomous cars being able to transport people, companies like Ford and Domino’s are already looking ahead to the transportation of goods. If the experiment is successful, it could make way for a wide range of delivery services. Next thing you know, a Fedex truck might show up at your house with no delivery man to toss a package onto your lawn!


Self-driving cars continue to be an exciting step forward for driving technology. Presently however, no amount of innovation in the automotive industry can fully guarantee that drivers will always be safe and that auto accidents won’t happen. If you have been injured in an motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation.  

Clown Horror Movie 'It' Marks Start of Halloween Season

Michigan Halloween Car Crash Lawyer

Fall is a beautiful time of year. With changing leaves, apple cider, football games, and pumpkin flavored everything, what's not to like about the changing of the seasons? Well, as anyone with a fear of clowns may remember, this time last year, the streets were flooded with creepy clowns. Clowns were everywhere, and The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog even wrote about the clown sighting, as what started out as a creepy, but generally harmless prank, ended up having deadly consequences.

Readers may recall that a 16-year old boy in Reading, Pennsylvania died after getting into a fight with someone dressed as a clown, and in Wisconsin, clowns were chasing cars in the streets. Right here in Michigan, a clown reportedly attacked a 7-year old in Sterling Heights. As a result of the creepy clown craze, many establishments started banning people in clown costumes from entering, and some halloween stores stopped selling clown costumes all together. It was a bizarre and terrifying phenomenon that preoccupied Americans throughout the fall of last year.

This Fall, while there have yet to be reports of actual clown sightings, one famous one is leaving his calling card in various cities around the world. Stephen King’s 1986 novel It, which was first made into a miniseries that debuted in 1990, has been rebooted into a movie, and premiered on September 8, 2017. Leading up to the release, the trademark of Pennywise the killer clown, a red balloon tied to a storm grate, has been found in cities around the world. On September 5, 2017, in a now viral Facebook post, the Lititz Borough Police Department in Pennsylvania reported finding red balloons tied to storm grates throughout their town. Down under, in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, pedestrians also noticed the balloons popping up on their streets. Luckily for all of us, it does not appear as though Pennywise was behind it. In Pennsylvania, 5 teenaged girls admitted to placing the balloons as a way to scare their classmates who were excited about the movie. In Australia, the red balloons were used as a promotional campaign for the release of the movie.

Detroit Halloween Car Crash Lawyer

Spooky pranks such as dressing up as a clown or leaving red balloons around town may seem fun and innocent, but the consequences can go much further than planned. Trying to scare people may seem harmless enough, but what if those people are driving a car? Motorists who are calmly driving down the road are likely to be startled at best and petrified at worst, by a clown jumping out into the road, seeming coming out of thin air, and chasing them down the road. Being scared while operating a motor vehicle could potentially result in the driver taking their focus off of the road, which for even a second could cause a car collision. Seeing a red on a grate while passing through an intersection could have a similar distracted driving car crash effect. Even if people aren't scared by seeing the balloon and realizing it's implication, they could take their hands off the wheel to point it out to a friend or try and take a picture.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people died in 2015 alone, due to distracted driving accidents. While many people associate distracted driving with texting or talking on a cell phone, being chased by a clown or seeing red balloons in your street can be pretty distracting too. Nobody wants to call their car insurance company or a car accident lawyer and have to tell the embarrassing story of how they totaled their car because they saw a red balloon coming out of the sewer!

So, leading up to Halloween this year, everyone should remember to have a good time, but to have a safe time, by doing things that don't involve public pranks.


Cell phone related distracted driving accidents are not the only kind of distracted driving car crash. Whether it's a hyper pet in the back seat or a creepy Halloween decoration, anything that momentarily causes a driver to take their eyes off the road could cause a car crash. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a distracted driving car collision, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

Drugged Driving Accidents Increase In Michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Now that opioid addiction has been declared a national epidemic, it should come as no surprise that drugged driving has increased as well. Although drunk driving is still an issue that many police officers and legislators are combating nationwide, the increase in social acceptance of using marijuana and prescribed medications is making driving under the influence of drugs hard to combat. Statistics from the Michigan State Police (MSP) speak for themselves with "fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%."

"Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable, but drugged driving is socially acceptable because people don't think it's a problem...I fault the pharmacists and the doctors. They do not do a good job of educating their patients about these drugs," said Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and We Save Lives.

Drugged Driving Statistics

According to a report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of motorists that have been fatally injured as a result of a car accident are known to have tested positive for drugs in their system. This number that is surprisingly higher than the 37% of drivers that have tested positive for alcohol in their system after a fatal car crash.

Drugged Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Another scary fact, is that unlike drunk driving, drugged driving has been shown to occur at any time of the day, not just at night or on the weekends, like most predictable drunk driving accidents. According to the Detroit Free Press, The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute collected data from 2011 to 2015 in order to prove there was a correlation between the time of day a drugged driving car crash took place and the results of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

"Alcohol-involved crashes are very concentrated late at night and on weekends when bars close, but drug-involved crashes seem to occur at all times of day." said Carol Flannagan, a research associate professor at The Transportation Research Institute.

Drugged driving has grown to be such a major issue on the roads in Michigan that a roadside drug testing pilot has been planned to roll out before the end of this year in 5 undisclosed counties. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed the drug testing pilot program.

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot

Since drugged driving is so hard to convict due to most drivers using drugs that were prescribed to them, Michigan law has allowed for a driver to be legally persecuted if a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) can prove that the drug(s) impaired their driving. The roadside drug testing pilot will only allow for state approved DREs to identify drivers who may be driving while under the influence of an abused substance and request an oral sample that will be sent off to an independent lab to be tested. If a driver is found guilty, legal repercussions include but are not limited to 15 years in prison, community service, and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, according to The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). The reason behind such harsh punishments is to drive home the seriousness of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Detroit DUI Lawyer

The roadside drug testing pilot was influenced in part by a drugged driving car crash took place in Escanaba, Michigan involving a truck driver under the influence of THC, a chemical often found in marijuana. The high driver crashed into an elderly couple,Thomas and Barbara Swift, both 73, on the highway. Thomas died at the scene of the crime whereas Barbara died 3 days later succumbing to her injuries in a hospital. Their son, Thomas Swift, proposed a bill in memory of his parents and Governor Rick Snyder later passed the bill as law.  A second case that highlighted the severity of drugged driving made international news after a driver in a pickup sped erratically in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed 5 bicyclists before police could arrest him. The driver was identified as Thomas Pickett Jr., 50, and was found not to have alcohol in his system as expected, but methamphetamines, painkillers, and muscle relaxers. He was charged with 14 felonies and is facing trial this year.

With data showing that drugged driving happens throughout the day coupled with the knowledge that 10 million Americans, 12 years and older, have admitted in a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that they have driven under the influence of drugs, it is enough to scare anyone away from driving. However, people should have faith that the roadside drug testing pilot, once implemented, will hopefully decrease and deter the number of car crashes caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alchohol. Then, Michiganders will only have to worry about horrible Michigan winters cuasing them road trouble.


It is sad that medications meant to help people handle their illness are oftentimes abused, not only by the prescribed user, but possibly by loved ones too. Until pharmaceutical companies, patients, and lawmakers can come together to figure out how to properly handle this growing epidemic, drugged driving accidents will continue to be a problem motorists face on the roadways. Have you been hit by a drunk driver or a drugged driver? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. With our legal team by your side, you can hope to receive any compensation you may be entitled to under Michigan law.  

New Ambassador Bridge Coming To Michigan

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Remember back in September 2015 when the Moroun family was against a second Ambassador bridge being built and filed a lawsuit to make sure their privately owned bridge stayed in business? Well, it looks like they are finally getting their way, sort of.

Despite the constant back and forth between Canadian officials and the Moroun family, Manuel Moroun to be specific, the family has received permission from the Transport Canada federal agency to build their second Ambassador Bridge. The permit has been at least a year in the making and comes with a few stipulations. Canada is requesting that the Morouns demolish their previous Ambassador Bridge once their new bridge is complete and ready for use. Additional requirements include environmental protection, protection of Canada’s indigenous people, infrastructure improvement, and the creation of green spaces.

Out With The Old, In With The New

In the late 1920s, the Ambassador Bridge was one of the biggest and daring bridges to be built, now it is old and showing it’s age. The bridge can barely sustain the amount of traffic and trade that comes across every day since it was built with only 4 lanes. According to the Detroit Free Press, in a statement on September 6, 2017 Manuel Moroun said that the new Ambassador Bridge is expected to have 6 lanes not including lanes dedicated to NEXUS, FAST, and bus traffic. Moroun also mentioned that the cost of the new Ambassador Bridge is about $1 billion in private funds, roughly half of which has already been spent.

On a side note, the Gordie Howe Bridge is still expected to open in 2023. This is the bridge the Government of Canada was trying to build before being wrestled into court to fight lawsuit after lawsuit from the Morouns. So while Transport Canada has given the Morouns permission to build a second Ambassador bridge, the Canadian government would much rather back thier own project. In fact, architects, engineers, and other contractors are still being interviewed to build  the Gordie Howe Bridge, not to mention millions of dollars have already spent on purchasing property and roadbeds. Even the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has spoken of how the Gordie Howe Bridge will be the country's primary infrastructure project, which comes as no surprise with the amount of bad blood between the Canadian Government and the Morouns.   

Gordie Howe Bridge vs Ambassador Bridge

Now that the Morouns have the green light from Transport Canada, people might expect the new Ambassador Bridge Project to break ground by the end of this year, but that's not hopeful. Additional permits are needed from both Canada and the US, so construction will most likely begin sometime in late 2018 or early 2019 and may be completed by 2023. It should also be noted that both bridges will utilize tolls. However, since the Morouns' bridge is privately owned it's unknown what their set toll price will be? The Gordie Howe Bridge, on the other hand, is expected to have a more ‘economic pricing’ since it is a Canadian government project.

Windsor Car Crash Lawyer

Either way, the public will win. With 2 bridges in the works in addition to the already existing Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a future economic boom and regional popularity are sure to follow. These new bridges will also allow for safer transportation between Michigan and Canada.  Back in 2016, the Transport Canada agency cited the current Ambassador Bridge with being a "risk to public safety." The citations included safety hazards such as not having railings and having crumbling concrete. Thankfully, no one standing under the bridge was killed or injured by having pieces of concrete falling on them and no motorists had driven off the side of the bridge without railing to hold them back. However, it the bridge hadn't been inspected and closed, it may have only been a matter of time before a pedestrian death or car crash occurred. 

Also, with the addition of two new, safer bridges, travel between Detroit and Windsor will be much quicker and less congested. While repairing the bridge to bring it up safety standards was the right call, during the time it was closed, traffic barriers limited drivers to a single lane at certain points, causing major traffic congestion. Also, since there are currently only two options to drive between Canada and Michigan, the bridge and tunnel routes tend to be extra congested during daily peak hours and especially on holidays. Plus, no one wants to keep raging Redwings and Maple Leaf fans away from travelling back and forth to hockey games! The problem with any kind of limited mobility is that it leads to aggressive driving and road rage. Aggressive driving and related aggressive driving car crashes and road rage car accidents are a big problem when according to The American Safety Council, 66% of traffic falatilies are casued by aggressive driving. Therefore, the construction of a new Ambassador Bridge and the new Gordie Howe bridge will be welcomed by citizens of Detroit and Windsor alike.


Considering the frequent backups on the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the current Ambassador Bridge, it is about time that another thoroughfare between Canada and Michigan is being built. Soon, Michiganders have the choice between 3 options to commute to Canada. Since 3 travel routes don't completely get rid of traffic congestion however, drivers still need to be on the look out to avoid getting into road rage car crashes or aggressive driving accidents. The attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC are here to help any victims of these and any other types of motor vehicle accidents. We know that the legal process can be hard and are here to fight for you. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today.

Go-kart And Motorcycle Involved In Drag Racing Accident

An accident in August 2017 in Detroit left one dead and one seriously injured. The accident was not a typical automobile collision however, as it involved a go-kart and a motorcycle. The drivers of the two vehicles were apparently drag racing (also known as street racing), along French Road on the Detroit's east side and according to the Detroit Free Press, were reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. Witnesses say the go-kart made a U-turn, ending up directly in the path of the motorcycle, which was what resulted in the automobile collision. The 21-year-old man driving the go-kart died and the 31-year-old man driving the motorcycle was seriously injured. Both drag racing and driving a go-kart on public streets are illegal in the State of Michigan.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Go-karts are not “street legal” vehicles. They are mostly driven on private tracks and in large backyards. In order for go-karts to be deemed street legal, they need to undergo thousands of dollars worth of modifications. These modifications include adding headlights, turn signals, a windshield, tail lights, seat belts, a parking brake, rear view mirrors, license plates, a speedometer, an odometer, and a horn. More so, a go-kart is not allowed to reach speeds over 25 mph, which would be achieved through engine modification. It would also need auto insurance. Due to the time and money required to make these modifications, most go-karts are usually not street legal.

Like go-karts, drag racing on public streets is also illegal in the State of Michigan, but is a relatively common occurrence throughout Detroit. Michigan law defines drag racing as “the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other” or “for the purpose of setting a speed record.” It appears as though the motorcycle crash in Detroit was caused by the drivers of the go-kart and motorcycle racing to a finishing point.

Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It's for a good reason that drag racing is not legal, as it can be unsafe. There are many safety issues that arise from drag racing. Not only are the participating drivers at risk or being involved in a motor vehicle accident because there are no official rules and regulations, or any sort of safety provisions, but pedestrians are also at risk since there are no bleachers, guard rails, or any sort of crowd protection from powerful speeding vehicles. An additional cause of concern is that widespread use of drugs and alcohol that are typically known to be found at illegal drag racing events.

Unlike go-karts and drag racing however, operating a motorcycle is legal in the state of Michigan, but it still comes with risks. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2015 there were 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents - a 10% increase from 2014. Also in 2015, motorcyclist deaths increased in 31 states. Currently, only 19 states plus the District of Columbia require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Michigan is not one of them. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently discussed how the state's motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2012. Motorcyclists groups supported the repeal of the law, calling it an individual rights issue, even though wearing a helmet has been repeatedly shown to keep motorcyclists safer. The GHSA is one of the groups who supports mandatory helmet laws, and has provided the following safety tips for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Michigan Motorcycle Crash Attorney
  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, even when not required by state law.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to make it easier to be seen by other drivers.
  • Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • When purchasing a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes. These have been shown to decrease fatal motorcycle crashes by preventing a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking, and assisting with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.

While following these tips does not guarantee motorcycle accidents won’t happen, they may help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Drag racing , unless it's on Roadkill Nights, and operating a go-kart on a public street, unless it's been modified and certified to be legal, however are big no-nos. These activities can be extremely dangerous and come with the risk of being involved in automobile crashes. Not only are the drivers of the vehicles put at risk, but so are other drivers, and pedestrian bystanders as well.


Drag racing is usually illegal and can have deadly consequences. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free personal injury or motor vehicle accident consultationLet our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovering. 

School Bus Traffic Safety Laws for Drivers

As students across Michigan return to classes for the new school year, drivers are sure to notice an increased number of school buses on the road. School buses are an excellent mode of transportation for students. In fact, riding a bus is safer than walking or driving a family vehicle. More so, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are 70x more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus as opposed to traveling in a car. The reason for this level of safety may be due to how school buses are designed. First, the bright yellow color of a school bus makes it highly visible. Then, the equipped flashing lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop-sign arms, not to mention protective seating inside the bus, also help to keep students safe.

Michigan School Bus Accident Lawyer

In addition to these design elements, there are traffic laws put in place that also keep school buses safe on the road. However, the traffic laws that drivers must follow when driving near a school bus can be a source of confusion, and not following these laws properly may lead to a school bus crash on the road or a pedestrian car crash at a student crossing. According to the NHSTA, more school-age pedestrians are killed during the hour before or after school than any other time of day, largely due to drivers not stopping when they are near school buses. Data published by the NHSTA shows that 1,353 people were killed in accidents involving school buses between 2003 and 2014. Of those who died, 71% were not on the school bus but were were traveling in other vehicles, such as sedans and SUVs.

School bus traffic laws can be confusing, but the Michigan State Police has offers the following recommendations to help drivers avoid becoming involved in school bus car crashes.

School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers

  1. Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing.

  2. Stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

  3. Slow down in or near school and residential areas.

  4. Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area.

  5. Watch for children between parked cars and other objects.

  6. School buses are like traffic signals:
    • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop.
    • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop.
    • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution.

School Bus Safety Tips for Students

  1. Always stay in sight of the bus driver.
  2. Don't hurry off the bus; check traffic first.
  3. Don't go back to the bus after exiting.

As the NHSTA notes, the greatest risk does not come from riding the bus, but from approaching or leaving one. While following these tips cannot guarantee bus accidents won't happen, they may help keep both students and drivers safe by reducing the number of injuries and deaths from school bus accidents. 


Stopping for school buses is the law, but this law is not always followed. Not stopping for school buses may result in injury or death for those who are on the school bus, those who are traveling in other vehicles, and even pedestrians. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a school bus crash or any type of bus accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our firm is experienced in handling personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases.
 

Apple Unveils Highly Anticipated iPhone X

September marks a lot of things - back to school, the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and for the past few years, a new iPhone. This year was no different, as on September 12, 2017, Apple announced their highly anticipated iPhone X (pronounced iPhone 10 like the roman numeral), in honor of the 10 year of the iPhone. The Apple Event, which took place at Apple’s new Steve Jobs Auditorium in Cupertino, California, was so highly anticipated that some thought it would be as revolutionary as the day Apple announced the very first iPhone, back in 2007.

According to The New York Times, The iPhone X features new technology and design that puts it far ahead of Apple’s existing iPhones, living up to the hype that was created by leaks spread prior to the launch. The aspect of the iPhone X that many will find most striking is the price - $1000. This makes it Apple’s most expensive iPhone to date, by a margin of a few hundred dollars.

So what does $1000 get you in an iPhone? The Washington Post reported that physically speaking, the design is different from anything Apple has previously released. While the phone is essentially the same size and shape as the iPhone 7, the screen is bigger as it is “edge-to-edge,” covering the entire surface of the phone, and wrapping around the edges for an immersive visual experience. This screen design is something Apple has been hoping to achieve for years. The display features an OLED screen, a higher quality screen than its predecessor, the LCD screen. The phone is also made entirely out of glass. While this may make it sound fragile, the iPhone X is dust and water resistant, and 50% more durable than any glass Apple has previously made.  

Another noticeable physical difference is the lack of a home button. On existing iPhones, the home button is what users press to awaken and unlock the phone with Touch ID (fingerprint scanning technology), as well as to close an app and return to the home screen. Since the home button is gone, so is Touch ID. Instead, the iPhone X boasts Face ID, face scanning technology that unlocks the phone by scanning the user’s face, as opposed to their fingerprint. Once the phone is unlocked, tasks such as closing an app are performed by the user making specific gestures with their fingers on the screen.

In addition to the physical differences, the iPhone X sports some software upgrades as well. The phone has faster processing speeds, and a better camera that takes higher quality pictures. The phone also boasts improved battery efficiency, as well as wireless charging. Instead of being plugged into an outlet, the phone will charge on charging mats called AirPower mats. Apple says we can expect to see these mats in hotels, cafes, and even in cars sometime in the near feature. One of the most surprising features of the phone however, may be Animoji; yes, animated emojis. The program uses the facial recognition software to scan your facial expressions, and recreate them on animated emojis, most of which are animals, but of course the poop emoji is included as well!

Source: Apple Press Release

Apple’s iPhone X had a lot of hype to live up to, and it seems to have met those expectations. The new design and upgraded software elements clearly differentiate the phone from anything Apple has done before. One thing it has in common with all phones, however, is the ability to cause distracted driving accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state there are 3 kinds of distracted driving - visual, which takes your eyes off the road, manual, which takes your hands off the wheel, and cognitive, which takes your mind off of driving. Cell Phones are especially dangerous because using one can result in all three types of distracted driving at once.

So while, new technology such as the iPhone X can be groundbreaking and exciting, we're glad that Apple is also looking out for driver safety with apps like Do Not Disturb While Driving. Apple’s iPhone X and their latest software iOS11 come standard with this distracted driving prevention app. When enabled while driving, the iPhone displays a black screen, and notifications for text messages and phone calls are silenced. To learn more about this feature and the dangers of distracted driving, check out this recent article from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. After all, looking away from the road and at a text from your friend about the most recent character death on Game of Thrones is not worth getting into a distracted driving car accident. 


Distracted driving happens every day, especially in our technology filled age, in which toddlers have iPhones. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car crash caused by a negligent driver with a cell phone, call The Michigan Law Firm at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys fight for our clients' rights and work hard to get any compensation they may be entitled to, under Michigan Law.

Autonomous Technology Bill Passes US House

The reality of autonomous vehicles became a little more real last week when the US House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will make it significantly easier for automakers to get self driving technology on the road. As Reuters reported, The Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act, also known as the SELF DRIVE Act, was passed by a two-thirds majority on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The bill was passed with bipartisan support, and is actually one of the most agreed upon pieces of legislation in Congress. The bill now goes to the Senate, where lawmakers have been working on a similar piece of legislation. It is the first significant piece of legislation of its kind.

Michigan Autonomous Car Laws

The bill speeds up the deployment of self driving cars onto the streets by reducing regulations for automakers. Essentially, it provides exemptions for standards “normal” cars would have to meet before seeing the streets. According to Wired, if the bill becomes law, federal guidelines will determine what standards autonomous vehicles have to meet, and individual states will have very little power to block self driving cars from hitting the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be the organization to regulate vehicle design, construction, and performance. Manufacturers will then need to prove that self driving cars are as safe as existing vehicles. States can still set regulations regarding licensing, registration, and insurance, but they will have very little (if any) say as to what goes inside of the car. The legislation will allow for 25,000 autonomous vehicles to hit the road in the first year, which automakers hope will be 2020. This cap will increase drastically, allowing for 100,000 autonomous vehicles to be on the streets by the third year.

The tech industry, which is normally opposed to government regulation, is actually very welcoming of this bill. Up until this point, there were no federal guidelines regarding autonomous technology. This is due in part to the fact that there really aren’t that many autonomous vehicles in existence, so nobody is quite sure how to regulate them. As a result, states were left to set their own standards. This became a source of confusion as different states had different definitions, priorities, and purposes regarding self driving vehicles, making for a wide variety of guidelines throughout the country. As automakers would like their vehicles to be driven in all states, regulations that change across state lines would make this difficult. Additionally, companies based in California claimed their state had some of the most restrictive guidelines, making it difficult for them to test their technology.

Michigan Autonomous Car Lawyer

As such, automakers, as well as business groups, and advocates for the blind have been heavily pushing for legislation such as this. Companies such as Volkswagen even began taking self driving cars to Washington D.C., having lawmakers test them out in the hope that it could help persuade them. These groups claim that self driving cars will make roads safer by reducing the amount of accidents caused by human error. Consumer advocate groups, on the other hand, have pushed back on the legislation, as they fear it is too lenient, doesn’t do enough to protect drivers, and will actually make roads more dangerous.

This legislation will be hitting a little closer to home, as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will be in Ann Arbor, Michigan to unveil new self driving guidelines on September 19th. As The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed, Ann Arbor is a hub of autonomous vehicle technology, as it is home to the self driving playground known as MCity.

Having autonomous technology legislation unanimously passing the house is an exciting step forward for autonomous vehicles. Making it easier for car manufacturers to get self driving cars on the roads means they are one step closer to being a part of everyday life. However, as self driving cars become a reality, so do the new safety challenges they present. As a result, manufacturers, and lawmakers will be responsible for balancing driving innovation with driver safety. After all, autonomous or human controlled, no one wants to be involved in a car crash.


Car accidents happen everyday, and although self driving vehicles looming on the horizon, motor vehicle accidents are still possible in the present day. If you have been injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Suspect Tackled After High-Speed Chase On I-75

A dramatic scene unfolded on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Detroit as police tackled a suspect in the middle of traffic on I-75. Detroit Police arrested a man suspected of homicide, following a high speed chase that had started nearly an hour and a half earlier. According to Click on Detroit, police began following the suspect around 11:30 in the morning. After briefly losing the suspect, the chase resumed around 12:30 PM after his car, a grey Nissan Murano SUV, was spotted from a helicopter. The suspect drove into traffic on Grand River Ave, going in and out of parking structures, and entering and exiting both I-75 and I-96 multiple times. The chase concluded with the suspect being tackled to the ground by police at 12:50 PM.

While many would think an arrest on the highway would mean the suspect was in a car, the real story is much more interesting. The Detroit Free Press reported that the suspect pulled over on the shoulder of I-75 after sustaining a flat tire to his left front wheel. The suspect got out of the car, jumped over the median, and started running into northbound traffic. Police also exited their cars, hopped the median, and ran after the suspect. The suspect then ran up the hood of an oncoming Chrysler Town and Country, and stood on the roof of the vehicle. The Chrysler stopped moving, and police officers tackled the suspect from the roof of the car onto the ground. 

Police took the suspect into custody, where in addition to being charged with attempting to flee police and resisting arrest, he will also be questioned regarding the shooting of a woman. Officials say the woman in question is in “extremely grave condition”. 

The driver of the Chrysler vehicle spoke with the Detroit Free Press. He is an employee for an Italian company called Vigel North America and was driving a company car north from Detroit back to their headquarters in Madison Heights. The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, said “it looked like in the movies,” and that he had stopped the car “because [he] didn’t know what to do.” The driver is still distraught from the incident, saying he feared for his life and is “still shaking from what happened.”

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Police chases as noteworthy as this one are rare.  A report published by USA Today found that 76% of police chases are over in 5 minutes or less. But sometimes, they go wrong. That same USA Today report found that nationally, 11,506 people have been killed in police chases between 1979 and 2013. That's an average of nearly one death per day. Of that number, more than 5,000 were innocent bystanders, most of whom were killed in their own car after being hit by a fleeing driver. In the state of Michigan, 27 people died as a result of police chases in 2014, according to Mlive. This is a significant increase from 16 deaths in 2013. While police chases like the one that happened on I-75 can be exciting and look like they are straight out of an action movie, it is clear that they can also be extremely dangerous. For more information on the dangers of high-speed police chases, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog.


High speed pursuits are dangerous for everyone involved - the police, the suspect, and innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like any instance in which a car is speeding, motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian car crashes are possible. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation if you have been involved in an automobile accident. Our attorneys work hard to help those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Lawsuit Against Snapchat For Rewarding Speeding Drivers Dismissed

Last May, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog reported on a car accident caused by a driver using Snapchat, while behind the wheel. Following this motor vehicle crash, the Spalding County State Court in Griffin, Georgia was tasked with ruling over a case that may have helped set a precedent for companies that create platforms, apps, and devices, who could be found responsible if their invention potentially causes a driver to become distracted while driving.  

Snapchat Car Crash Lawsuit

Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Michigan

The defendant in the case, Christal McGee, was 18 years old at the time of the September, 2016 Snapchat car accident. After being involved in the car crash, McGee posted a selfie on Snapchat that depicted her strapped to a gurney with a head wound, captioned, "Lucky to be alive." The photo went viral and sparked an investigation into her auto accident. Investigators found that McGee had been using a Snapchat filter that apparently records how fast the user is going at the time the picture is taken, and rewards the user with a 'trophy' if they are going more than 100 mph. It was discovered that McGee was going about 107 MPH with three passengers in the car, when Wentworth Maynard drifted into her lane and was rear-ended by McGee's speeding vehicle. 

The case was looking to determine whether or not Snapchat should be held responsible for this motor vehicle crash, and if they should pay reparations to Wentworth-a former Uber driver- and his wife Karen, who were both in the car rear-ended by McGee. Maynard had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury from the auto accident. After deliberating, Judge Josh Thacker ended up dismissing the charges against Snapchat, saying the company was immune to the charges under the following clause from the 1996 Communications Decency Act:

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." 

McGee, however, has been charged with reckless driving, speeding, driving too fast for road conditions, and a felony charge of serious injury by vehicle. One of McGee's passengers was Heather McCarty, who was 27 and pregnant at the time of the distracted driving car crash, and had simply accepted a ride home from her co-worker, McGee.

The New York Daily News reports that while in the vehicle, McCarty said, "What are you doing? Slow down!" to McGee as she supposedly attempted to reach 100 mph. "I just remember screaming 'There's a car!' and I know we hit the back of his vehicle and I don't remember anything after that." 

Michigan Distracted Driving Laws 

The Michigan House of Representatives is in talks of creating a bill that will ban drivers from using their cell phone while behind the wheel, with the exception of Bluetooth and other hands-free technology. Drivers, MLive reports, would also be allowed to use their handheld device if they are pulled to the side of the road or in another area where they can remain stationary. Another exception is if the phone is securely mounted to the windshield or dashboard within easy reach. The bill will include banning the use of electronics such as handheld games, laptops, and GPS devices. Michigan drivers would even be prohibited from using the devices at stop signs and traffic lights.  

Source: GIPHY, American Broadcasting Company's The View

Source: GIPHY, American Broadcasting Company's The View

The bill defines phone use as:

"Conducting a search; viewing, taking, or transmitting an image or video; playing games; performing a command or request to access an internet page; and composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving an e-mail message, text message, instant message or other electronic data." - H.R. 4466

Any motorists that are found guilty would have to pay a $250 fine for the first offense and $500 for the second. First responders such as EMTs, firefighters, and law enforcement officers however, would be free to use a two-way radio or citizens band (CB) radio service. The bill would also exempt citizens who are reporting an accident, road hazard, crime, or other emergencies.

Jim Santilli, chief executive officer of the Transportation Improvement Association, a Troy-based nonprofit supporting the introduction of this bill, has said that after California banned the use of handheld electronic devices, traffic fatalities dropped by 22% and deaths specifically related to drivers using handheld devices fell 47%. So, it stands to reason that Michigan could benefit from implementing a similar law, helping minimize social media car accident injuries and distracted driving fatalities on the road. 

Snapchat Car Crash Lawyer

If you've ever tried to tell a teenager to put away their phone at the dinner table, you know how difficult the task is. Young adults and teens thrive on taking pictures, watching videos, and constantly checking social media. Hopefully however, with publicity from this Snapchat lawsuit and other social media car accident lawsuits and the possibility of new distracted driving laws being passed, distracted driving will be seen as a serious offense. Drivers may then be persuaded to turn of their mobile devices when behind the wheel, to prevent distracted driving accidents from happening. To nail this point on the head, a Snapchat spokesperson stated in relation to the McGee-Maynard case, "No Snap is more important than someone's safety." So, let's remember to practice safe driving habits and to leave the phone in the backseat, turned off, or in the hands of a passenger, next time we get ready to operate a moving vehicle. 


As accidents caused by distracted drivers are occurring increasingly more often, it is important that drivers become aware of preventative and safety measures to deter them from using their electronics while operating a vehicle. Distracted driving causes just as much harm and as many fatalities as drunk driving and so, it's prevention should be treated just as importantly. If you or someone you know has been in an accident involving a distracted driver, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Car Crash

In July, a 19-year-old man was killed after a suspected drunk driver T-boned him at an intersection in York Township, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, said the car crash happened at the intersection of Bemis and Moon Roads. The 19-year-old was traveling eastbound on Bemis, while the 34-year-old driver of the other vehicle was traveling southbound on Moon. "The victim goes through the intersection," Jackson said. "The suspect runs the stop sign, T-boning him in the driver's side and killing him." 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

The motor vehicle crash in also injured two passengers in the 19-year-old's vehicle. The 34-year-old was arrested, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the car crash. 

Jackson commented, "We suspect he was highly intoxicated."

Drunk driving is one of many risky driving habits that people exhibit, despite the consequences of potentially enduring or causing injury or death from a vehicle collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 alone, 10,265 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. That is 1 person killed every 51 minutes, every day of the year. 

The good news is that drunk driving deaths have been cut nearly in half since 1982 through stricter laws, smart law enforcement, and increased advocacy. Yet people are still dying in drunk driving car crashes. With technological advances such as personal breathalyzers and the popularity of ride-sharing, there are no excuses for driving while intoxicated. It is important to remember to drive sober or get pulled over.


Drunk driving is a well-known form of risky behavior on the road, yet this type of distracted driving accident still occur frequently. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drunk driving car accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

CTE Found In Brains Of Former NFL Players

TBI Car Crash Lawyer

A study published on July 25, 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA has found that CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in 99% of deceased NFL players' brains that were donated to scientific research. CTE is an effect of experiencing numerous traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and although the average person is more like to suffer a TBI from an auto accident, TBI's can occur while engaging in sports. In fact, all of the brains in the study were required to have football as their primary exposure to head trauma. The research subjects must have had to experience repetitive head trauma in their lifetimes, but may or may not have exhibited CTE symptoms during their lives. 

What Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

To explain it more clearly, CTE is pathologically characterized by a buildup of abnormal tau protein in the brain that can disable neuropathways and may lead to a variety of clinical symptoms, such as memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues, and sometimes even suicidal behavior. CTE is found in individuals that have experienced repeated head trauma, and most cases were diagnosed in veterans and people who played contact sports like American football. The only formal diagnosis of this degenerative brain disease is through an autopsy, meaning that we can't knows if someone has CTE, for sure, until after they die. 

The study acknowledges potential bias because relatives of the players may have submitted their brains after noticing clinical symptoms while they were living. It also points out the lack of a comparison group to represent all individuals exposed to college-level or professional football. Without that, the study is unable to provide an overall estimate on the risk of playing football and its effects on the brain. 

CNN reports, "Out of 202 deceased former football players total--a combination of high school, college, and professional players--CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. It was also found in three of the 14 high school players and 48 of the 53 college players."

Personal Injury Attorney Michigan

The NFL told CNN, "The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication, and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes...there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence, and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE." 

The study looked at both the brain pathology, which is the behavior of the disease in the brain, and the clinical history of each participant. It identified four stages of pathological CTE severity among the brains, based on amounts of tau buildup and distribution. Stages one and two are classified as mild and stages three and four are severe. 

CNN summarized, "Individuals who were reported to have experienced more behavioral mood symptoms during their lifetime were more likely to have findings indicative of mild disease as opposed to severe. These symptoms occurred in 96% of mild cases and 89% of severe cases. People with a mild buildup and distribution of tau were also more likely to have died by suicide. Those with a severe buildup, on the other hand, were more likely to have experienced cognitive symptoms, such as memory loss." 

One of the biggest problems is a lack of encouragement for players to seek treatment. Stereotypes about mental health treatment and studies that emphasize problems stemming from brain trauma, without fully explaining the science behind it, may give athletes the idea that they can't do anything to help themselves. Although CTE can currently only be diagnosed after death, many symptoms of the disease that occur in someone's lifetime, like depression and anxiety, are treatable. It is important for someone experiencing symptoms from a traumatic brain injury to receive an evaluation from a neurologist and work with them to create a treatment plan. 

Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, national director of the Sports Neurology Clinic at the Core Institute, who was not involved in the study, said, "My rule as a physician, as a neurologist, is to protect and promote the brain health of my patients over the course of a lifetime, no question about that. You have to look at the total person though. You have to understand why people play sports. It's an individual decision, everybody gets different things out of it. You also have to understand what the arc of their life is going to be, what their health is going to be at the end of their career." 

Kutcher mentions that most of the brains in the study came from players that were on the field decades ago, from the 1950s to the 1990s, with the rest having played more recently. There were not the same brain injury awareness, medical protocols, or equipment back then as there is today. 

Dr. Ann McKee, director of Boston University's CTE center, and a coauthor of the study, are currently conducting more research on CTE and its effects. They are examining lengths of exposure to head trauma, the age of first exposure, the lengths of playing careers, and how these relate to the risk of CTE and its pathological severity. They are also using the 177 donated brains with CTE to discover if there are any genetic risk factors of the disease.

"It certainly can be prevented," McKee said, "'That's why we really need to understand how much exposure to head trauma and what type of head trauma the body can sustain before it gets into this irreversible cascade of events." 

Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

Additionally, in a statement commenting on the study, the league said, "The NFL is committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries. In 2016, the NFL pledged $100 million in support for independent medical research and engineering advancements in neuroscience related topics. This is in addition to the $100 million that the NFL and its partners are already spending on medical and neuroscience research."

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC Blog previously discussed that the NFL settled a class action with ex-football players who had suffered from brain injuries, potentially paying out $4 million, to those who suffered from CTE.


The start of fall means that football season is here, and football season means cleats on turf and helmets against helmets. As spirited at American become during this time of year, it's important to remember that repetitive head trauma caused by playing football may lead to CTE or other brain injuries. It should also be noted that traumatic brain injuries can be caused by experiencing a blow to the head in a motor vehicle accident. If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic brain injury from a car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let us take care of your legal trouble while you focus on improving your health.

Mackinac Bridge Is Closing For Labor Day

bridge accident lawyer

If you Labor Day plans included a trip to the Upper Peninsula, you might want to make a few adjustments to your plans before heading to Northern MIchigan. The Mackinac Bridge Authority decided to close the bridge this year between 6:30 am and 12 during the Annual Bridge Walk.  Officials are acting cautiously to ensure the event's safety.  The decision was made back in May of this year putting those looking forward to 60-year-old tradition in slight tailspin after looking forward to walking alongside the cars on the approximately 5 mile long bridge. Additional safety precautions at the event entail Michigan State Police (MSP), patrol squadrons, mechanics, and shuttle buses to quickly transport and protect those who are participating in the walk.

"There has not been any kind of specific threat against the bridge walk, this is just acting out of an access of caution trying to make it safe as possible," clarified the Communications Representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation, Dan Weingarten as reported by local news. “We ask everybody to be patient, pay attention to signs and obviously pay attention to law enforcement...They will be trying to keep people who are backed up parked on the shoulders of the road to give room for emergency vehicles."

With the Mackinac Bridge being closed, motorists who are traveling this Labor Day weekend should plan their travel times accordingly due to traffic congestion expected to  occur on US-2, US-23, US-31 and I-75. Thankfully the MSP and other traffic authorities will be out in full force willing and able to assist drivers or motorists can plan to delay their travel time or leave early.

2017 Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk

pedestrian accident

Those who are planning to participate in the free Annual Bridge Walk should arrive in St. Ignace where they can be shuttled for $5 to the start of the walking route. Tickets for the shuttle buses can be purchased in Mackinaw City. The bridge authority assures that portable toilets, water and food stations will be placed along the route to relieve walkers. Shuttle buses and MSP squad cars will also be on the bridge as a counterweight to the thousand of walkers expected to be in attendance and to safely transport them in case of personal injury or emergency. The Mackinac Bridge Authority’s website provides additional information (http://www.mackinacbridge.org/).


Have you or loved one been injured in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident? Speak with an experienced accident attorney from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our injury attorneys specialize in auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, insurance claims and more. 

2017 Has Record Number of Hot Car Child Deaths

In June, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog wrote about a newborn child who was abandoned in an unknown car during an extremely hot summer day. While this Grand Rapids, Michigan baby was thankfully uninjured, issues relating to children being left alone in cars are only becoming more urgent as 2017 has seen more hot car deaths than any year before.

Hot Car Death Lawyer

As reported by CNN, the end of July 2017 marks the highest number of hot car deaths ever recorded from the beginning of the year to the end of July. As of July 31st, 29 children died of heatstroke and other heat related problems after being left alone, trapped inside a sweltering hot car. The previous record was held in 2010 after 28 children died from heatstroke before August 1st. Ultimately, 48 children died in hot car incidents in 2010.

In 2001, Jan Null, a certified consulting meteorologist for the past 40 years with the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University, began recording hot car deaths. Null conducted an experiment when he first began researching temperature levels of parked cars that are left to absorb heat on warm days. He placed a thermometer outside of the car that measured the natural outside temperature, and then placed one inside a car that had air conditioning on, but had just been parked and locked. The results were surprising.

In the first ten minutes, Null found that the temperature can rise 19°F (Fahrenheit) in a sitting parked car. When conducting the experiment at 70°F outside, he stated that the temperature inside the car rose to 89°F after ten minutes. Similarly, when he conducted the experiment starting with 90°F temperature, the car’s temperature rose to 109°F in just ten minutes. When commenting on his experiment, Null stated, "you get to these very high temperatures very rapidly. How hot it got was one surprise, but how fast it got to a deadly temperature was even more unexpected.” Null further explains that among medical professionals, 104°F is generally accepted as heat stroke range, and 107°F can prove fatal to the human body. According to Null, the temperature inside a parked car on an 80°F day can rise to 109°F just after 20 minutes! 

Hot Car Child Death

So, why is this increase in car temperature on a hot day important for child safety? Well, CNN also noted that “according to the Mayo Clinic, kids are far more susceptible to falling victim to summer heat because their bodies are not fully developed, thus rendering them less able to cope with extremely hot temperatures. Children's body temperatures rise five times faster than that of an adult’s. The danger of a rising temperature is that it can cause heatstroke. Heatstroke can result in permanent brain, heart or kidney damage, and even death. The temperature of the body rises because when a person is dehydrated, they lose their ability to sweat. That is, they lose their ability to rid their body of heat and cool themselves down, which results in the rapid increase of one’s body temperature.”

According to Jan Null, an average of 37 children die each year due to hot car related incidents. Since 1998, he states that 729 children have died of heatstroke after being trapped inside of cars. 

In response to these issues, legislation has just recently been passed to help prevent wrongful deaths of children who are left alone in hot cars. On July 31, 2017 U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act (HOT CARS Act 2017). According to Kids and Cars.org, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires in this legislation, that in the next two years, all new vehicles must be equipped with visual and audio technology that notifies drivers to check their backseat for children before they exit their car. The Act also requires research into the implementation of these reminder systems into older cars as well. 

General Motors has already implemented technology in their cars to to remind parents to check their back seats for children. The Rear Seat Reminder is a feature that detects rear door usage rather than any objects on the seat. The feature is designed to just remind drivers to check their back seats, regardless of what might be there. 

Michigan Injury Lawyer

Jan Null believes the HOT CARS Act and new safety features implemented in cars will help deter heat illness-related deaths of children, however, he warns that they will not protect all children. Null explains that the Act fails to address two other causes of hot car deaths: children gaining access to vehicles by themselves and then being unable to exit the car, and parents just making the very poor choice of leaving their children alone in a car for a period of time. He believes making sure cars are always locked, teaching children that cars are not an area for play, and making sure car keys are always out of reach of children, will help deter hot car incidents as well. 

Children should never be left alone in cars, regardless of the circumstance and period of time in which they will be alone. Stories of children dying from being left alone in hot cars are both tragic and sickening. That fact that Americans broke the record for most recorded hot car deaths to children in the first seven months of this year, should be cause for grave concern. However, it is reassuring to know that more is being done to address this issue such as the introduction of the HOT CAR Act of 2017 and designing of car safety features to remind drivers to check their back seat for children before exiting their vehicle. The bottom line is that children are too young to cope with intense weather conditions, and must always be supervised and should never be left alone in a hot car.


Should School Buses Have Seat belts?

Michigan School Bus Crash Lawyer

Many people may remember the 2016 Chattanooga, Tennessee school bus crash that killed 5 students and injured more than 20 children. While this school bus accident shocked and stunned most of the country, in reality, school bus crashes are more common than most people realize. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that there have been an average of 135 fatalities per year from school-transportation-related crashes since 2003. To make matter worse, there is currently no federal regulation that requires children to wear seat belts on school buses. One of the arguments against school buses having seat belts is actually that the large vehicles are statistically shown to be safer than passenger vehicles. The NHTSA describes how large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than passenger vehicles and light trucks do. Strong, closely-spaced seats with energy-absorbing seat backs in school buses are supposed to "compartmentalize" children enough that they are protected without buckling up. 

Another reason many people argue against buses having seat belts is due to the incremental amount it would cost to install them. CNN estimates that seat belt installations inside of a large school bus could range anywhere between $7,346 to $10,296. "Installing seat belts on buses is not free, and requiring their installation might mean reducing funding on other critical safety aspects, such as crossing guards for those children who do walk to school," said Richard Williams, former director of the regulatory studies program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

On the other hand, and possibly more importantly, the NHTSA argues that by adding three-point seat belts to school buses, the average number of lives lost annually in school bus crashes could be cut in half. Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council also makes a good point about installing seat belts on school buses. 

"That's the best protection that we can give our kids. It's what they're used to in cars," said Hersman. "We know that there are very few fatalities involving children on school buses every year-they are a safe form of transportation-but anything we can do to make them safer is really our responsibility." 

Michigan School Bus Accident Lawyer

Currently, there are only six states that have legislation in place requiring buses to have seat belts - California, Texas, Florida, New York, Louisiana, and New Jersey. Despite the lack of regulation around the country, it is important for motor vehicle operators, and especially school bus drivers, to be screened properly and to focus on safe driving. A car, truck, or bus crash may happen at any time, and wearing a seat belt is just one of many ways for drivers to stay safe while on the road.

Incidentally, a similar bus crash to the one in Chattanooga also happened in Anaheim, California. The Anaheim bus slammed into a light pole and some trees, splitting open the left side of the vehicle while students from a middle school were on board. Both of the buses involved in the Chattanooga and Anaheim accidents were driven by 24-year-olds, in clear and dry conditions, and yet, both buses happened to flip onto their sides. The only difference is that the bus in Anaheim was equipped with seat belts and no one was killed.

So, what do readers of The Michigan Law Firm, Blog think? Given the above information, do you think school buses should have seat belts?


Although the government requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts in passenger vehicles for their safety on the road, they don't enforce seat belt safety in all modes of transportation. Although the NHTSA lists school buses as one of the safest modes of transportation for school-age children, due to their safe design with reinforced sides, bright coloring, stop signs, and standard seat size and height, it couldn't possibly hurt to wear a seat belt on a school bus anyway, could it? Have you, your child, or someone else's child been involved in a school bus accident or any kind of bus accident? If so, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Michigan Helps Lead the Country In Autonomous Vehicle Regulations

Michigan Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Trying to keep up with the fast-growing autonomous car industry, more than 50 bills have been introduced in 20 states to establish some type of regulation for self-driving vehicles. The Detroit Free Press predicts that autonomous vehicles will transform business models by reducing personal car ownership, restructuring urban and suburban development, and eliminating millions of transportation jobs while at the same time creating many more jobs. Michigan was one of the first states that adopted legislation to make it easier for automakers to test self-driving vehicles on a public road without a driver. Governor Rick Snyder said in December, “We should we proud we’re leading the world, right here in Michigan.” 

Legislation in Michigan also “allows automated platoons of trucks to travel together at set speeds” and “allows networks of self-driving cars that can pick up passengers.” Additionally, Ford’s self-driving Fusions and GM’s self-driving Chevrolet Bolts have been cleared for more testing. 

Michigan is not alone in passing autonomous vehicle legislation. 21 other states and Washington D.C. have also passed legislation or adopted regulations based on a Governor’s executive order. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

However, the lack of uniformity among states may be confusing for owners of self-driving cars and could potentially harm innovation. Chan Lieu, an advisor to the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets (whose members include former Google driverless car project Waymo, automakers Ford and Volvo, and ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft) mentions, “If you had 50 different requirements for 50 different states, each state (might do it) different. It’s going to be very, very difficult to build a vehicle to be effectively sold across the country.” This is all the more reason to distinguish states such as Michigan, as leaders in regulating the autonomous vehicle industry. 

Currently, “states are balancing a desire to be viewed as beacons of innovation while also seeking to protect their residents from technology that remains unproven on a large scale.” Federal regulations, on the other hand, may take years to propose and implement new rules on autonomous cars. This timeline may clash with the fast pace self-driving technology is moving at. 
Car Crash Lawyer Michigan

In the past, individual states have regulated driver behavior while the federal government has regulated the vehicle itself. A House subcommittee was scheduled to meet on June 27, 2017 to discuss several drafts of 14 self-driving bills in Washington D.C. Gary Peters, a US senator representing Michigan, said legislation should be introduced in the next few weeks that will lead to “a complete re-write of federal regulations for motor vehicles when you take the driver out of the car.” US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in Detroit, Michigan last month, that the presidential administration will reveal revised self-driving guidelines within the next few months, in order to “incorporate feedback and improvements recommended by numerous stakeholders.” 

Yet with automakers quickly developing autonomous technology, it will likely be up to individual states to create updated regulations as improvements are made. Safety is the main priority for states looking to support advancements while at the same time minimizing motor vehicle collisions. Jessica Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, said, “We know this technology can save lives. It can mean mobility for millions of people. So we see all the advantages to it, but at the same time we’re tasked with making sure this technology is safe.” 

With Toyota and the University of Michigan collaborating on autonomous vehicles and the US economy preparing for big changes from self-driving cars, it is no surprise that the state of Michigan is heading towards a safe and supportive environment for future technology. In Detroit, major automakers are the backbone of autonomous improvements. USA TODAY Network reports that GM announced the production on 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt test vehicles at its plant in Orion township last month, fulfilling the company’s promise to help maintain Michigan’s leadership in the autonomous car industry. Ford is also among automakers that have proposed to launch a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021. 

Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

There is no doubt that the Great Lakes State will do innovative things in the coming years as it helps develop and regulate self-driving cars. However, safety is vital when testing new technologies, as even seemingly perfect dream vehicles may put passengers at risk for being involved in motor vehicle crashes. Above all, autonomous vehicles are breaking new ground in the transportation industry, and it will be up to lawmakers-at both state and national levels-to keep up. 


The State of Michigan is the birthplace of cars, and continues to make strides in the automobile industry. As self-driving technology rapidly develops, states like Michigan are working to regulate autonomous vehicles at a similar pace. Safety remains the main priority, as no state wants to compromise the lives of citizens because of a cool car with no one driving it. If you or someone you know has been involved in a severe motor vehicle collision, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Four-Legged Driver Crashes Car Into Grocery Store

Car Crash Pet Injury Lawyer

In Wayne, West Virginia last summer, witnesses saw a car rolling towards and eventually crashing into a grocery store. When they ran to the car to see what happened, however, they were in for a surprise. According to CNN, witnesses spotted two dogs in the car all by themselves. The pups were the ones who "drove" into the grocery store!

The owner of the vehicle had left the car running to keep her dogs cool while she ran into the grocery store. While she was in the store, the dogs somehow switched the car into drive and went rolling straight for all those groceries. They must have been enticed by the smell of food inside! 

Luckily, the car didn’t go too far, as it came to a stop after hitting a concrete pillar near the storefront. Witnesses ran to the car hoping that everybody was alright, which is when they discovered that it was actually a dog in the driver’s seat. Some said that the entire car accident played out just like a cartoon. 

Thankfully, both the car and the store had little damage, and no charges have been filed against the car owner. The dogs got home safely thanks to their owner, who drove them home after the incident.

Pet Car Safety Lawyer Michigan

Though two dogs accidentally operating a vehicle and causing an accident is a funny and unusual story, it can also teach a valuable lesson. Unlikely situations such as this, though more frequent in cartoons, can happen in real life. While it isn’t safe to leave dogs locked in a car with no air, as the car can quickly get too hot for the dogs in the scorching summer heat, it also isn’t smart to leave the car running without a human inside. After all, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently informed it's readers about the seriousness of storefront car crashes and how most barriers currently don't stop cars from rolling forward. It's possible for pets who are left inside cars to accidentally change gears, or a stranger could recognize that the car is running and take off with the car and pets. It is important to take care of one's own vehicle at all times, so as to ensure safety for everyone.


Luckily, neither humans nor dogs were injured in this bizarre accident and not much damage was done to the store or the vehicle. However, car accidents are not funny and can cause serious injury to drivers and all passengers, including pets. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Drowsy Driving Is Just As Dangerous As Drunk Driving

Sleepy Driving Car Accident Attorney Michigan

Reports have shown that driving on 5 hours of sleep or less is equivalent to driving while intoxicated. The report, according to USA Today, states that drivers who skip a few hours of sleep at night nearly double their chances of crashing. This is an alarming fact when you take into consideration that about 1/3 of American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep every night, the recommended amount for adults aged 18-60, based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Probability of Drowsy Driving Car Crashes

Below is the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident occurring depending on how much sleep a driver gets. 

  • 6 hours of sleep = 1.3 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 5 - 6 hours of sleep = 1.9 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 4 - 5 hours of sleep = 4.3 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 4 hours of sleep or less = 11.5 times higher chance of a car crash.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving accounts for 83,000 crashes per year. In 2014, 846 fatalities resulted from a car crash related to sleepy driving. It should be noted that research on the number of drowsy drivers on the road has proved challenging, possibly even causing an underestimate of the prevalence of the issue. Regardless, lack of sleep causes impaired judgment, a slower reaction time, and/or paying less attention to the road. Combining these factors with operating a motor vehicle, just screams a disaster waiting to happen. 

Symptoms of Drowsy Driving:

Car Accident Lawyer Michigan
  • Frequent yawning or blinking.
  • Drifting in and out of the lane.
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the freeway.
  • Missing an exit.
  • Not remembering the last few miles traveled.

The National Sleep Foundation noted that police officers are not trained to identify “drowsiness” and despite just about every state addressing sleepiness or fatigue in crash reports, fatigue testing has been limited and without major developments. The foundation also believes that drowsy driving could play a role in other car crashes and are simply misreported as drunk driving or distracted driving accidents. The following safety tips provided by the National Sleep Foundation maybe able to help prevent a drowsy driving motor vehicle accident from occurring.

Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

  • Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Get a good night's sleep before long road trips, as being sleep deprived could endanger everyone in the car.
  • Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol increases sleepiness and impairment for drivers.
  • If you take medications that list drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation or get a ride from someone else, if possible. If you drive, avoid peak sleepiness time periods (12 AM - 6 AM and late afternoon).
  • Stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, and pull over for a short nap in a safe place if needed. 
Michigan Drowsy Driving Auto Accident Attorney

At the end of the day, having the alert senses needed to drive safely is yet another reason to get enough sleep each night. It is important to remember these safety tips and to monitor one's own behavior for drowsiness, before getting behind a steering wheel. At the very least, who doesn't want an excuse to put on some footie pajamas and snuggle under the covers for a well-rested night?


Motorists should take note of when they are feeling fatigued, and make the right decisions in order to prevent severe injuries or even fatalitities from a car crash. Finding a safe spot to pull out of the way of traffic and removing one's keys from the ignition to take a quick nap is one of way options to make a road trip safer. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drowsy driving accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

And The Winner For Most Googled Car In Michigan Is...

A recent analysis of the cars frequently Googled in every state discovered that the Lincoln MKC Compact SUV is the number one vehicle Googled in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. This may come as a surprise to some people, who may have expected a classic Ford or GM model to take the top spot.

Other states had less shocking number ones, such as California’s search for the Tesla 3 and New England’s desire to look up the Volvo XC90. The Buick Cascada, though it only sold 3,445 throughout the country, won over the states of Missouri and Indiana. In addition, the Buick Enclave SUV is No. 1 for North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Iowa, and Kentucky. These findings solidify Buick’s Midwest takeover, at least according to Google. Interestingly enough, a car that Hyundai no longer produces was the leader in two states; the Equus sedan was most searched in Maryland and Virginia. 

Michigan Auto Accident Attorney

The results of the analysis, done by auto care company Gold Eagle and marketing specialist Digital Third Coast, emphasize the shift in consumer buying patterns from cars to trucks, as a truck or SUV topped the list in 34 states. Still however, the Ford F-150 did not lead a single state, despite its status as America’s best selling vehicle, for longer than Google searches probably existed. Its larger relative, the Ford F-350, led Alaska and Montana, possibly suggesting that car consumers truly do believe bigger is better. 

Some people may have doubts about the link between financial success and number of web searches. They have good reason to; Honda, for example, one of the most distinguished automakers, sold 1.6 million vehicles in the US last year, but failed to gain the largest number of searches in any state. 

When buying a car, people like to stay informed about the newest models and safest features. Word of mouth is always a good way to hear about the most popular cars or the worst parts of driving this or that. But, you also can’t go wrong with good ol' Google. Most importantly, knowledge of one’s vehicle and driver safety are the ultimate steps for motor vehicle operators and nearby pedestrians to take in order to help avoid a becoming involved in a car crash. 

If an online search engine can help keep motorists in the loop, it doesn't matter which car model is number one, as long as driver safety is the main priority.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation firm that handles all types of accidents. Whether we're handling a car, truck, bicycle, bus, pedestrian, or horse accident, we work hard to ensure that our client receives any and all benefits they may be entitled to, under Michigan law. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a motor vehicle crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Parents Claim Their Son Was Not The Driver In Fatal Car Crash

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously reported on a May 8, 2015 fatal rollover car crash in Stony Creek Metropark, involving 5 teenage boys. Speeding and alcohol were found to be factors in the motor vehicle collision that killed Johnathan Manolios, Emanuel Malaj, and Michael Wells, and critically injured Gregory Bobchick and Joseph Narra, all of Macomb County, Michigan. Now, the parents of one of the three teens killed are disputing the conclusion that their son, Johnathan Manolios, was driving the Jaguar at the time of the motor vehicle crash. 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorney

The family of Johnathan Manolios has filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S District Court in Detroit, which also alleges misconduct by Macomb County and the Sheriff's investigators working on the case, including Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Captain David Kennedy, Sergeant Jason Abro, and Deputies Renee Yax and David Crabtree. The Detroit Free Press says the lawsuit's complaints range from due process violations to defamation and negligence.  

The complaint was referred by Wickersham to the county's corporation counsel, John Schapka, who simply said, "I've reviewed the complaint. It is pathetic." A statement released by George and Susan Manolios says, "The only things we have ever wanted were answers and the truth." 

The Free Press describes how, "In the days and weeks after the crash, the sheriff's office said the car with the five teens was traveling about 72-82 mph, crashed into a guardrail, and rolled five times. Sheriff's officials said everyone in the car tested positive for alcohol."

On the subject of who was driving the car, "In 2015, Wickersham had said a relative of Bobchick's owned the car and that he did not know why Manolios was driving, but investigators believed Manolios pressured Bobchick to let Manolios drive the car." 

On the other hand, "The Manolios family lawsuit claims Narra was the actual driver of the vehicle, and that Manolios's body was found furthest away from the car on the other side of a riverbank 150 feet away. It also alleges that the defendants did not have the expertise, equipment, or manpower to investigate the case properly, refused to turn the case over to the Michigan State Police to reconstruct the accident, and did not conduct forensic testing on the car that would have "conclusively proven who the driver was." 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

The lawsuit also claims that Sgt. Abro inserted himself into the case to ensure Narra "upon information and belief, a family friend, was not prosecuted for the serious crimes that were committed that evening." The allegations mention that Abro had Narra's mother sign a consent to search form, allowing Abro to obtain Narra's toxicology results from the hospital, and that Abro ordered the roof of the car to be cut off "with no legitimate purpose other than to destroy the deployed airbags so that DNA testing could not be performed." 

Among other complaints, the lawsuit "alleges that the parents inquired with the Sheriff's office where Manolios's body was found in relation to the crash scene because it was necessary for them to go there and memorialize the location pursuant to their religious beliefs. They allege that they were misinformed and told where Malaj's body was found, not Manolios's body, depriving them of their right to full practice of their religious beliefs."

To make matters worse, the complaint states the defendants confused Manolios's body with Malaj's, delivering what they thought was the body of their son, but was really Malaj's body, to the funeral home. 

This lawsuit is one of several that have been filed in federal and circuit courts since the 2015 speeding car crash. The lives of five teenage boys and their families were altered forever by the unsafe decision to drink and drive, regardless of whoever was driving. Not only are there deadly consequences to high speed car accidents, but drunk driving is a whole other category of danger. There are alternatives to driving drunk, and no one in a vehicle-driver OR passenger-should bring alcohol on the road. While it's sad to imagine that investigators may have made errors in figuring out who was driving and in delivering the wrong body to the funeral, it's important to see this situation as a cautionary tale of the dangers of driving under the influence. 


Teenage drivers are less experienced on the roads, and may make unsafe decisions that put themselves and their car passengers at risk for serious injury or even death, in the event of a motor vehicle accident. In order to avoid having to call a personal injury lawyer, it is important for people of all ages to stay informed about the dangers of risky driving behavior, so they can do everything they can to minimize their risk of getting involved in an auto accident. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a serious car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 884.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.