Move Over Or Face The Consequences

On February 12, 2019 a Michigan State Police trooper was hit not once, but twice while stopped on southbound I-75 as he was attending to a disabled vehicle. The officer reported he had his lights on and was stopped in the left and center lanes. The officer was taken to the hospital with neck and back pains, according to a report by MLive.

Accidents like this are why Michigan and several other states have the Move Over Law. The Move Over Law, “requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.” However, the growing trend of stopped emergency vehicles getting hit by an oncoming driver in the next lane has clearly caused many collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities, which may be why Michigan has expanded the Move Over Law.

The expanded Move Over Law, which went into effect on February 13, 2019, protects emergency vehicles such as, police, fire, ambulance, rescue, road service, road maintenance, utility service, solid waste hauler, and tow trucks.

Expanded Move Over Law

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, carefully slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and fully move over into an open lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit, and pass with caution allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Drivers who fail to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles could end up with 2 points on their driver’s license and a fine of $400, according to the new law. Also, “a driver could face felony charges and face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine if the violation causes death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel.”

For the safety of everyone on the road, drivers should move over when they see a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on. Why pay fines and risk points on a license, when obeying the law is as simple as changing lanes?!


Changing lanes can be a lot like playing a game of chess; drivers must consider all of the pieces, or in this case, other vehicles in play. One missed blind spot or emergency vehicle and it could be checkmate and a car crash can occur. And remember, in the real world, there are no pawns to sacrifice on the road; every piece is a queen. The Michigan Law Firm, PC represents victims who have been injured in serious car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney.

Is Uber the New 9-1-1?

Uber Car Crash Lawyer

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.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

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.

3 Killed in Battle Creek Ambulance Crash

Drunk Driving Accident

On the night of February 23, 2015, an ambulance was travelling northbound on Garfield Avenue in Battle Creek, Michigan, when a car traveling westbound on Garfield Avenue collided with it. The driver, 61 year old Shirley Stokes and her passenger, 54 year old James Stokes were killed by the collision. According to Battle Creek Police, Ms. Stokes ran though a stop sign and a flashing red light at the intersection though which the ambulance was passing. Her failure to stop caused the ambulance, which was traveling at high speeds with its flashing lights and siren on, to "T-bone" the Stokes’ car on the driver’s side.
 
Worse still, the ambulance was transporting a victim of heart attack to the nearby Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. Upon the LifeCare ambulance’s impact with the Stokes’ car, Battle Creek firefighters arrived to extract the victims from the two vehicles and another ambulance arrived at the scene of the accident to finally take the patient to the hospital. Unfortunately, the heart attack patient, 74 year old David Simpson did not survive his heart attack and died at the hospital. Shirley Stokes and James Stokes may have also been taken to the hospital but had already been pronounced dead at the scene of the accident during this time.
 
Luckily, the crew of the ambulance survived the deadly crash with only minor injuries. Police say that alcohol may have played a part in the crash. This would explain why Shirley Stokes had run through a stop sign and a flashing red light and why she may not have stopped even though the ambulance had its lights and siren on.
 
Driving in the night time alone can be tricky and dangerous. However, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and perilous to not only the driver but everyone on the road.
 
If you have been involved in a car accident, involving a  drunk driver call 844.4MI.FIRM today. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is highly experienced in helping victims of motor vehicle accidents receive medical benefits they are entitled to under the law. Our knowledgeable and skilled team will help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering.  Call us today for a free consultation.
 
 
Source:

Battle Creek Enquirer