Newborn Baby Abandoned In Unknown Car

Child Hot Car Lawyer Michigan

A visitor to Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI discovered a newborn baby abandoned in a car in the hospital parking lot, on the morning of June 12, 2017 and alerted police. The baby was not found in its parents' car but in an unknown man's vehicle. Officials are currently working to get to the bottom of the case. It has been reported that the baby’s 24-year-old mother is currently cooperating with investigators. However, it is still unclear whether or not the baby’s mother knows the man in whose car the baby was found.

Luckily, the baby, who appears to have been born within the last week, is in good health. However, the baby's abandonment is even more alarming because of the recent hot Summer weather in Michigan. Temperatures outside on Monday, June 12th reached the mid-90s, turning the inside of vehicles into ovens. It is of course, never safe to leave children or pets inside hot cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that from 1998-2016, 700 children died from heatstroke in vehicles. 54% of these deaths were due to the child being forgotten in a car by a caregiver. While a few minutes in a hot car might sound harmless, in just ten minutes, a car can heat up to 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature, which can be enough to kill children who are left in vehicles. Additionally, children are often too young to alert others for help if they are trapped in an abandoned car.

Source:  Kars4Kids.org

It is therefore important to “check for baby” before leaving the car, to ensure child hot car safety. Making it a habit to check the backseat before leaving the car can prevent children from being left behind on hot days. The non-profit organization Kars4Kids wants to help bring awareness to this important subject. They have developed an app to help forgetful parents remember that there is someone alive and breathing in the back of their vehicle, among the mountains of groceries.

They have created an app, called Kars4Kids Safety, which is designed to set off an alarm every time a phone that has the app leaves a vehicle. It does this by connecting to a car's Bluetooth technology to track when a user goes in and out of a vehicle. A customizable ringtone and option to add your child's photo make remembering to double check one's car as easy as posting on Facebook about your baby's first trip to the pool. Considering that even with windows rolled two inches down, a car can overheat at mercury-defying rates, Kars4Kids is helping fight for child car safety.  

Not only is it important to make sure children aren't left in cars, but it is equally important to not allow them to break into a vehicle when adult attention is turned away. Cars may look like giant playgrounds to small children, but in reality they are powerful, dangerous machines that should only be used for driving and not for hide and seek. By locking the car when it is not in use and by keeping keys out of reach of children, children can be stopped from being able to get into a vehicle and potentially trapping themselves inside.  

Michigan Child Car Safety Lawyer

While most parents and caretakers unintentionally leave children and pets in cars because they were distracted and forgot about the quiet dog or sleeping baby in the back, others think it's ok to leave a child in a car because they'll be right back in just one minute. While these actions are dangerous to the child, they are not done with ill intent. The Grand Rapids baby on the other hand was presumably, intentionally, abandoned in a hot car in a hospital parking lot. It's a shame that this is how the mother decided to leave her child when, according to CBS Detroit, the State of Michigan allows people to surrender their newborn babies to hospitals and other emergency care providers, without having to worry about criminal charges. In fact, the mother could have left the baby safely with a health care professional in the hospital itself, where she presumably gave birth, and not outside in a hot car. No matter what, there is no excuse for leaving a child to die alone in a hot vehicle. 

Driving with children always requires extra precautions, particularly in the Summer when scorching hot temperatures make vehicles burn to the touch. With the rescue and shelter resources available around the State of Michigan, there is no reason a child should be left behind. On June 12, a stranger saved a newborn baby's life. Next time, someone might not be there until it is too late.


Children should never be left in car on sweltering hot Summer days, for their own safety. If you so someone you know is in need of legal assistance relating to an incident of child car safety, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.Firm for a free consultation.

Plymouth, MI Automotive Supplier Aims To Change Pet Travel Safety

Plymouth Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Last week, The Michigan Law Firm blog informed readers about The American Humane Society's tips for driving safely with pets in the vehicle. One of the tips was to belt or restrain animals so that they can't distract the driver.

While innovations in the field of human car safety are being produced seemingly every day, pet travel safety has been largely unstudied and is lacking data in the automotive industry. However, Johnson Controls in Plymouth, Michigan tells The Detroit Free Press that they are aiming to change the way drivers travel with their pets. The company has brainstormed ideas on how to engineer seats and devices that can protect pets and their owners while riding in a vehicle. 

Pet Safety Laws

Pet vehicle safety lacks guidelines and regulations since the government has yet to pass any into law. This is very concerning to the 53% of dog owners who have traveled with their pet, at least once a month, over the past year, according to a study conducted by Kurgo.   

“Cars are developed for people; they aren't developed for dogs," said Lindsey Wolko, the chairman of the Center for Pet Safety in Reston, Virginia. "We have to get to the point we can have solutions that work for both. Dogs are the number 1 traveling companion, and they have little protection in the marketplace."

Pet Travel Statistics

The American Humane Society (AHS) estimates that around 100,000 dogs die in car accidents each year due to riding in truck beds. This estimate doesn’t include dogs that have jumped from vehicle windows or those that were improperly restrained - if at all - during a car collision. The number is hard to determine when most accidents involving a pet's death are rarely reported. Sadly, there are even fewer statistics and data available concerning cats and their safety and fatality rate involving car accidents.

An article in USA Today highlighted the chilling facts that most dog restraints fail. So, it comes as no surprise that a whopping 84% of dog owners do not use restraints when traveling with their dog.

Animal Car Crash Lawyer

Not only do most pet owners not bother with restraints, but Kurgo’s survey lists that 65% of drivers admitted to engaging in at least one distracted activity while they were driving with their pet, such as feeding them treats, trying to take a picture of the animal, or tying to pet the animal. Any of these distracted driving behaviors are serious issues when considering that a driver traveling with their pet could get into an automobile accident. Pets can be a major safety risk due since they can cause distractions leading to car accidents and since they can easily be tossed out a car and killed instantly in an accident, thereby possibly distracting other drivers on the road and causing them to get hurt too.

The Future of Pet Travel Safety

For now, Johnson Controls is still conducting their research by using pets volunteered by their employees, and observing the way pets enter and exit a vehicle and watching how they move around inside the vehicle.  

“We want to understand the future of pet travel safety — and what it should look like," Wolko said. "Because of the work Johnson Controls has done with seating development in automobiles, this could lead to a whole new world of pet safety."


Wolko has pointed out the importance of supplying proper animal safety restraining devices for those motorists who travel with their pets. If pets don't have proper restraints while on the road, their owners are leaving themselves, their pets, and innocent bystanders at risk of getting into a serious auto accident. Hopefully, the public won't have to wait long for Wolko to invent or improve on restraining devices used to secure pets in vehicles. Have you or a loved one been involved in a motor vehicle collision involving a pet? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844. 4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today.