Vehicle Headlight Performances Are Leaving Drivers In The Dark

Michigan Auto Accident Attorney

Headlights are as necessary to driving as they are for providing visual safety on roads. While many over look need for headlights during the day, they are a safety necessity during the night that can help prevent night time car accidents. With shadows dancing on the road and visibility limited to what can only be seen with car headlights, driving in the night can be dangerous. USA TODAY reported on a recent study that found something that may be even more alarming if you often drive at night: only 2 of the 37 mid-size sport-utility vehicles (SUV) offered by the U.S. auto industry have headlight packages that are considered to have “good” performance. This alarming discovery should worry drivers, as poor headlight performance can put motorists and pedestrians in danger on dark roads.

The study is actually an update to one conducted in 2016. It tests 2017's car models gradually, rating headlight performances. The results found that 11 models have “poor” headlights, 12 fall in the “marginal” category, and 12 were found to be “acceptable.” Despite the less than stellar findings, headlights on cars tested in the study have improved since 2016's test, when 12 of 21 models were labeled as having a “poor” performance, with only four having “acceptable” headlights. The only two vehicles with the best headlight performance were the Volvo XC60 and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The vehicles with the worst headlights were the Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKC, Lincoln MKX, Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Sorento, and the Toyota 4Runner.

A senior research engineer for the headlight performance study, Matt Brumbelow, said that cars are, “still coming up short, though things are improving. Manufacturers are responding and some of the quick fixes have already taken place.”

Some automakers have taken on the challenge of creating these quick fixes by actually designing new improvements to headlights. These include lights that swerve with the curvature of roads, while others have advocated for the switch of all headlights to the already existing adaptive-beam headlights, which “dim light aimed at oncoming motorists to reduce glare while maintaining high beams on the road ahead to ensure visibility.” Additionally, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (a group that represents major automakers) supports changing outdated US regulations in order to allow the adoption of even more technology that could greatly improve headlight performance, as already demonstrated in Europe and Japan.

Car Crash Lawyer Michigan

On the other hand, as shown by the headlight tests, there is still a long way to go before drivers can be guaranteed safe headlights for all vehicles. Sometimes, installation issues may prevent headlights from performing well. Other times, car owners find that manufacturers didn't aim headlights in the right direction when they were installed. Simple errors like these may lead to difficulties driving in the dark, down the road, which can in turn lead to car crashes. Working and properly installed headlights are important because, if motorists cannot see while driving at night, they may be at greater risk of being involved in an automobile crash. Headlight regulations should continue to be monitored to light the way for automakers to design the safest vehicles for consumers, no matter what time of day it is.


Headlights keep dark roads lit for drivers, allowing them to see what's ahead on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in an automobile accident related to headlight malfunction, or has been involved in any other type of car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Michigan Judge Under Hit-and-Run Crash Investigation

Michigan Hit and Run Car Crash Lawyer

A Michigan judge who usually sentences criminals for hit-and-run crimes could possibly be ending up in front of another judge for the very same reason. The Detroit Free Press reported that Roseville District Court Judge Catherine Steenland of the 39th District Court is being investigated for fleeing the scene of an accident.

On the night of September 25, 2017, Judge Steenland allegedly sideswiped another vehicle while she was making a turn. She then left the scene and returned to her home. The car collision allegedly took place on Gratiot between 13 Mile and Masonic. The driver of the other vehicle supposedly followed Judge Steenland to her home and watched her exit her vehicle. The two never spoke to each other. Anonymous sources tell CBS Detroit that police officers later reported to Judge Steenland’s home, and she refused to cooperate with them. The sources also say that Judge Steenland’s vehicle has since been impounded.

Roseville Police Chief James Berline said in a statement that “a complaint was made, and as Judge Steenland is a sitting judge responsible for the City of Roseville, the matter was turned over to the Michigan State Police for investigation. Any comment regarding this matter will have to come from MSP.”

This is not the first legal trouble Judge Steenland has faced. In June of 2008, she pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired in Ogemaw County. She was charged in the 82nd District Court in West Branch in northern Michigan. She was suspended without pay for 90 days.

Roseville Car Crash Lawyer

In Michigan, the driver of a vehicle who knows or who has reason to believe that he has been involved in an accident shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall remain there...or immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency or officer. In other words, if there’s a chance you were in an accident, you need to stay on the scene until you are able to talk to the police. There may be exceptions in cases where it would be dangerous for the driver to remain on scene. Fleeing the scene of an accident is generally considered a misdemeanor crime, that carries with it a 90 day prison sentence and/or a $100 fine.

Leaving the scene of an automobile accident isn’t OK for anyone to do. It may seem like an easy way out, but it can just create more problems down the line. What could be a minor car collision that could easily be handled by an exchange of insurance information could become a much bigger legal matter if you decide to flee. By staying at the scene of a car accident and cooperating with first responders and investigators, you may be able to avoid having to call an accident attorney or criminal lawyer because you made a bad decision in the moment.


Hit-and-run accidents can be a legal headache for the person who fled the scene, but can also lead to prolonged pain and suffering for the other victims of the car crash. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Helping Spinal Cord Injury Patients Walk

Accident Lawyers

Many people are aware of the various injuries resulting from a car accident such as whiplash, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and even post-traumatic stress disorder. But many are not aware of the lengths that some patients have to go through in order to heal from another commonplace auto accident disability known as spinal cord injury (SCI). A patient with a SCI faces high mortality rates within the first year of their injury if it is not properly treated. Accident victims diagnosed with SCI may face thousands if not millions of dollars in medical fees in order to recover their health.

With auto accidents accounting for approximately 38% of reported SCIs, followed by falls, acts of violence like shootings, and physical activities such as sports,  A SCI can potentially, if not permanently, affect an injured person's way of living. Approximately 5.4 million Americans are dealing with paralysis in the form of tetraplegia, paralysis of all four limbs, or paraplegia, paralysis of the legs and lower half of the body.  That number is estimated to grow around 17,000 every year due to newly reported cases of SCI according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). As a result, the National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics at Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, have created an algorithm along with robotic assistance, that may help spinal cord injury patients walk naturally.

The authors of the study have discovered that patients dealing with SCIs are having difficulty making their muscles move again because of muscle mass loss and their nervous systems “forgetting” their natural muscle movements. Armed with this knowledge, the researchers put their teams to work in creating an algorithm for a  robotic physical therapy harness that would be attached to the ceiling while patients walked on a treadmill. Through the invention of the harness and gravity, patients will adjust their gait more naturally due to their own weight. After testing a small sample of 30 patients, the researchers saw encouraging results in their patients' gait and motor functions after only an hour of training with the new and improved harness. The inventors of the harness state that they took into consideration the patient's leg movement, the length of stride, and muscle activity in order to help their patients walk better than they would if they were using the traditional rehabilitation treadmill method.

Spinal cord injury lawyer

“The smart walk assist is an innovative body-weight support system because it manages to resist the force of gravity and push the patient back and forth, to the left and to the right, or in more of these directions at once, which recreates a natural gait and movement that the patient's need in their day to day lives.” the authors wrote in Medical News. Prof. Jocelyne Bloch from the Department of Neurosurgery at Lausanne University Hospital added, “This is a smart, discreet, and efficient assistance that will aid rehabilitation of many persons with neurological disorders."

This medical discovery can help future SCI victims gain their independence by helping them heal quickly and possibly decrease the mortality rate of patients who die within the first year of being diagnosed with SCI. Hopefully, rehabilitation clinics will not have to wait long to utilize the harness and will be able to help their patients get back on their feet with little to no complications in the not so distan future.


Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are serious reasons why victims of car crash accidents should immediately seek medical attention after their car accident. Diagnoses and treatments are usually critical within the first few hours to days after symptoms manifest. If you or a loved one is suffering from a TBI or SCI after being involved in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. We offer free consultations and have experience working with clients diagnosed with SCIs and TBIs. 

Total Knee Replacements Common After Automobile Accidents

Detroit Personal Injury Lawyer

Total knee replacements are one of the most common surgical procedures in the country. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality expects that by 2030, about 11 million Americans will have had either a hip or knee replacement. In 2010 alone, approximately 7 million people underwent joint replacement surgery. And while many people may associate knee replacements with the elderly, patients of all ages undergo the procedure. This is due in part to the fact that car accidents can result in damage to the joint of the knee, and car accidents don't care how old you are.

The knee is made up of three bones - the lower end of the thigh bone known as the femur, the upper end of the shin bone known as the tibia, and the knee cap, also called the patella. Where these bones all meet is covered by protective cartilage. When the cartilage starts to wear away (either over time with old age, or sped up by a traumatic injury such as an automobile accident), this results in knee pain, also known as arthritis. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), “damaging a joint raises your chances of developing arthritis sevenfold.” When unbearable pain, deformities of the knee, and loss of mobility are not being effectively treated by medication and/or physical therapy, a total knee replacement surgery is the final option.

Victims of automobile accidents who undergo total knee replacements are likely suffering from post-traumatic arthritis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, post-traumatic arthritis occurs when an intense force hits the knee, such as the impact from a car collision. This results in fracturing of the bone and damage to the surrounding cartilage, which alter how the joint moves and wears out the cartilage more quickly.

During a knee replacement surgery, the surface of the bone as well as the cartilage are replaced with an implant, creating a joint that glides much more smoothly than an arthritic joint does. The implant can be made out of metal, ceramic material, or plastic. According to the AAOS, there are 4 basic steps of a total knee replacement operation.

Steps of a Total Knee Replacement Operation

Michigan Car Crash Injury Lawyer
  1. Prepare the bone. The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
  2. Position the metal implants. The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts are cemented onto the bone.
  3. Resurface the patella. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending upon the case.
  4. Insert a spacer. A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

Patients are likely to experience some pain and discomfort directly after surgery. This is managed through medication and physical therapy. Health Care providers encourage the use of over-the-counter pain medications as much as possible, as opioids can have severe side effects, namely addiction. Physical therapy is used to help strengthen the muscle surrounding the knee, and restore range of motion. In the long term, total knee replacement patients experience a dramatic reduction of pain, and can enjoy low impact activities such as walking, swimming, and biking.

While overall quality of life is greatly improved for the vast majority of patients, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are working to minimize pain and improve patient satisfaction in both the short and long term.

Research on Improving TKR Experience:

  • Robotic Total Knee Replacement: Using robots can improve accuracy and precision during surgery. This leads to a more exact placement of the implant, resulting in better patient outcomes.
  • Press-fit Implant Technology: This type of implant does not require cement to adhere it to the bone. This allows the bone of the knee to regrow better, allowing implants to last longer. This is especially beneficial for younger patients, who need their implants to last 20+ years.
  • Customized 3D Implant Printing: Knee implants typically have one design that only varies in size, even though human anatomy varies tremendously. Custom printed 3D implants that more closely match the patient’s anatomy improve function and satisfaction.
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation: This utilizes a brace that sends electrical stimulation to the muscles surrounding the knee. This causes the muscle to contract, strengthening the joint. These braces can be used before surgery, to make sure the joint is strong enough, and after surgery during recovery.
Detroit Car Crash Injury Lawyer

Accidents happen, so while there is no way to completely prevent needing a total knee replacement due to a car collision, there are other areas of your life in which you can take steps to minimize your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight so as not to put extra strain on the joint is what most doctors recommend. More so, be sure to wear the proper safety equipment, such as knee pads and shin guards, when playing high impact sports such as football or soccer. And who knows, since most car crashes are caused by human error, maybe with the future of autonomous vehicles we will be able to minimize the risk of knee injuries from automobile accidents. The good news is that total knee replacements are a relatively safe and effective procedure, should you find yourself needing one, and doctors and researchers are working to make the experience even better.


Knee injuries make the simplest things in life, such as anything involving walking or moving, difficult. The experienced attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC understand that it is especially frustrating to have sustained a knee injury due to a motor vehicle accident, since medical treatment can be very expensive and auto insurance companies can be difficult to work with. If you have suffered any injury from a car accident, including a knee injury, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovery. 

Accident Shows The Dangers of DIY Car Repair

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

A 65-year old Michigan man died after being pinned by an SUV on September 10, 2017. Dennis Peters, of Mayfield Township, Michigan, was struck by a car he was attempting to repair according to the Detroit Free Press. Peters was attempting to fix the brakes on a friend’s car. Someone moved the car, but the brakes were not functioning properly, so the kept going and hit Peters, pinning him against the garage. Mr. Peters' death is being investigated as an accident.

This story may sound somewhat familiar to readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. Last summer, we wrote about the death of actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin was also killed after being pinned by his own SUV. Even though Yelchin placed his Jeep Cherokee in park and exited the vehicle, the car started rolling down the steep driveway it was parked in and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar. This accident, however, was caused due to a faulty gear shift problem which was under recall from Chrysler Fiat.

Thankfully, deaths due to faulty brakes are relatively uncommon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey in 2015, in which they looked at the critical causes of car accidents. It was discovered that out of the approximately 2,200,000 accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007, 44,000 were due to an issue with the vehicle. Of this 44,000, faulty brakes attributed to 10,000 accidents. While this number may seem relatively small, it is certainly not the same as 0 deaths.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Fixing faulty brakes is a job that people often try to undertake themselves, rather than taking the car to a professional mechanic. Many think fixing malfunctioning brakes is one of the easier repair jobs on a car, but it is more difficult than people realize, and it is critical to get it right. When not done properly, the consequences can be deadly, as unfortunately seen in Mayfield Township. Fixing brakes doesn’t just involve repairing the brake pads, but also the calipers, rotors, wheel bearings, and brake fluid. Not properly repairing any one of these items can lead to a car malfunctioning, which could potentially lead to a car crash.

According to Auto Notebook, there are a few reasons why drivers decide to undertake car repair projects on their own, rather than going to a mechanic. Saving money is the most commonly cited reason. On top of that, video tutorials, detailed instructions, make and model information, and high quality pictures can now all be found online, making drivers much more confident in their abilities to fix their own car.

However despite popular belief, at home car repairs are not always going to be cheaper, especially in the long run. It's understandable that buying a $10 can of do-it-yourself (DIY) crack filler to fix a cracked windshield sounds a lot better than paying someone to fix it for $75, but when the DIY fix doesn’t work and the window shatters, it can cost $500 to replace it. More so, engines and transmissions are the most complicated parts of a car, and when the average Joe tries and fails to fix these parts himself, it can cost up to $7,000 each to replace them. On top of the monetary cost, any job that involves jacking up a car and crawling underneath, such as replacing shock absorbers, can be extremely dangerous, and is best left to a professional. From an expensive ER bill for a crushed hand, to causing a car crash on the highway due to a bad brake repair job, the risks of DIY car maintenance greatly outweigh any potential benefit. 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Fixing your car yourself may sound very appealing - you can potentially save money, save time, and claim bragging rights to your friends and family about how smoothly you got your car running. However, without the proper training or experience, fixing your own car has the potential to be deadly or at the very least, costly. Changing a tire on the side of the road is one thing, trying to untangle the maze of wires in your very expensive transmission is quite another. Therefore, taking your car to a professional mechanic is the easiest and safest way to ensure that your car is maintained properly and safely. 


Accidents can still happen, regardless of how well taken care of your car is. If you have been involved in a automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of car accident law suits, including those caused by recall defects or faulty car parts.

New Traffic Signal Helps Save Pedestrian Lives

One New York City suburb has gone without a single pedestrian-motor vehicle accident in the past year. Leonia, New Jersey has implemented a new traffic signal for one of the area's busiest crossroads. The intersection between Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue has introduced an all-red phase traffic signal, stopping traffic in all directions for 26 seconds every other cycle. 

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The intersection is often congested with vehicles trying to take a different route across the Hudson River, other than the crowded George Washington Bridge. With all four directions temporarily turned red, pedestrians can safely cross the busy intersection and even cross diagonally if desired.

During the two years before the introduction of the all-red signal phase, 7 pedestrians were hit by cars at the intersection. One New Jersey woman was dragged more than 70 feet along the road, leading to her death.  

Mayor Judah Zeigler told USA TODAY, “If we had kept going down the course we were going down, it was really a matter of when, not if, another pedestrian would be killed.”  

Senior citizens, who take longer to cross the road, and students benefit the most from the all red-signal, according to Chief Thomas Rowe of the Leonia Police Department. Many students walk to a nearby elementary school that is less than a block away from the intersection. School foot traffic coincides with rush hour, further clogging the roads and endangering pedestrians. 

Rowe said, “The benefits have been exactly what we were hoping for, and there’s absolutely no reason for us to go back to the way it used to be. I can’t allow our pedestrians to be put in danger.” 

While some motorists have complained about traffic being further delayed by the all-red signal phase, it is clear that pedestrian safety is the number one priority for the city of Leonia. 

Throughout the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says on average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes. Considering this staggering statistic, it is no surprise that towns such as Leonia are taking steps to improve pedestrian safety. In addition, both pedestrians and drivers can take steps to keep roads safer. People on foot should use sidewalks to cross streets whenever possible, be visible with bright or reflective clothing, and never assume that automobile drivers see them. Motor vehicle operators on the other hand, should always watch for pedestrians, slow down, and be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk, and use extra caution in hard-to-see conditions, like at night or in bad weather. 

Car Accident Attorney Michigan

Accidents happen; that's reality. However, efforts taken by cities like Leonia to make roads safer for pedestrians may help prevent serious injuries or fatalities from car crashes. Everyone has been a pedestrian at some point in their lives. If all it takes to keep people on their feet is stopping at a red traffic light for 26 seconds longer, more cities need to take note in order to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions. 


Chickens aren't the only ones trying to cross the road. Pedestrians walking on busy roads are constantly at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle, even when all they want is to get to the other side. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian motor vehicle collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Digging Deeper Into Car Safety Features

Car Crash Accident Lawyer

Thinking about buying a new car soon? You might want to do your homework on the safety features before closing the deal. While virtually every new car is proclaimed to be “the safest car yet,” there are still differing opinions on what truly makes a car safest for drivers. Confusing terminology and differing safety features that cars offer can make choosing a car difficult, and requires potential car buyers to take a closer look.

One safety feature that can cause confusion for buyers and dealers alike, is the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system. AEB uses sensors which are mounted on the front end of a car to detect when a driver is about to have a collision and hasn’t done anything about it, and will apply the brake system for the driver. According to The Telegraph, this technology has reduced the chances of a rear-end collision by nearly 38%. It is expected that as systems such as AEB spread and become more popular, insurance premiums will have decreased by 43% worldwide, by 2035. 

Unfortunately, there has been confusion over which variation of AEB is most effective or even what to call it. Most manufacturers don’t refer to it by the standard term, and buyers are hardly aware the technology even exists, which results in buyers not being able to ask the appropriate questions about the safety feature. 

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Making things even more confusing for consumers, is the fact that there are currently three different variations of the system: laser-based, radar-based, and camera-based. Results have shown that combined a radar and camera-based system proves to be the most effective, but due to the expensive cost of the technology, most vehicles are not being fitted for these combined features. 

For prospective car buyers, it’s important to be thorough in inquiring about the safety features of the cars they are interested in. Before looking at different car options, buyers should do research online to find information on different safety features that are offered. 


If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident, including those caused by defective safety measures, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of auto accidents, and will get you the help and answers you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.