Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries May Lead To PTSD and Depression, According To A New Study

Two months ago, you were pumping gas when your stomach started to rumble. You decided to run into the convenience store for a convenient meal. You were craving sushi and there was a tuna roll that looked good. Chopsticks in hand, you dove right in. But after eating only a few pieces, you instantly experienced the worst stomach ache imaginable and ran straight for the bathroom.

Brain Injury

That food poisoning incident now lives inside your head and even the sight of sushi kind makes you want to vomit! Sure, never eating sushi again for the rest of your life might seem like a tragedy but imagine if this horrible experience that scarred you for life was a bad car crash instead. Let’s say you were driving down Woodward when suddenly, you got t-boned by another car and found yourself waking up in a hospital room surrounded by nurses and doctors examining your broken leg, herniated discs, and a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). You were disoriented and didn’t know where you were, and the pain from the injuries and the pain from remembering what happened hit you all at once. The ER did what they could to patch you up and discharged you with a long list of doctors to follow up with. Now you’re getting wheeled out to wait for the car to pull around to take you home when anxiety hits you. You’re about to get into a car after being injured in a car accident. You panic! What if it happens again?! You suck it up and get in, but the accident replays in your head the entire way home.

Then a few weeks pass. You’re on the road to physical recovery, but you’re frustrated. You couldn’t remember the capital of Canada on Jeopardy even though you took a trip to Toronto last year, you keep forgetting to take your medication and skipped a dose of a painkiller which then caused you agony for a few hours, and you’re cranky from the loss of sleep because you’re replaying the car accident in your dreams every night and jerking awake when the car t-bones you. On top of all that, your social life is suffering because you can’t build up the courage to leave the house and get into a car to meet your friends, not that you feel up to hanging out or that you can drive with a broken leg anyway. So, you are tired, in constant, severe pain, frustrated at your memory loss, and lonely.

What you’re experiencing here may be PTSD and depression possibly caused by a traumatic brain injury.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as, “an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident or natural disaster.” An example of such a traumatic event can also be a car accident. Also, according to the APA, “people with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.”

Detroit Car Crash TBI Lawyer

A new study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that, “among hospital patients, 21.2% of those with mild traumatic brain injuries experienced PTSD or depression up to six months after injury, compared with 12.1% of those with non-head injuries.” According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury is, “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The JAMA study, which was published January 30, 2019, measured 1,155 patients with mild traumatic brain injuries and 230 with non-head injuries from 11 hospitals with trauma centers across the United States, between 2014 and 2016. CNN analyzed the JAMA study and reported that, “researchers found that patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were more likely to report PTSD or major depressive symptoms at three and six months after injury. At three months. The researchers also found that having a mental health problem before a traumatic brain injury was "an exceptionally strong risk factor" for having PTSD or major depressive disorder afterward.” The study also discovered that, “61.8% of the mild traumatic brain injuries were caused by motor vehicle collision!” “29.2% were the result of a fall or other unintentional injury, 6.1% were caused by violence or assault, and 3% were from an unspecified cause.”

Broken bones can heal but the brain may never recover from a traumatic injury. According to The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), recovering from a TBI varies for different people and, “improvements slow down substantially after two years but may still occur many years after injury.” Therefore, it’s important to take precautions and try to avoid head injuries. Since the JAMA Psychiatry study found that 61.8% of the mTBI’s in their study were caused by motor vehicle accidents, it’s been proven that car accidents are one of the most common ways to incur a head injury.

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not manifest right away. Therefore, it’s important to understand TBIs and to know to seek treatment right away if a head injury occurs. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and The Michigan Law Firm, PC, as a member of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, encourages readers to join the #ChangeYourMind campaign to spread awareness on brain injuries.


Gross, gas station sushi can cause psychological trauma, but a car crash may lead to a traumatic brain injury which may then cause depression and PTSD. The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles the legal obstacles that arise out of car accident cases for TBI victims so that they can focus on the difficult journey to recovery. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

The Parents' Guide To Safe Teen Driving

For a parent, a teenager finally getting their driver's license can be a double-edged sword. It’s a celebration since parents no longer have to pick up and drop off their teens from their high school sports and club events and they can now make their teens run endless errands on Sunday mornings! On the downside, parents may fall into the eternal pit of worrying about their teens’ safety on the road. After all, according to the Center For Disease and Control (CDC), more than 2,400 teens died due to car crashes, the main cause of these car accidents being driver inexperience, in 2016!

Detroit Teen Car Crash

Most teens beg for a car for their Sweet Sixteen, but Michigan parents worry more than other parents around the country because in Michigan, “if an individual is 14 years and 9 months and has successfully completed Segment 1 of an approved driver education program they may be eligible for a Level 1 Learner’s License.” Before parents start panicking that their teen is driving just after graduating from Middle School, parents should make sure that their teen is qualified and ready to drive on their own.

The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) offers parents a few tips on how to coach a teen in driving.

How To Coach Teen Drivers

  • Model Safe Driving- Teens learn what they observe. Be a good role model and follow the rules of the road.

  • Practice a lot- Practice as much as possible. You and your teen should be the only people in the vehicle.

  • Plan your routes ahead of time - While your teen is driving, be able to communicate your intentions clearly before your teen executes any of your requests. For example, "turn right" is a bad request. "Turn right at the next corner" is a better request.

  • Start simple- Learning to drive can be overwhelming - for your teen and for you. Begin with the basics, such as turning, parking and backing up. When you both feel comfortable, consider progressing to more advanced skills such as merging, changing lanes and parallel parking.

  • Start sunny- Begin practicing during the day, in good weather. As your teen improves, gradually start driving during different driving conditions, including a variety of times of day, weather and types of roads.

  • Don't rush into rush hour- Start with safe, low-risk driving conditions, such as empty parking lots and quiet rural roads. Gradually make progress to neighborhood streets with little traffic, then busier roads and highways.

  • Talk with your teen- Keep the lines of communication open so your teen feels comfortable talking with you. This builds trust and respect.

  • Take deep breaths- Remember, new drivers need a lot of practice. Making mistakes is part of learning. Remain calm and focused. Teens will show the greatest improvement in the first 1,000 miles to 5,000 miles of driving.

Of course, a few coaching tips won’t cover the wide range of environments and challenges a driver may face while on the road. So, it is very important for parents to monitor their teens’ driving and educate them on how distractions can be dangerous when driving.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) mention 3 main types of distracted driving which may affect a teen driver:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road.

  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.

  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off what you are doing.

Taking a Snapchat video, passing the aux cord, typing in a location on Google maps, texting a friend, or even drinking water or eating while driving, are all actions categorized as distracted driving. According to The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 391,000 drivers were injured by distracted driving in 2016. What is even more terrifying is that, according to the National Safety Council, “cell phone use is now estimated to be involved in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes.”

Detroit Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Nobody, especially not a teen driver, wants to deal with traffic fines for distracted driving because they had to check the notification that popped on their phone. Fines may raise car insurance rates and can even eventually lead to license suspension. And cell phone usage while driving isn’t even legal for some teens, because according to Michigan Secretary of State (SOS), Michigan law prohibits drivers who are Level 1 and Level 2 license holders under the Graduated Driver Licensing program from using a cell phone while driving. “Violations are a civil infraction and fees may be up to $240.” And no teen wants to suffer through the consequence of getting their keys taken away by their parents just before prom!

So, to avoid fines, car accidents, and to give parents peace of mind, parents should ensure that their teens are properly taught how to drive before they let them on the road by themselves. Parents can teach their teens themselves or enroll their teens into driving courses. Parents and their teens should also discuss the dangers of distracted driving as well as the seriousness of car crashes to ensure that teens understand what can go wrong if they neglect to drive with caution and full attention on the road.


While parents may face the same car accident risks and obstacles each time they get behind the wheel, they have the experience to handle road dangers that many teen drivers do not. A teen driving car crash can cause serious damage to vehicles, to the teen drivers, and to others on the road. However, The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands that teen drivers aren’t always at fault in their first car accident. Our accident attorneys handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

#ChangeYourMind This March

March is brain injury awareness month! It’s time to #ChangeYourMind and spread awareness on brain injuries!

TBI Crash Crash Lawyer
Detroit Brain Injury Lawyer

#ChangeYourMind is a public awareness campaign presented by The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), an organization which, “provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.”

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) defines a brain injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as, “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, rotational force, sudden acceleration and deceleration, shock from an explosive blast, or a penetrating head injury.”

A traumatic brain injury is a very serious injury that affects many people. The human brain is the most complex and remarkable organ in the human body and is responsible for all of an individual's actions and drives their senses. A brain injury can affect who an individual is, the way they think, act, and feel. In Michigan alone, 58,500 people will sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, according to BIAMI. In the United States, 153 people die from injuries that include an injury to the brain every day, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Brain injuries can be very mild and even go undiagnosed, which can lead to permanent damage or possibly even death.

Most people aren’t aware of brain injuries and their common causes. BIAMI mentions that some of the most common causes of TBIs are:

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Falls

  • Athletic and recreational activity

  • Assaults, including domestic abuse and shaken baby syndrome

  • Motor vehicle and bicycle accidents

  • Military blast injuries

It’s very well known that car accidents may lead to TBIs, but most people don’t consider bicycle accident TBIs. Bicycle accidents are very common and just as life-threatening as motor vehicle accidents. According to CDC, “in 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care.” 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries resulted in TBIs. The CDC urges bicyclists that practicing helmet safety can play a major role in preventing bicycle related injuries, saying, “any bicyclist who does not wear a bicycle helmet is at increased risk of head injury...a bike helmet can help protect your child or teen from a serious brain or head injury.”

While our hearts can be replaced, there is no such thing as a brain transplant, yet. Coping with and trying to heal from a traumatic brain injury can be one of the most grueling challenges an individual can go through. Since March is brain injury awareness month, people should discuss the seriousness of brain injuries so that everyone can be educated on TBIs and how to prevent them and treat them.


Brain injuries are very common and can be caused in many ways including motor vehicle accidents, falls, and even bicycle accidents. As BIAMI members, the attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC are armed with up-to-date traumatic brain injury knowledge so they can better help car accident TBI victims. If you or someone you know has suffered a TBI due to a car accident, call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Medical or Not, Marijuana May Impair Drivers

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

Detroit DWI Lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit Marijuana Lawyer

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


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

Hövding Bicycle Helmet: An Airbag for Your Head

Helmets may not be the most stylish look when riding a bicycle but they are necessary to help prevent bicycle accident injuries. In cities like Detroit where bicycle transportation, like MoGo, is popular, no one wants to walk into a trendy Detroit restaurant like Takoi, carrying around a bulky, heavy helmet that requires you to give up arm real estate. However, there is now a very cool alternative to the traditional bucket helmet - Hövding, that you can start conversations about over your chickpea tofu!

Hovding_08.jpg

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a survey done in 2001-2003, only 48% of children between the ages of 5-14 wore helmets while cycling, and older children were less likely to wear helmets than younger children. Similar statistics are likely one of the reasons Sweden passed a law in 2005 that required children under the age of 15 to wear helmets while biking. However, head injuries sustained while cycling are not a problem just for children. In 2010, over 800 bicyclists were killed and approximately 515,000 were injured in a bicycle-related accident, with about 26,000 of them receiving traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Because of how dangerous and frequent bicycle car accidents are, this much safer helmet may help prevent car accident head injuries from occurring.

According to their website, Hövding, also known as the airbag for your head, was created in 2005, the same year the law for children under the age of 15 being required to wear helmets in Sweden passed. The new bicycle safety law for children made people wonder if adults should also have to wear helmets. And so Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, two students of Industrial Design, decided that they wanted to make a helmet that made people want to wear it, whether they needed it or not. Soon after, in 2006, Hövding won the Venture Cup competition, in which young business people get to turn their ideas into an actual business plan. Hövding Sweden AB was founded later that same year, and after another seven years, the airbag helmet idea became an approved and certified product. To date, over 60,000 Hövdings have been sold!

How The Hövding Helmet Works

Hövding has a built in airbag system, sensors and algorithms, activation, charging, and a collar and cover. The airbag is designed like a hood and is made from an ultra-strong fiber that won’t rip. It protects your head while still allowing you to see, and covers more than a typical helmet would. The bicycle helmet also has soft shock absorption components and can absorb multiple blows in the event of a bicycle accident. After the airbag is deployed from a blow to the head, it will deflate. As for the sensors and algorithms, thousands of tests were performed in order to get accurate data on the movements of someone in a bicycle accident, by both crash-test dummies and test riders of Hövding, in order to develop an algorithm that can distinguish between regular bike riding and bike accident conditions. 

Hövding requires a charge in order to work. The charge lasts for 9 hours of active cycling and can be done through an USB charger included in the purchase of a Hövding. There are LEDs at the front that show the wearer how full the battery is. The helmet is also waterproof and has an enclosing collar that wearers can change to fit their outfit or mood. The weight is distributed carefully to make sure it doesn’t disrupt cycling, with weight slightly heavier on the front so that the helmet is resting on the wearer’s back while cycling. In order to activate the Hövding, bicyclists must place it around their necks and zip it up all the way, or it won’t work. Then attach the button on the zip tag onto the right side of the collar. To deactivate Hövding, unclip the button. The helmet should only be activated while cycling.

If you want to see Hövding in action during a bicycle car crash or in the event of a bicycle accident head injury, check out this video.


Helmets aren’t very popular to wear for a lot of cyclists and can be bulky and uncomfortable. Perhaps Hövding is the answer to this. Not only is Hövding more fashionable, compact, and comfortable, it is also safer than a conventional helmet and may prevent injuries typical helmets wouldn’t. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation, with an experienced accident attorney.

The NSC's Guide to a Safer Driving

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

This June, the National Safety Council (NSC)  is celebrating National Safety Month. Each week has a different area of focus, and this week’s goal is to raise awareness on the dangers of driving and to advise on the most effective ways to drive safely. According to the NSC, over 40,000 people were killed in fatal car accidents in 2017 alone! This number is nearly 6% higher than in 2015. It is key that drivers begin to take measures to ensure they are able to come home to their family safely each night.

The first step to becoming a safer driver is eliminating any dangerous driving habits that one might have. According to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 38% of fatal car accidents, the driver was drunk. While the number of drunk drivers has been slowly but steadily decreasing, the number of drugged driving is on the rise. Of 44% of fatal car crashes, drivers were under the influence of non-alcoholic drugs, the most common drug used being marijuana. 

These drunk driving deaths and drugged driving fatalities are a shame since all of these car crash fatalities are avoidable! With technology constantly evolving, there are a few simple ways to get back home safely while under the influence. If someone anticipates a night of drinking, they should try to arrange a designated driver. Public transportation is also always available in metropolitan areas; in Detroit, the Q-line is a safe transportation option for drunk people. If drinking in an area without public transportation or finding a sober friend is difficult, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving is to hail a ride with a rideshare app  like Uber or Lyft. A safe and quick ride home is just a push of a button away. Much like driving under the influence, driving while sleepy is another form of impaired driving and can be just as dangerous.

Detroit Drug Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 people reported having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past 30 days! The American Academy of Sleep Medicine discusses a study which shows that about 21% or car accidents from 2009-2103 were caused by drowsy drivers. Drowsy driving accidents can be prevented by getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep regularly, and avoiding drugs or medications that can cause drowsiness prior to driving. As road trip season comes around, it is important to remember to take breaks every 2 hours, or every 100 miles of driving, and if possible, switch drivers. Preventing drowsy driving car crashes is an important way to create a safe driving environment for everyone on the road.

Another common factor in dangerous driving is distracted driving. In today’s fast paced society, it can be tempting to glance down at a  phone notification on the drive to work, or send a Snapchat of a funny bumper sticker on a pickup truck, but it only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause a distracted driving car accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), in the 4 to 5 seconds it takes to read a text message while driving at 55 miles per hour,  the car will have traveled the length of a football field. In today’s busy world, people want to consolidate their time as best as possible, and try to be multitasking experts by eating or doing makeup while driving. However, by pulling over to send a text, eating a Big Mac inside the McDonald’s, or waking up a few minutes early to put on lipstick can create a safer commute for all drivers on the road. Distracted and impaired driving is irresponsible, and preventable. It is each driver’s responsibility to create as safe of a commute as possible.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The NSC lists some simple safety tips to follow when deciding to get behind the wheel. The NSC encourages drivers to be aware of how a vehicle’s safety features work, as they can vary from vehicle to vehicle. However, the NSC also states that, “you are your best safety feature” as a reminder not to rely wholly on features such as blind spot alerts, as they can miss things and malfunction. Because of car malfunctions, it is important to take all car system alerts and warnings seriously. Ignoring safety alerts can be dangerous, as it can be difficult for people who are not auto experts to identify car malfunctions. While most warnings are for a loose gas cap or a faulty sensor, a check engine light could mean that the vehicle is in danger of catching fire or has low oil. It’s best to allow a professional to inspect the vehicle as soon as possible after the car displays an alert.

Another safety measure the NSC suggests to keep drivers aware of their surroundings is to clean all snow, ice, and mud off of the car prior to driving it. Cleaning the windshields is not always enough. In winter, driving a car with snow piled on top of it can impair the view of other drivers, when the snow flies off the top of a moving vehicle and onto other vehicles behind it. In addition, braking suddenly can cause snow to slide down from the roof of the car and to the hood, obstructing the driver’s view. Ice across windshields and windows can also severely impact the view of the road around the driver. No matter how short the drive, or how how much of a hurry the driver is in, it is not worth the risk of a car accident to drive in a car with obstructed views.

Since so many car accidents are preventable, the NSC has taken the fourth week of June to teach drivers which habits to avoid and which practices to follow. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while sleepy, or driving with obstructed views are all unsafe decisions that drivers are choosing to make. The NSC reminds us that each decision a driver makes can affect the lives of everyone on the road around them, making it each individual driver’s responsibility to make the right decision each time they hit the road.


Car accidents may be common, but many of them are preventable. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a negligent driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our attorneys fight for Michigan’s injured drivers. 
 

June Is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

As June comes to a close, so does Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s as the most common form of dementia that can cause problems with memory, behavior and thinking. While the illness can start off mild, it’s severity can increase overtime, and interfere with daily tasks and life and is typically found in people over the age of 65. And according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2013, as many as 5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer's. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s can affect day to day functions such as writing checks, dressing appropriately for the weather, identifying the day's date, and driving. While it is not necessary for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to stop driving when the disease in its earliest stages, it is important to pay close attention to driving behaviors, as the number of driving errors may increase as the illness becomes more severe. The following are some of the warning signs that the Alzheimer’s Association suggests watching for, that indicate that an Alzheimer’s patient should stop driving.


How Alzheimer’s Affects Driving

  • Forgetting how to locate familiar places, such as the grocery store or a family member’s home

  • Failing to observe traffic signs

  • Making slow or poor decisions while driving such as driving at an inappropriate speed
  • Making errors in basic driving, such as driving at inappropriate speeds, hitting curbs and drifting between lanes, confusing the brake and gas pedals, and forgetting the destination during the drive

  • Difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast,

  • Impairs decision making abilities

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

A study done by the University of Ottowa in 2016 showed that drivers with Alzheimer’s were less likely to use their brakes appropriately - whether using them too much or not enough, more likely to be in the wrong lane, speed, disobey traffic lights, and more likely to lose control of their vehicle. These errors could lead to potentially fatal car accidents for both passengers and drivers on the road, as well as the Alzheimer’s patients themselves.

Failure to navigate a busy intersection properly or ignoring traffic signs can also lead to car accident injuries and fatalities. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s symptoms increase over time, and as the severity of the illness increases, the patient’s ability to drive safely without getting into car accidents decreases. In addition, as the patient’s ability to think and make decisions deteriorates, they are less likely to be able to react quickly to the scenarios around them, such as not recognizing that the driver in front of them has slammed on their brakes until it is too late.

Having a conversation with a loved one about not driving anymore can be difficult and it is important to approach the matter gently. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests sitting down with those who are close to and taking care of the loved one, and creating a plan for when they should stop driving, discuss alternate methods of transportation and setting up a GPS system in their car. The Alzheimer’s Association also recommends periodic assessments of their driving, as this allows close monitoring of their driving and whether they will be able to continue to drive safely.

When the time comes, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends beginning the conversation by expressing concern, and showing love and support, as this may be a hard transition for them, and explaining to them why they should no longer be driving, and why it is a safety hazard for them, as well as those around them. If they express anger or resistance, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends being firm but understanding and empathetic, explaining that while this is a difficult transition, but is something that must happen. They also suggest, that if necessary, consult their doctor and have them reinforce that it is time for them to turn in their keys. If there is still resistance, it may be necessary to take away their keys or their car entirely. Even though this may be difficult, it is a matter of safety and an effective form of accident prevention.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Arranging alternate forms of transportation does not have to be challenging, however, it will take communication between family members to ensure the loved one can get to where they need to be without too much difficulty. The most basic alternate form of transportation is to have family and friends drive the loved one when possible. They can take turns or shifts, and work around each others’ schedules. Unfortunately, this is not always the most convenient option, and it may be simpler to arrange for a taxi service instead. If there is not a taxi service available, there are transportation options created specially for elderly people; local senior citizens services and homes often provide transportation at low cost or free of charge. If possible, reduce the need for someone with Alzheimer’s to drive, by having groceries, prescriptions and other day to day necessities delivered.

It is important for the family and friends of those living with Alzheimer’s to understand the disease and create a supportive and loving environment to help them with this challenging time. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month aims to create an empathy and awareness around the illness. While many people have heard of the illness, many don’t know the extent of the effects that Alzheimer's can have on day to day life. Since Alzheimer’s is a fairly common disease, it is important for everyone to understand in order to support loved ones fighting the illness.


The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles all types of motor vehicle accident cases. Our accident attorneys make the legal experience as easy for clients as possible, so that victims of auto accidents can focus on recovering from their car accident injuries. Contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

The Leading Factors For Brain Injuries In Children And Teens

Source:  Flickr

Source: Flickr

With the weather getting warmer, children will be spending more time outside, enjoying some of their favorite sports like football, soccer, and basketball. Kids love sports! It teaches them teamwork and planning strategies, and helps build friendships. And as much as kids like sports, teenagers love learning to drive and aim to receive independence from their parents via a driver’s license. This summer teens will be putting their pedals to the metal and test driving their new skills. So, since the spring and summer are so much fun for children of all ages, everyone should also be wary of the dangers that blows to the head in tackle sports and car crashes can have on children. Children from the ages of 0 to 19 have a greater risk for brain injuries than any other age, according to The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

According to Forbes, “[Of the}More than 55,000 teenage drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in auto accidents during 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered acute head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries.”

Since playing sports and getting into car accidents are leading factors for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children, parents should keep an eye on their children's behavior in case of head injury. The BIAA gives the following brain injury symptoms that parents should look out for that could impair a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional being.

Symptoms of Child Brain Injuries

PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENTS EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS
speech short term memory deficits mood swings
vision impaired concentration denial
hearing slowness of thinking self-centeredness
headaches limited attention span anxiety
motor coordination impairments of perception depression
spasticity of muscles communication skills lowered self-esteem
paresis or paralysis planning sexual dysfunction
seizure disorders writing restlessness
balance reading lack of motivation
fatigue judgment difficulty controlling emotions

Brain injuries can affect a child in multiple ways, as shown in the above brain injury symptoms chart. Collectively, these TBI symptoms can affect a child’s school work, social life, and general way of life. And since the recent news about the NFL concussion scandals, TBIs have become household dinner table talk. All of the negative TBI press has caused parents to become more involved in their children’s physical activities and become reluctant to let their children play sports or learn how to drive. While it’s disheartening to kids to have their parents deny their enrollment in football camp, these parents may be making the right choice. After all, “Each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes. A staggering 564,000 children are seen in hospital emergency departments for brain injury and released,” the BIAA reports. And according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), “Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents.”

Brain Injury Accident Lawyer

Brain injuries happen, and they are an injury that nobody expects could happen to them. But for children with brain injuries, it’s even worse. The BIAA reports that, “The brain of a child is continuing to develop. The assumption used to be a child with a brain injury would recover better than an adult because there was more “plasticity” in a younger brain, but recent research has shown that this is not the case. A brain injury actually has a more devastating impact on a child than an injury of the same severity on a mature adult.”  This is why brain trauma is a topic that needs to be discussed more often and more openly by the public. The BIAA leads the charge in continuing the conversation on brain trauma during the month of March, which is Brain Injury Awareness month. While brain injury experts are studying how to heal traumatic brain injuries, it may be a while until a surefire treatment is created. Until then, since we can't bubble wrap children and forbid them to leave the house, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  provides the following tips to help prevent brain injury accidents from occurring. 

How to Prevent Brain Injuries In Children

1. Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age).

2. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

3. Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:

Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer
  • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;

  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;

  • Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;

  • Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;

  • Riding a horse; or

  • Skiing or snowboarding.

5. Making living areas safer for seniors, by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;

  • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;

  • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;

  • Improving lighting throughout the home; and

  • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.

6. Making living areas safer for children, by:

  • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and

  • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

  • Making sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

While the CDC's 5th tip may be for senior citizens, some of this advice may also be applicable to children. Plenty of children have fallen while running up and down the stairs without using handrails and many have tripped over a rug and hit their head. Vigorous play with toys used to entice children to take baths have also led to slip and fall accidents in the bath tub. 

The fact of the matter is that children always face the risk of traumatic brain injuries because most children are physically active. By monitoring a child or teenager's physical, cognitive, and emotional behaviors following a head injury, parents can help their children immediately receive any medical attention they may need.


Summer fun like playing sports or taking road trips may lead to brain injury accidents. After all, sports and motor vehicle accidents are some of the leading factors for brain injuries in children and teens. If you or anyone you is suffering from a traumatic brain injury or any car accident injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM today. Our brain injury lawyers are available for a free legal consultation. 

Valentine's Day Drunk Driving Dangers

Detroit Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Today is one of the most romantic days of the year - Valentine’s Day! In case you didn’t remember, it’s not too late to buy that box of chocolate or grab a bouquet of flowers. For those who did remember, I’m sure many loved ones are in for a wonderful and romantic dinner. Some restaurants even offer special menus that pair special Valentine’s dishes with the perfect corresponding alcohol to enhance the romantic dining experience. Whether dining at the most popular restaurant in town with a three month waiting list or proclaiming love over chicken wonton tacos at Applebees, most lovebirds will be toasting their love with alcohol! To many people, Valentine’s Day isn’t being celebrated properly if there isn’t a champagne toast, a fancy cocktail, or a chocolate stout beer involved. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd highest drinking holiday in America!

That’s right, Screener says that the amount of alcohol consumed on Valentine’s Day is only topped by how much Americans drink on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve. And in fourth and fifth place on that list are the 4th of July and Halloween. Screener obtained this information from BACtrack, which is a company that makes breathalyzers to test a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). BACtrack performed a study in which they gathered over 100,000 anonymous BAC test results from users of BACtrack Mobile, their award winning smartphone breathalyzer. This information was compiled into the BACtrack Consumption Report, which is regularly updated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 28 people die daily because of drinking and driving. And that is just any other day. However, as shown by the BACtrack Consumption Report, national alcohol consumption is at its peak over the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with eggnog on Christmas or a candy corn jello shot on Halloween, but it’s when driving is added to holiday drinking that there is an issue.

Detroit Drunk Driving Attorney

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 300 people over the past 5 years died in drunk driving automobile accidents between Christmas and New Year’s alone. Combine this knowledge of holiday drunk driving fatalities with information from a 2017 OpenTable survey which found that 71% of people plan to dine out for Valentine’s Day, and it is reasonable to assume that there will be a marked increase in drunk driving auto accidents today. Many couples will be going out to dinner and enjoying a glass or two of wine with their steak or heart-shaped pizza, only to drive home under the influence of alcohol and risk becoming involved in a drunk driving auto accident. It’s important to note that, according to West Virginia University, even one drink may decrease attention span, limit reflexes, and overall hinder a person’s ability to safely drive.

No one wants their special night ruined because of a drunk driving automobile accident. By not drinking and driving this Valentine’s Day, you can be sure that you are not causing a drunk driving car accident. Just because you’re not drinking and driving though, doesn’t mean that others aren't. Considering how many more people are on the road than usual on Valentine’s Day, and how many of those people have possibly consumed alcohol, it only makes sense that the number of drunk driving car crashes will increase today.

TABC Certification has several suggestions on how to avoid being involved in a drunk driving automobile accident this Valentine’s Day:

How To Avoid Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving Car Accidents

Michigan Drunk Driving Lawyer
  • Hire a private car for the evening - Not only is this safer, but it also shows how much you appreciate your partner when you hire a chauffeur for the evening so you can enjoy drinking without guilt.

  • Stay at a hotel - If you want to avoid driving altogether, consider staying at a hotel with a well-reviewed restaurant. That way, you can drink as much as you want before heading up to your room.

  • Create a unique night in - Consider staying at home for Valentine’s Day. Send any kids to a babysitter and create your special night in your own home.

  • Choose your own Valentine’s Day - Valentine’s Day is a busy day for restaurants. Consider celebrating Valentine’s Day on a different day to avoid overcrowded restaurants and overpriced taxi prices.

  • Abstain from alcohol - Enjoy the night without alcohol. This is easier if both abstain from alcohol for the night.

Another tip, especially for those who want to stick to a budget, is to use the chauffeur services of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Even public transportation is a good way to avoid drunk driving, especially if your special night involves more than one activity.


Drinking and driving is never safe. Valentine’s Day should be a time to enjoy with your partner and not your drunk driving accident attorney. Stay safe with your significant other on the road this Valentine’s Day by not drinking and driving. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Christmas Lights May Cause Distracted Driving Accidents

With Christmas just around the corner, houses, shopping complexes, and office buildings all around, are decorated in shining lights, Santa sleighs, and reindeer. While receiving gifts may be most peoples' favorite part about the upcoming holidays, Christmas decorations are another cause for excitement, as they bring out creativity and even competition, to see who has the best displays. In fact, the whole premise of the movie Deck The Hallsis, "two neighbors having it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space!" Visibility from space may be a stretch, but many businesses, homes, and even cities in Michigan, go all out in lighting splendor during the holidays. Driving to see these Christmas light spectacles is a very popular Christmas pastime. 

Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer

In fact, there are multiple holiday light displays throughout the Metro Detroit area which hold up traffic and draw crowds of pedestrians. Downtown Rochester, Michigan is famous for its outstanding light display throughout that connects all downtown storefronts. Restaurants and small shops are decorated in different colors, which gives the entire strip an amazing glow. Citizens of Michigan can view this sight by driving through downtown but also enjoy parking, walking around, and taking pictures with their family and friends. For those who don't like to leave the comfort and warmth of their car, Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe is a popular holiday decoration destination. The houses in this neighborhood are known for the extravagant Christmas lights and people from all across the Metro Detroit area come to see them.

While the light shows and displays are so dazzling, it is for the reason that they are eye catching that they may also be dangerous. Looking at lights while in a car causes attention to veer away from the road and may in turn cause drivers to become involved in distracted driving car accidents. These distracted driving car crashes might not only involve other cars, but in such high traffic areas, may lead to distracted driving pedestrian accidents. A few weeks ago, in Massachusetts, a local news outlet reported that a 62-year-old man was hit by a car while crossing the street to view a popular Christmas light display that is put up every year. He was hit by a 23-year-old who was driving through the light display. This is just one example of the many distracted driving car accidents that can occur relating to both pedestrians and drivers during the holiday season. And although that distracted driving pedestrian accident occurred in Massachusetts, similar winter car crashes can occur to families talking selfies in downtown Rochester or couples driving through Lake Shore Drive.  

Rochester Hills Car Accident Lawyer

Whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, one thing to always remember is to be aware of your surroundings and know that your actions can affect the lives of others. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day 9 people are killed and around 1,000 people are injured due to distracted driving. That's over 12,000 people who get injured because of distracted driving! 

If you plan on driving to see holiday lights this year, choosing a designated driver, as you would to avoid drunk driving, may be a good idea. A designated driver would not look at the holiday decorations and instead would focus on the road so the rest of the vehicle's occupants can enjoy Christmas spectacles without worry. If you plan to take in the holiday spirit via walking, try to wear reflective clothing and move in a group so as to be visible, and try to stay on sidewalks and walkways, so as to avoid stepping in the road. While there is no surefire way to avoid being involved in a distracted driving car accident or a distracted pedestrian crash, by staying alert and staying in your lane (or sidewalk), any potential accidents can hopefully be avoided.

Pedestrians and drivers who want to take pictures of the holiday displays should be aware that cell phones are a huge contributor to distracted driving and adding Christmas lights just begging to be photographed and tweeted into the mix, doesn’t help. Getting the perfect Instagram picture is not worth a call to a car accident lawyer. Telling your accident attorney that you got hit by a car because you walked into the road while taking a selfie with Santa in the background not only sounds embarrassing, but may cause you deal with a ridiculous number of Michigan car insurance legal issues. 


The holiday season comes with an infectious spirit that causes people to drink eggnog, go caroling, and decorate their houses with lights. While driving around town to look at holiday light displays is a popular event, drivers and pedestrians should always remember to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to prevent distracted driving car accidents. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, at 844.MI.FIRM, for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. 

Drunk Driving Accident Kills 5

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

A fiery car collision from May 9th, 2017 in Oceola Township, Michigan, which took the lives of 5 people, has concluded with murder charges. The Detroit Free Press reported that Matthew Jordan Carrier, age 22 from Fenton, Michigan, was bound over for trial on Thursday, September 21, 2017. This means the judge believes there is probable cause, and the case will go to trial. Carrier was charged with 5 counts of second degree murder. 

Carrier was driving a 2002 Subaru Impreza that belonged to his friend who was also passenger in the car, Justin Andrew-Humberto Henderson, of Fenton, 18. Also traveling in the car were 24-year old Preston Tyler Wetzel, and 23-year old Kyle Eugene Lixie, also both of Fenton.

Carrier says he can recall consuming “most” of a fifth of Smirnoff vodka, but that he was “less drunk” than Henderson, which is why he was driving the car. Officials said Carrier’s blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit in the State of Michigan of .08.

Carrier was driving southbound on Argentine Road, reaching speeds of up to 103 MPH. He ran the stop sign at the intersection of Argentine Road and M-59, colliding with a Cadillac headed east on M-59. Albert Boswell, 39 was driving the Cadillac, and was traveling with his girlfriend,  Candice Lynn Dunn, 35, of Oakland County, her mother, Linda K. Hurley, 69, and her mother’s boyfriend, Jerome Joseph Tortomasi, 73, both of Macomb County. Boswell was the only passenger in the Cadillac to survive the crash. In the Subaru, Henderson and Wetzel were both killed, while Lixie was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital for the injuries he sustained, and was eventually released.

In addition to 5 charges of second degree murder, Carrier also faces 14 other charges, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license causing death. Nine witnesses took the stand at the hearing, resulting in these charges. The judge presiding over the hearing said that Carrier’s blood alcohol level, a prior OWI conviction, and other alcohol violations show Carrier had malicious intent, since he had not learned from his previous charges. This malicious intent resulted in second degree murder charges. Carrier is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail. He says he wishes he had died instead of his victims.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Carrier claims he thought he could drink without it being a problem, but when it comes to operating a motor vehicle, this line of thinking is dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,265 people died as a result of drunk driving in 2015 alone. No matter how well you think you can handle your alcohol, or if you’re “less drunk” than your friends, driving while intoxicated is not only illegal, but can also be deadly in the event of a drunk driving car crash. Having a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service like Uber, or having some other back up plan that doesn’t involve a drunk person getting behind the wheel is the best way to prevent being involved in a drunk driving car accident. Think of it this way: If ordering an Uber after a tailgate this weekend seems too inconvenient, does calling your attorney to tell them you were involved in a drunk driving car accident really sound much better?


Drunk driving is never OK, under any circumstances. And while you can make sure that you never drive drunk, you cannot guarantee that others on the road won't drive while intoxicated. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. 

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.

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. 

Study Claims Midwesterners Are More Likely To Drive Drunk

Detroit Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

As exciting as Oberon season is for Michigan residents, some people might need to consider cutting back, especially if they plan on driving. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who live in the Midwest region are most likely to drive drunk. An estimated 30% of drivers in the Midwest admitted to driving while inebriated. The three leading Midwest states are Nebraska, North Dakota, with Wisconsin and Iowa tied for third. Though Michigan ranks near the bottom of the region, the rate of self-reported alcohol-impaired driving episodes is still a whopping 497 per 1,000 people. Therefore, Michiganders should keep the beer at the lake and the tailgate, and make other driving arrangements if they find themselves drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Following the Midwest in the study is the Western region, with an estimated 20% of driving respondents admitting to driving while intoxicated. The Northeast region comes in at the lowest with about 11.3% of admitted drunk drivers. If Boston sports fans can pull themselves together and make the responsible decision to not drink and drive, we Detroiters need to step up our game!

The drunk driving study goes on to reveal that the majority of those drivers who admit to driving drunk are between the ages of 21 to 34. Another factor in the study was the number of binge-drinking episodes a person had undergone. Binge-drinkers admitted to drinking four alcoholic beverages a month, accounting for 85% of alcohol-impaired episodes. This is an alarming number, especially when taking into account the risk for severe injury or fatality from being involved in a motor vehicle accident where drunk driving was the cause.

Simply having just two drinks can affect a person's judgment. The CDC states that having a blood alcohol content of 0.2% can affect anyone's ability to perform two tasks at the same time, as well as cause a change in mood and a decline in visual functions. Having three drinks can affect muscle control, reduce coordination, lower alertness, and a release of inhibition. All the more reason to just stay sober if one plans on driving home.

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The important distinction to make here is that driving after any amount of drinking is not a good idea. Most of the public doesn't consider buzzed driving to be drunk driving due to their belief that a few drinks doesn’t impair their judgement. These people do not realize that it only takes one drink to impair a person’s ability to drive. The CDC's drunk driving study has highlighted the gap of misinformation and lack of education the public has when it comes to drunk driving. With 28 people dying every day from intoxicated drivers, police officials and communities are informing people about the serious consequences for alcohol related car accidents on the road. 

Michigan has a lot to be proud of, but being a member of the most-likely-to-drive-drunk region is definitely not an honor. If a person plans to drink, they should take safety precautions beforehand to help reduce the number of drunk drivers in the Great Lakes State. Calling a taxi or an Uber, or taking turns among friends to be the designated sober driver are some safe driving methods to lessen the number of drunk driving car crashes. Tigers fans may have to duck out after the 7th inning, but at least everyone can count out causing a drunk driving accident on the way home.


Buzzed driving is drunk driving. The best practice to avoid getting a DUI and to avoid being involved in a drunk driving car crash, is to avoid driving even after consuming just one drink. If you have been drinking, have a designated driver ready, take public transportation, or call for an Uber or a friend, to avoid any fatal drunk driving accidents. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a drunk driving crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm is experienced in handling accidents caused by negligent drivers. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Help! We Can't Stop Texting And Driving

Distracted driving has become a major issue in our world today, especially since more people have smartphones than ever before. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that each day in the United States, 660,000 drivers use an electronic device while driving. Also, each day, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in automobile crashes reported to have involved a distracted driver, based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It should be mentioned that these are just the reported distracted driving car accident cases, and there many be thousands of other cell phone car accidents that occurred without official documentation, because of how difficult it is for authorities to pinpoint a distracted driver. It therefore goes without saying that distracted driving is very dangerous, and with the technological era upon us, it is also on the rise.

Social Media Car Crash Lawyer

Distracted Driving Statistics

The following statistics, provided by Click On Detroit, help put the dangers of distracted driving into context:

  1. Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a crash.
  2. When driving 55 miles per hour, five seconds with eyes off the road is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
  3. Distraction is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes

The texting and driving problem has gotten so big that highways across the country now regularly warn drivers "Don't text and drive," and 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning texting and driving. If these laws don't deter people from engaging in distracted driving, we hope that drivers will keep these shocking statistics in mind, to help prevent a distracted driving car accident and to minimize the risk of experiencing a life-changing car crash injury on the road.

Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

However, although we know that talking or texting while driving is an issue, the problem isn't just calling or sending a text message to catch up with your best friend. Drivers with smart phones are now even using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Maps, Spotify, and YouTube, all while operating a vehicle on busy roads. In a survey sponsored by the National Safety Council that focused on 2,400 drivers of all ages, 74% said they would use Facebook while driving, and 37% said they would use Twitter while behind the wheel, with YouTube (35%) and Instagram (33%) close behind. 

 CNN talked to Jennifer Smith, a mother of two and founder of the advocacy group StopDistractions.org. She lost her own mother in a crash nearly 8 years ago when a 20-year-old who was talking on the phone drove through a stoplight. Since then, Smith has devoted her life to helping other families who have become victims of distracted driving crashes by providing support, lobbying for legislation, and planning public awareness events.  Smith believes that people need to really focus on what's important. "As I'm talking to new families, more and more of them are telling me, 'It's Snapchat,'" said Smith, whose daughters were 1 and 13 when their grandmother was killed in Oklahoma City. "It's Snapchat today, but then what is it tomorrow?...Social networking while driving is not necessary and should not be done by anyone, in any way, who's driving. Period. And somehow we've got to make the whole country understand that."

Also acknowledging the widespread problem of using social media while driving, Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council commented, "We know that it's an under-reported issue and it's a lot like impaired driving in that way where people know it's not acceptable to do it, and yet a lot of people still do it anyway." 

The Science Behind Distracted Driving

David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology, told CNN that the constant need to check our phones, even when operating a vehicle, is caused by the “addictive nature of smartphones and how our brain instinctively responds to those pings, which signal an incoming text or social media update.” 

Smartphones are taking over the world. They are affecting our brains and behavior on a daily basis. When we hear the alert of a new message, social media notification, or new email, our brains get a dose of dopamine, which is a chemical that leads to an increase in arousal. “The dopamine reward centers are the same centers that have to do with pleasure from eating, pleasure from sex and procreation, pleasure from drugs and alcohol,” Greenfield said. “This reward circuitry is as old as time and if we didn’t have it, we probably wouldn’t exist as a species.”

Where the trouble arises however, is not the higher level of dopamine, but the shutdown of access to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for most of our judgement and reasoning. “The parts of the brain that say, ‘OK, how important is this text? Is this text worth dying for? Is this text worth killing somebody else for?’” Greenfield said. “The answer, of course, logically, would be ‘no,’ but if you have less access to that part of your brain when you’re in this state, which seems to be the case, then you’re not really using your judgement.” 

Distracted Driving Prevention Apps

Scott Tibbitts, founder of a technology called Groove, believes he can help bring an end to distracted driving. His distracted driving prevention app sends a signal to the driver’s phone service provider, altering it to hold off on all texts and social media notifications while they are driving, and also prevents the driver from posting anything while the car is moving. Tibbitts compares the addiction to texting while driving to having an open bag of potato chips in the car. “I know I shouldn’t be eating potato chips, but just take a deep breath of that barbecue sauce. Well that’s what the ‘bing’ is. The ‘bing’ is “Oh, my gosh this might be the text message from my daughter that says, 'Dad, I need help,'” Tibbitts explained.

Michigan Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Groove is only one of many distracted driving prevention apps and phone features being developed to minimize distracted driving, like Apple's Do Not Disturb While Driving feature and At&T's DriveMode app. It may seem ironic to use technology to stop the usage of electronics while driving, but it actually might make more sense. If people are relying so much on their mobile devices, what better way to spread the word about the risks of distracted driving and to help break bad habits than with the cell phones themselves? 

Every time we look at social media while behind the wheel or text while driving, we get a false sense of security and believe that we will be safe in future attempts. Despina Stavrinos, director of the University of Alabama’s distracted driving research lab, says it’s similar to the reinforcement theory. “So you’re driving every day, sending text messages, and nothing happens. So it’s reinforcing to you, ‘Hey, I can do this. I am a pretty good multitasker,’” said Stavrinos. In reality, distracted driving is doing nothing more than putting drivers and passengers at risk for severe injury or death. People are smart enough to develop addictive apps and modern cell phone technology, so they should be more than capable of making the right decision to forget the distractions and focus on the road while driving. 


In many ways, distracted driving can be just as dangerous (if not more so) to drivers and others on the road, than drunk driving. If you truly believe that text messages, Facebook alerts or emails are that important, pull over to the side of the road and complete your business before getting back on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a distracted driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Our firm are highly experienced in dealing with all types of motor vehicle accidents and can help you. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.