July Is UV Safety Awareness Month

Summer is in full swing in Michigan! That means plenty of sunshine, heat, and lots of time spent outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather. Whether heading to the beach, to a lake, to a picnic, or on a road trip, be careful of the summer sun!

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There’s no better time to talk about sun safety, because according to WebMD, July is UV Safety Month! Everyone loves sunshine, but it’s easy to forget that with the sun comes it’s powerful ultraviolet rays. While the danger of spending hours under the sun is well known, less than an hour of sun exposure can still cause harm. In fact, all it takes is 15 minutes for UV rays to damage your skin! This means that sunscreen is essential even for a quick stroll to the corner store. The warning to wear sunscreen is repeated frequently, however it’s not always taken to heart, as fewer than a third of US adults apply sunscreen on a daily basis.

Sunscreen is a beach bag essential, but it’s not necessarily an item that drivers reach for every time they get in the car.  Drivers and passengers may feel safe from the sun during their summer road trips, however the side and rear windows of motor vehicles do not offer full protection from UV rays. The driver’s left side is particularly at risk for UV exposure. But fear not! The Skin Cancer Foundation has published some safety tips drivers can follow to enjoy the sunshine while keep their skin protected, when hitting the road.

How To Prevent UV Exposure While Driving

1. Treat Your Vehicle to Window Film

The sun's ultraviolet radiation is associated with most cases of skin cancer, which will affect one in five Americans over a lifetime. UV radiation reaches us in the form of shortwave UVB and long-wave UVA rays, but glass blocks only UVB effectively. Although car windshields are partially treated to filter out UVA, the side windows let in about 63 percent of the sun's UVA radiation; rear windows are also unprotected, leaving back seat passengers exposed. There is, however, a solution. Transparent window film screens out almost 100 percent of UVB and UVA without reducing visibility, and is available in all 50 states. If you have window film installed, remember that it protects you only when the windows are closed.

2. Keep Sunscreen in the Car

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A sunscreen should be on hand for quick reapplication during long drives (The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying every two hours). Look for one with an SPF of 15+ and some combination of the following UVA-blocking ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.


3. Skip the Sunroof, Skip the Convertible

Drivers' heads and necks receive the most UV exposure, so it's no surprise that Butler's team found over 82 percent of skin cancers on the patients' heads or necks. A solid, closed roof is your best bet. If you have a sunroof or a convertible top, wear a hat, preferably a wide-brimmed one (3" or greater all around). At the very least, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the face, neck, and scalp.

The second most common area for skin cancers was the arm, so, in addition to applying sunscreen, avoid propping your elbow up on the open window while you drive-keep both arms inside the car, and your hands on the wheel. Long-sleeved shirts are also a great sun-protective option.

Keep a hat in the car, along with your sunscreen and UV-blocking sunglasses, and you'll have a sun protection travel kit to see you safely to your destination.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, “covering a total area of approximately 20 square feet!” It plays a fundamental role in keeping the human working properly, therefore it should be given plenty of attention and protection. Although drivers only expose a small portion of their skin while driving, the sun’s powerful UV rays can still cause severe damage. A study from Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (SCF) found that in the US, around 53% of skin cancers developed on the left side of the body. According to Susan T. Butler, MD, a coauthor of the study, "The increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from the UV exposure we get when driving a car."

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Sunshine can not only damage a driver’s skin, but it can also impair their vision while on the road, which may lead to car accidents that result in serious injuries. As reported by Business Today, “Extreme brightness and distracting reflections can impair visibility when driving and be the cause of a freak accident.” Sunglasses are an excellent option to help prevent accidents, and the most effective pair will also protect a driver’s eyes from UV-A and UV-B rays. Soon enough, snow will blanket Michigan once again, so enjoy that summer sun, but don’t skimp on the sunscreen and don’t forget to wear sunglasses!


With summer well underway, Michiganders are out on the road in full force, driving to the lake, going on road trips, and even just enjoying the snow-free open roads. With so many cars on the streets, car accidents are very likely to occur. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

How To Drive Safely In Fog

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Hollywood relies on fog heavily in many movies and TV shows to set the mood of a scene. The horror thriller The Mist's entire plot is based around fog! The Mist is about a small town that is invaded by a mysterious fog which releases vicious creatures, that a group of townsfolk have to fight, to save their lives and their town. While ordinary, fog that doesn’t come out of a machine like a film set doesn’t give people nightmares for weeks like Stephen King’s story, it does come with its own horrors. Driving in fog, for example, can be a very scary experience because a lot of people don't know how to drive in fog. 
 
The Glossary of Meteorology from the American Meteorological Society informs that fog is a collection of water droplets suspended in the atmosphere in the vicinity of the earth's surface that affects visibility. Visibility distance is reduced by fog and heavy precipitation. Low visibility conditions cause increased speed variance, which increases car crash risk. Each year, over 38,700 car crashes occur in fog. Over 600 people are killed and more than 16,300 people are injured in these fog car accidents annually, according to the Federal Highway Weather Administration

According to the Detroit Free Press, early morning on January 10, 2018 there was a car crash on northbound I-275 at 8 Mile Rd. and another car accident on eastbound I-94 at Conner Ave, due to fog. These accidents are more recent, but like any good horror movie villain, fog has created other, more serious, accidents in the past and can still cause more car accidents in the future if drivers aren't careful. In April of 2015, a 60 car pile up was reported on a highway which left 2 people dead and over 2 dozen injured. The series of car accidents were caused by a dense fog that made it really hard for drivers to see where they were driving. The Detroit Free Press notes that drivers should be especially cautious of travelling through fog  when driving on bridges, overpasses, and ramps. 

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving during foggy weather is a main factor with car accidents. Fog makes it hard for people to see. Being distracted with something only adds to the chance of getting into an accident. The NHTSA reported that speeding while driving in foggy weather also contribute to the number of deaths each year from car accidents. 4% of car crashes in 2017 were caused by fog. 

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Driving in fog can be difficult and requires more attention from the driver to safely drive. Any type of distractions that draw eyes away from the road in already decreased visibility, increase the risk of getting into a car crash. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service on how to drive safely in fog, if driving is unavoidable.

How To Drive In Fog

  1. Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  2. Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
  3. Never use your high-beam lights. Using high beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
  4. Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
  5. To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
  6. In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.
  7. If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated so that other drivers don't mistakenly run into you.

Of course, it's always best to avoid driving in foggy weather, but the above tips may be able to help drivers safely navigate foggy conditions and avoid car crashes.


There is always a greater risk of car accidents occurring when mother nature throws a wrench at a driver’s plan to take the car out. Fog is one factor that increases the chances of car accidents. If you have been in a car accident and want a free consultation with a car accident attorney, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. 

Don't Groom And Drive!

With only 24 hours in a day and a majority of those hours being spent on work or sleep, there isn’t much time left to spend on yourself, doing leisurely activities, running a few errands, and checking a few things off your to-do list. Grooming is a good example of a time consuming personal care task that people are finding they don’t have time for. So, to squeeze into morning routines while also taking advantage of rush hour, many people are grooming themselves while driving!

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Applying a little lipstick or making a few fixes to your hair couldn’t possibly be a bad idea, right? Well, it is in fact a bad thing! Grooming while driving is part of a bigger issue known as distracted driving. 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured because of distracted driving in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When people hear of distracted driving, they automatically think about texting and driving. While cell phone usage majorly contributes to distracted driving, it’s not the only factor. Applying makeup while driving is something that a lot of people do often. According to a recent study, around 1 out of 5 of female motorists have admitted to putting on makeup while driving, and nearly 500,000 car crashes are caused by women putting on makeup! 

Looking away from the road while driving for even a few seconds is enough time for a car accident to happen. Whether it’s putting on makeup or fixing your hair, distracted driving is 100% preventable! The Auto Alliance’s DecidetoDrive.org gives a few tips to help drivers prevent themselves from engaging in distracted driving.

Tips To Help Drivers Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Plan ahead. Poor planning is often the catalyst for driving and grooming incidents. Rather than placing your life and the lives of others at risk, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to perform grooming routines before you leave the house.

  • Keep grooming items out of reach. If you take grooming items with you, make sure they are well out of reach. For example, instead of leaving brushes or makeup on the passenger seat, secure them in the trunk or in the back seat so you won’t be tempted to use them when you are operating the vehicle.

  • Pull over, if necessary. If you can’t wait to take care of a grooming need while you are traveling, pull over to the side of the road. The few extra minutes it will add to your commute are a small price to pay for highway safety.

  • The most important tip to avoid grooming while driving? Keep your eyes on the wheel and hands on the road at all times.

  • For additional tips, we encourage you to take a look at Decide to Drive’s “Wreck-less Checklist”—a handy guide with advice about how to avoid a range of distracted driving behaviors.

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In a recent study, the NHTSA examined all of the activities that people engage in while driving and 8% of people admitted to grooming while driving. It’s important to note that women applying makeup aren’t the only groomers who are distractedly driving. Men and women have both been known to shave while driving and even brush their teeth! Grooming while driving sounds silly but is understandable because everyone wants to look good, especially when they’re about to meet other people! What is not understandable however, is continuing to groom while driving after realizing how many distracted driving car accidents have occurred due to this. Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, hopefully people will now take the time to gargle mouthwash and comb their hair at home, in a parked car, or on the side of the road, instead of while operating a motor vehicle!


Distracted driving is 100% preventable and 100% likely to get distracted drivers into legal trouble if their distracted driving behavior causes a car accident. Legal trouble aside, distracted driving car accidents can also lead to serious injuries and even death. Not only does distracted driving risk the life of the distracted driver but also everyone else on the road. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a distracted driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with a car accident attorney.

Beware Of Wrong Way Driving Car Crashes

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WRONG WAY! DO NOT ENTER! Seeing a bright red sign next to the road that says, "WRONG WAY" on it, would make most people understand not to drive down that particular road. However, driving the wrong way on a highway happens more times then you would think, which is why the Michigan State Police are urging everyone to watch out for the reckless drivers who have been driving the wrong way down the highway. In Metro Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press, tipsters call 911 to report 15 to 20 wrong-way drivers a month, although only 4 to 6 of those drivers have been caught on street surveillance cameras. Out of all those reported drivers, some wrong way driving incidents result in car accidents which cause serious injuries or even death.

One wrong way driver who caused a car accident was 65-year-old Mary Okke from Plainfield Township, Michigan. Ms. Okke died in August of 2017 after she drove her car the wrong way on U.S.-131 and hit a charter bus, just north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Another wrong way driving car crash fatality was caused by Councilman, Michael Stack. The 59-year-old was driving the wrong way on I-275 in Canton when he struck and killed a young newly engaged couple in December of 2017. According to the Oakland Press, police said he had no alcohol in his system when he was driving, but they found an open bottle of vodka in his car. Finding the open bottle of alcohol led police to do a drug test to determine if there were any narcotics in his system, but all tests came back negative.

While police have determined that alcohol was not a factor in the Councilman's car crash, unfortunately that isn’t always the case. In early December, freeway cameras recorded a car driving the wrong way on I-75 heading north. Driving the car was a 27-year-old woman named Tonya Berta from Ida, Michigan. The police discovered that Berta's 1-year-old child was hidden under a blanket in the backseat. The Michigan State Police were not surprised when they found out that Berta was under the influence of alcohol. Fox2Detroit reported that Ms. Berta "was sentenced to 3 years of probation and 8 months in jail on the charge of operating while intoxicated with an occupant less than 16 and possession of a controlled substance, second or subsequent offense." 

Source: Google Maps - Partial Cloverleaf Ramp at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit 

Source: Google Maps - Partial Cloverleaf Ramp at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit 

Alcohol may have played a significant factor in Ms. Berta's car accident, but like the other 2 wrong way driving car crashes, alcohol isn’t the only cause of wrong way accidents. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has said that 60% of wrong way entries to freeways occurred at the old-fashioned design for ramps called “partial cloverleafs.” Partial cloverleafs are ramps that place the exit and entry ramps right next to each other, which can be confusing to drivers. These types of ramps can be found at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit.

Another factor that could cause these wrong-way accidents is the time of day when the car crash occurs. A lot of car accident fatalities have happened late at night or early in the morning, when it is still dark outside and more difficult for drivers to see.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, “Nationwide, wrong way drivers cause about 360 deaths a year. In Michigan from 2011 through 2016, 8 motorists died in such crashes.” There have been almost half the amount of car crashes from wrong way driving in the last few months than there have been in 5 years. In an attempt to lessen the chances of wrong way driving, MDOT has made efforts to reduce the chances of drivers accidentally driving down the wrong ramp. As of July of 2017, MDOT has been installing better signs and new lane guides at highway entrances and exits that will help people navigate the highways more easily. However, placing larger signs next to highways does not mean that it is OK to drink and drive by any means. Drugs or alcohol should never be consumed before or while operating a motor vehicle.


When driving, it's always best to make sure full attention is kept on the road. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, is enough time to take a wrong turn on a road you aren't meant to drive on. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call 844.4MI.FIRM to have a free consultation with an accident attorney at The Michigan Law Firm, PC

The Michigan Law Firm, PC Ranked "Top 20 Detroit Car Accident Attorneys" 2nd Year in a Row!

The Michigan Law Firm, PC has been ranked one of the Top 20 Best Car Accident Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan for the second year in a row! This ranking was announced by Expertise after an extensive review of 241 Detroit law firms. Expertise is an online directory that helps consumers find the best local experts by sifting through many businesses, listing only the experienced professionals who are experts in their area, and connecting them with those who require their expertise. The search for professionals is narrowed down to the nearest state and nearest metropolitan city. Customers can trust the law firm rankings on Expertise because of the thorough vetting process.

Expertise begins by searching through businesses working in a specific field and area. They then eliminate the companies that don’t have enough information about them, that aren’t in good standing with their communities, and that aren’t found to be experts in their area. Expertise then uses five judgement criteria to choose the best of those that passed the initial screening:

Expertise 2018
  • reputation
  • credibility
  • experience
  • engagement
  • professionalism

Finally, Expertise handpicks the top businesses and law firms who got the highest scores and publishes their list so consumers can make informed decisions on which businesses to trust.

The Michigan Law Firm, PC is a fast-paced, modern law firm that focuses on personal injury law, and handles Michigan injury lawsuits and claims across the state, including in, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and even the Upper Peninsula. The Firm offers free consultations, and honest and fair representation. The Michigan Law Firm, PC is known for its stellar client communication as they regularly update clients on their cases and are always a phone call away from addressing a client's concerns. The Firm also uses advanced technology in an effort to provide the the highest quality of legal representation possible. For these reasons, among many others, The Michigan Law Firm, PC was chosen as one of the top 20 car accident attorneys in Metro Detroit, out of 241 other law firms, for the second year in a row! The Firm looks forward to continued success in helping personal injury victims file lawsuits and receive just compensation. 

For more information about Expertise, please visit www.expertise.com. To learn more about The Michigan Law Firm, PC, please visit www.themichiganlawfirm.com.


The Michigan Law Firm, PC is a civil litigation firm located in Birmingham, Michigan that handles a variety of personal injury lawsuits, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us for a free consultation today at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our Michigan car accident attorneys are ready to help!

Mother and Son Die After Colliding with School Bus

A mother and son from mid-Michigan died earlier this month after colliding with a school bus. According to the Detroit Free Press, Joshua Schafer was driving with his mother Kimberly when he rear-ended a school bus, killing both himself and his mother, who was riding in the passenger seat. Joshua was 19 years old, and Kimberly was 56.

The accident occurred in Isabella Township, Michigan, near Mount Pleasant. On Friday, September 8th, at around 7:45 AM, the bus was traveling eastbound on Weidman Road, just west of Whiteville Road. Mlive reported that the bus had stopped to pick up the first student on its route when it was hit. The car went underneath the bus. The bus driver was the only person on board at the time, and was not injured. Police said that no photos or videos of the crash were available.

school bus accident

Joshua was a sophomore at Central Michigan University, according to the university newspaper. It was his first week on campus, as he had transferred from Mid-Michigan Community College.

Authorities say that early morning sun may have been a contributing factor to the accident, as the car was facing and traveling eastbound, into the bright morning sun. While research on sunglare related accidents is sparse and very few statistics are available, we do know that school bus related accidents are unfortunately common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1,353 people died in automobile accidents involving school buses between 2003 and 2014. 71% of those who died were not traveling on the school bus. For more information on school bus car accidents, as well as safety tips for drivers when sharing the road with school buses, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC.


When sharing the road with school buses, drivers need to slow down, and stop when appropriate. Even so, car collisions involving school buses will still occur, resulting in injury or death. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident involving a school bus, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

Detroit Automakers Announce Commitments to Electric Vehicles

Two Detroit-based automakers are strengthening their commitment to producing electric vehicles. On Monday, October 2, 2017, General Motors and Ford both announced their plans to drastically increase their production of electric vehicles in the coming years. According to the Detroit Free Press, GM is planning on releasing two new electric vehicles in the next 17 months, and Ford plans on adding 13 electric vehicles to their lineup over the next 5 years.

Mark Reuss, the Chief of Product Development at GM’s Warren Tech Center, GM believes that, “the future is electric.” One such electric GM vehicle will be a mid-sized luxury SUV, and another will be a large, sleek, crossover with three rows of seating and is rumored to be a “futuristic” version of one GMs current electric models, the Chevy Bolt. The two vehicles GM is releasing in the near future are part of a larger plan to have 20 electric vehicles on the road by 2023, and is looking to “begin production of hydrogen fuel cells at its Brownstown battery plant in Michigan by 2020.” The automaker says that some of these vehicles will be battery operated and others will be fuel cell operated (meaning they use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity). The good new for the environment about fuel cell technology is that the only emission of a fuel cell vehicle is water.

GM's announcement for an electric SUV comes at a great time as the market for SUVs is growing quickly (even millennials are interested in larger vehicles), and GM is looking to capitalize on that. 

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Meanwhile Ford has created “Team Edison," a team within the company that is dedicated exclusively to the development of electric vehicles. Ford will be investing $4.5 billion over the next 5 years to develop 13 new battery electric vehicles. These are likely to include hybrid versions of the F-150 pickup truck, Mustang, police responder vehicle, and maybe even an autonomous vehicle. The company is also developing a battery operated small electric SUV. Sherif Marakby, Ford’s Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification said that, “by 2020, Ford plans to produce an electric car that can go 300 miles before needing to recharge.”

Despite the push from large automakers, and the fact that electric car sales reached a record high in 2016, as previously mentioned by The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog, electric vehicles are still fairly uncommon sights on the road. According to Bloomberg, there were 2 million electric vehicles on the road in 2016. While this is a whopping 60% increase from 2015, electric vehicles still only account for just .2% of total lightweight duty vehicles. The New York Times reported that in the first 8 months of 2017, “Americans purchased only about 60,000 battery-powered electric vehicles, and about the same number of plug-in hybrid models...accounting for only 1% of the market.”

If anything, it will be government regulations, not consumer interest, that drive the demand for electric vehicles. China, the United States, and countries in Europe are moving towards tighter emission regulations that could eventually lead to getting rid of gas powered vehicles all together. China, home to strict pollution regulations, is also home to the greatest number of electric vehicles on the road. Bloomberg reported that the US, Germany, China, France, and the UK, among others are part of the Electric Vehicle Initiative, which aims to have “30 percent market share for battery power cars, buses, trucks and vans by 2030.”

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One company that is almost synonymous with electric vehicles is Tesla. While they have shown that there is a demand for electric vehicles, they have also shown how they can be difficult to produce. Tesla’s Model 3 sedan had hundreds of thousands of people paying $1,000 deposits just to be put on a waiting list for the vehicle. But the company recently announced that in the third quarter of this year, they were only able to produce 260 vehicles due to production issues. When it comes to fuel cell vehicles, they are difficult to produce as hydrogen is expensive and not widely available.

Detroit automakers showing such a strong commitment to electric vehicles is encouraging. It’s exciting to know that in a few years there will be many “clean” cars on the road, cutting down on emissions and pollution. Hopefully other automakers will join GM and Ford and make electric vehicles a priority as well, and research and development will make these vehicles easier and cheaper to produce, making them more easily available. Electric vehicles are good for everyone - they will save drivers money on gas, and they help the planet reduce its carbon footprint.


Electric vehicles are good for the environment, but car accidents happen regardless of how fuel efficient a vehicle is. If you have been involved in an automobile accident involving an electric car, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney today. 

General Motors Settles Faulty Ignition Switch Cases

Three years after the initial recall was announced and over a decade since the defect was initially detected, General Motors (GM), has been ordered to pay a $120 million settlement regarding their massive ignition switch defect scandal. According to the Detroit Free Press, the settlement was announced on October 19, 2017, and is settling claims in multiple states. The ignition switch defect killed 124 people and injured 275 more.

The defect was found in smaller cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, which were made by the old GM. The defective ignition switch caused the cars’ engines to stall and prevented airbags from deploying, all while the car was in motion. GM recalled 2.7 million vehicles in 2014 due to this issue. The state of Michigan will be receiving $4.3 million, which will be put in the state’s general fund. The settlement does not include payments GM has made/is making to families of those killed or injured in accidents caused by the defective ignition switch.

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The recall is one of the largest in the U.S., and has a timeline spanning over a decade. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that "certain employees of GM knew as early as 2004 that the ignition switch posed a safety defect because it could prevent airbags from deploying. However, despite this knowledge, GM personnel decided it wasn’t a safety concern and delayed making recalls. GM continued to market the reliability and safety of its motor vehicles which were equipped with this defective ignition switch.”

According to NPR, GM first noticed a problem with the defective ignition switch in 2001 during pre-testing of the Saturn Ion. An inquiry was launched looking into this, and was closed in 2003, saying the problem had been fixed. GM again noticed the same defect in 2004 during production of the Chevrolet Cobalt, but rejected a proposal in March of 2005 to fix the issue due to the time and money it would require. In December of that same year, GM released a statement saying the defect occurs when "the driver is short and has a large and/or heavy key chain...the customer should be advised of this potential and should ... [remove] unessential items from their key chain, ” but did not issue a recall.

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Fast forward to 2007, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a probe into the issue, but closed it saying they found no correlation between the faulty ignition switch and the complaints they received. Another NHTSA probe of the issue was opened and closed in 2010. By the end of 2013, GM had officially linked the faulty ignition switch to 31 car collisions and 13 deaths. Finally in February of 2014, the defect was officially reported to the NHTSA and the initial recall was launched. More recalls were issued in March, April, and May of that year.

On the day the settlement was announced, GM said in a statement that “the resolution includes a financial component, and assures GM will continue ongoing improvements made to ensure the safety of its vehicles. These improvements include continuation of a new organizational structure devoted to global vehicle safety and the company’s Speak Up for Safety program.”

Hopefully, GM is serious about this commitment to safety, and another car safety recall such as this could be avoided. While recalls are often for relatively minor issues, the number of injuries and fatalities due to the GM ignition switch defect shows that recalls need to be taken seriously. Drivers need to pay attention when recalls are announced, and be proactive about checking their car’s VIN number to make sure their vehicles are safe to drive. While some mechanical issues are impossible to predict, knowing if your car is under recall is something all drivers are responsible for, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.


Regardless of whether or not your vehicle is under recall, car accidents due to mechanical failures happen. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motor vehicle accident due to a recall, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The 23rd Annual Woodward Dream Cruise Is Coming Up!

Residents and visitors to the Motor City are rejoicing as one of Metro Detroit’s most famous events is quickly approaching. The 23rd annual Woodward Dream Cruise will take place on Saturday, August 19th, 2017. For the first time, the Woodward Dream Cruise will be sponsored by Ford Motor Company because General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet brand discretely dropped their sponsorship after 6 years. Mark LaNeve, Vice President of US marketing sales and services for Ford, told the Detroit News, “(The) Dream Cruise is all about the sheer joy and freedom of the automobile, and Ford has always celebrated car culture. From Fiesta to GT, we’re obsessed with making driving fun, and we’re committed to celebrating that passion with enthusiasts of all ages in the birthplace of motoring.” 

Woodward Dream Cruise Car Crash Lawyer

The Dream Cruise originated as a fundraiser for a soccer field in Ferndale in 1995. Nelson House and a group of volunteers were hoping to recreate the old school car heydays of the 1950s and 1960s on Woodward Avenue, which was America’s first highway. To House's surprise, 250,000 people showed up! That was 10 times the expected number! Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise has evolved into the world’s largest one-day automotive event. The Detroit News describes how “spectators and cruisers travel to Metro Detroit, the birthplace of the American automobile, to demonstrate and participate in an event that celebrates an ongoing love affair with the automobile.”

The popularity of the yearly event only confirms the passion for old cars and connections to the auto industry’s long history that people everywhere enjoy. Each year, the Woodward Dream Cruise contributes $237 million to southeast Michigan's economy, along with attracting more than 1.3 million people to the event. The Detroit Free Press says 28% of these visitors are from outside the region. What keeps spectators coming back from more is the consistency of the old cars combined with the latest in motor vehicle technology.

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President and CEO of the Dream Cruise, Tony Michaels, says, “There’s nostalgia, but we also have to think of younger generations,” other than the 1960s muscle car fans that first originated the event in 1995. Detroit automakers will display their latest performance and technology vehicles alongside the classics, appealing to all ages.  

The Woodward Dream Cruise itself might just be a one day event, but there are some other car related festivities happening in the Metro Detroit area in the days leading up to it. The week leading up to the Cruise will begin with Roadkill Nights on August 12, with Dodges drag racing down a part of Woodward Avenue in Pontiac, Michigan. Last year, the drag racing event was held the day before the Woodward Dream Cruise, but the hope is that moving it a week earlier will make it easier for more people to attend. 

As for the Woodward Dream Cruise attractions, the General Motors design staff will showcase their personal collector cars from 1 PM -7 PM on Tuesday, August 15, at Memorial Park, which is located at the intersection of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road in Royal Oak. There will also be displays in Royal Oak, Michigan at Duggan’s Irish Pub and at Normandy Plaza. Ford owner clubs will also show their vehicles at Memorial Park in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. 

The City of Ferndale, Michigan also has its own plans for the Woodward Dream Cruise as they have planned 3 days of Dream Cruise festivities beginning on Thursday, August 17. The events include a live broadcast of Detroit Public TV’s “Dream Cruise Road Show,” vintage police, fire, and military vehicles, TV and movie cars including the Batmobile, Munster Koach, and Monkeemobile, monster trucks, Mustangs of all eras, and a free outdoor screening of 1984 “Ghostbusters” movie. 

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The official start of the Woodward Dream Cruise will technically be on Friday, August 18, with a ribbon cutting at Woodward and 9 Mile in Ferndale, followed by a lights and sirens parade up the avenue in vintage emergency vehicles. As the countdown to the big day begins, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC wants to encourage motor vehicle safety at all times for spectators and drivers alike, so as to help prevent any car crashes or pedestrian accidents. Now, polish your old ‘Stang and roll down the roof, because the Dream Cruise is about to shift into full gear! 


There's just something about driving around in an antique convertible, top down and hair blowing in the summer breeze, that attracts thousands of people to the Woodward Dream Cruise each year. With motor vehicles of every shape and make cruising around Metro Detroit, it is hard for anyone to not enjoy the classic Michigan event. However, having so many drivers and spectators around so many vehicles can also increase the risk of car accidents and pedestrain crashes happening. If you or someone you know have been injured in an automobile crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Birmingham Makes The Move To Smart Parking Meters

The City of Birmingham, Michigan is joining Ann Arbor, Detroit, and other nearby Michigan cities in the trend of modern parking technology. The city's outdated coin-only parking meters have been replaced with smart meters that offer the option to pay for parking with a credit card. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all accepted by the new meters.

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The City of Birmingham will actually be absorbing the processing fees associated with using credit cards to pay for parking. Visitors will also have the option to pay via Parkmobile, an app that allows for people to pay for parking on the go. Payments appear both on the meters and on mobile devices, offering a convenient option for people running late or without spare change to pay to park legally.

Vehicle detection sensors also allow parking patrons to use phones, computers, and in-vehicle apps to locate parking nearby Birmingham destinations, such as shopping, dining, and recreational activities.

With other downtown areas around Metro Detroit leading the way, Birmingham is transitioning from stress and wasted time to easy and convenient options for finding a vehicle parking spot. When drivers cannot find a parking spot, they may linger in lots looking for open spots or block traffic on streets - actions that may possibly lead to an automobile accident. The new smart parking meter technology will help minimize confusion and risks for drivers, and will provide yet another reason to visit Birmingham, Michigan.


Easily accessible and easy to use parking in popular areas around town is important for visitors and residents alike to have an enjoyable experience in downtown Birmingham. As always, it is important to follow safety signs and watch for other moving vehicles in order to help prevent a parking accident. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a motor vehicle crash in Birmingham, Michigan, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Epilepsy

No one can predict the outcome of a motor vehicle accident. In fatal vehicle collisions, it takes just seconds for a shiny new car to become a pile of metal, rubber, and plastic. Not only are automobiles ruined in traffic crashes, but the passengers inside may be seriously injured, if not dead. That's why safety precautions must be taken to help protect passengers in the instance that they are involved in motor vehicle collisions. One such precaution is always wearing a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seat restraints have saved 344,448 lives since 1975. Unfortunately, however, seat belts can't do it all, as they can't prevent head bumps and even cause whiplash injuries themselves. This is dangerous because what people may not know is that a momentary head bump or skull scrape in car crashes, may lead to a much more serious type of head injury and other brain related conditions, such as epilepsy. 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI), as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 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." They can occur to anyone, from young children to older adults. TBIs can be mild, like " a brief change in mental status or consciousness, or severe, like, "an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury." Symptoms of a TBI include problems with thinking and memory, balance and sensations, language like talking, and emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and aggression. While not every head injury results in a TBI, people who sustain head injuries in automobile crashes are more likely to sustain TBIs due to the heavy force with which a head gets struck in a car collision. 


The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a type of brain disease that causes re-occurring seizures. Epilepsy may have a variety of causes, all depending on conditions that affect a person's brain. Some examples are a stroke or a brain tumor. TBIs can also trigger epilepsy in people, either right after an injury happens or months and even years later. Researchers have found that the more severe a TBI is, the greater chance there is that the person may develop epilepsy. 

Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are two types of seizures caused by a TBI. PTS are seizures occurring in the first week after a TBI, while PTE is defined by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as one or more unprovoked seizures that occur at least one week after a TBI. In PTE cases, 86% of patients experiencing one seizure at least one week after a TBI, experienced a second seizure within two years. This means that most of the time, epilepsy takes a while to be discovered. Just when people think they are in the clear from a severe motor vehicle accident, their traumatic brain injury comes back as a different monster.

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Epilepsy is difficult to pinpoint because seizures are different for different people. Some fall, cry out, or shake, while others become confused, twitch, or believe they see, taste, or smell something unusual. The lack of a definite, clear-cut diagnosis makes handling TBIs even more of a headache. Though it may seem difficult to comprehend until one witnesses it, people that learn to recognize the symptoms of a seizure may be able to offer assistance or contact a medical provider if needed. The sudden movement of body parts, unresponsiveness, lip-smacking or chewing, fumbling movements, and not being able to speak or understand others are all common symptoms of a seizure. Bystanders can assist someone having a seizure by making sure they don't fall and turning their head to the side so anything in the mouth, including saliva, does not block their throat. Check for a heartbeat and for regular breathing, starting CPR if there are no vital signs or calling 911 to alert medical professionals.

MRIs and other neuroimaging tests are recommended following the first post-traumatic seizure, as these tests can help look for brain abnormalities that might suggest a case of PTE. Preventative medicines may be prescribed by a doctor for seizures, and clinical observations by the Epilepsy Foundation further support using drugs early on after an injury, to help suppress the development of PTE. Though it is unlikely that current medicine will completely eliminate epilepsy, it can help control or stop seizures for a majority of people. 


How To Avoid Car Crash Brain Injuries

Michigan Head Injury Car Accident Lawyer

In 2013, the leading causes of TBI-related deaths were falls for people 65 and older, and motor-vehicle crashes for people age 5-24. In an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle accident traumatic brain injuries, safety precautions can be taken that may minimize the risk for traumatic brain injuries. Driving and riding safely is the number one step people can take towards safety. This includes wearing seat belts, using helmets on motorcycles and bicycles, turning on airbags, and seating children in passenger seats designed for them. People may also want to be mindful of where they are walking, so they may be less likely to be involved in a pedestrian car crash.

No matter what people do to increase their safety while on the road and on streets, head injuries can still occur from during car collision. Medical research and technological advancements are working to ease the pain and suffering from traumatic brain injuries, but the reality is that some people may experience epilepsy or seizures years after what they once thought to be just a simple bump to the head. TBIs are yet another consequence of car accidents, and though they cannot be completely prevented, recognizing the symptoms and responding with proper care may help car accident victims' health in the long run.


Head injuries, like those that can be caused by motor vehicle collisions, have numerous negative side effects. It is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, so as to help protect yourself and others. If you or someone you know has sustained a head injury or any other injury in a car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC Ranked Top 20 Detroit Car Accident Attorneys

Best Car Accident Attorneys in Detroit

Birmingham, MI - Expertise has recently ranked The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC as one of the Top 20 Best Car Accident Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan for 2017. This ranking was the conclusion of Expertise’s vigorous review of 241 Detroit law firms. Expertise is an online directory that curates qualified and experienced professionals who are experts in their field and connects them with consumers who require their expertise. Whether visitors to their website are looking for a plumber, a wedding photographer, or a car accident attorney, Expertise makes the experience easy by allowing users to easily narrow their search to their state and nearest metropolitan city. Expertise also takes the anxiety and guesswork out of the equation by thoroughly vetting the businesses they suggest, in order to guarantee satisfaction to their customers.  

To create their top rankings, Expertise uses a 3-step method. The website begins by searching for all companies and firms working in a specific field, in a specific area.  Then, they eliminate any companies they don’t find to be experts, have an alarming amount of bad reviews from customers, or who do not provide enough information to be considered for ranking.  Expertise then analyzes all of the businesses who passed the initial screening, using a five judgment criteria based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism. Lastly, Expertise handpicks the top businesses who achieved the highest scores and publishes their list.

The  Michigan Law Firm, PLLC was selected as one of the 20 best car accident attorneys in Metro Detroit out of 241 firms based on this rigouroud criteria, in addition to its outstanding devotion to its clients.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a fast-paced, modern law firm that focuses on personal injury law. The Firm is honored to be recognized as one of the leading car accident law firms in Metro Detroit, and looks forward to continued success in helping personal injury victims obtain favorable resolutions of their cases.

For more information about Expertise, please visit www.expertise.com.  To learn more about The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, please visit https://www.themichiganlawfirm.com/.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation firm located in Birmingham, Michigan that handles a variety of personal injury lawsuits, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us today for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM (844.464.3476).

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

Man Dies In Flint Area After Crashing Stolen Police Car

Flint Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

A 24-year old Michigan man has passed away after stealing a Michigan State Police car early on the morning on July 9, 2017, and crashing it 20 miles away. 

MLive reports that police officials were called to the area of M-55 and Plank Road in Tawas shortly after 4 AM, to look for a man driving a golf cart along the road without headlights. 

Phillip Everett, of Greenbush, Michigan in Alcona County, was stopped by troopers and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As troopers worked to secure the golf cart, Everett was able to move into the driver’s seat of the police car and drive away at high speeds. 

Law enforcement discovered a short time later that Everett had crashed the patrol car at southbound US-23 near East Bessinger Road in Arenac County. He died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash. 

Flint Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Drunk driving crashes kill 1 person every 51 minutes in the United States, despite all 50 states making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. As in Everett's case, driving while impaired may lead to arrest, serious injury, and even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following safety tips to help prevent drunk driving:

  • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan a safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time or plan to use a ride-sharing business like Uber or Lyft.
  • If you become unexpectedly intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Once again, call and Uber or call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. The NHTSA also has a SaferRide mobile app available, allowing users to call a taxi or friend and identify their location so they can be picked up. 
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a sober ride. 
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life. 

Drunk driving can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Reckless driving and speeding may also lead to accidents, endangering drivers, passengers, and people in other motor vehicles and on the roads. If you or someone you know has been involved in a severe car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Fourth Of July Travel Safety Tips

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As the Fourth of July, one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, approaches, many American families are preparing to travel to celebrate this patriotic day. Thousands of people take to the roads on Independence Day, contributing to what U.S. News describes as “the busiest summer travel holiday.” This year, the holiday weekend will extend longer than normal, from Friday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 4th, when AAA Travel says a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home. As a result, drivers need to extra careful when traveling on the roads over the longer weekend, since other drivers may have over-indulged in celebratory beverages at barbecues and parties.

To avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident, travelers may want to follow the Fourth of July Travel Safety Tips below, recommended by TODAY:

  • Follow basic safety practices. Wearing seatbelts, using helmets, being mindful of speed limits, and remembering to not drink and drive can go a long way to keeping roads safe.
  • Take preventative measures. Check oil levels and tire pressure, along with coolant levels, because cars may overheat when stuck in traffic. Car owners may also benefit from a check-up with a mechanic, prior to a long road trip, to examine vehicles for any unusual problems that might impede driving vacation.
  • Plan trips with timing in mind. If it can be helped, it can be safer to travel a few days before or a few days after the Fourth of July, as the days closer to the holiday tend to be more congested.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Stay three seconds or more behind the car, truck, or motorcycle in front of you. This will allow you enough time to brake if you need to stop suddenly.
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  • Minimize distractions. Keep phones put away and out of reach, leave snacks and drinks in the cooler, and turn the radio stations on before leaving the driveway. If mobile devices absolutely must be in the car, hand them to a passenger to control or utilize one of these safety apps researched by The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC to help prevent a deadly collision from distracted driving. Besides these distractions, road trips also call for additional reasons to focus on the road. Arguments, even if they are in the backseat, may make drivers anxious or cause them to take their eyes and ears off the road. Pets, along for the vacation, should be kept inside a carrier or fascinated into pet-specific seat belts, so as not to jump into the front seat and distract the driver. Additionally, loose items like sunglasses and maps might fall from the dashboard or overhead sun visors, startling drivers enough to threaten the safety of everyone in the car.
  • Know where you are going. Look up directions for road trip routes beforehand, making a plan for the hours spent on the road. Enlist a passenger to help navigate, so that the driver can focus on getting to the destination safely. Remember not to look at a phone screen for distractions while also behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  
  • Get plenty of rest. Prior to traveling over the Independence Day weekend, don’t forget to sleep in the midst of packing and planning. Lack of sleep can lead to drowsiness while driving, which is a risk factor for severe car crashes. Car drivers should take frequent breaks and rotate drivers if necessary.
Michigan Car Crash Attorney

The Fourth of July can be fun for everyone, as it is a day off work to enjoy the summer weather, cook out in backyards, and swim in the lake. Holiday road trips are a great way to bond with family and friends, and visit destinations, both new locales and well-loved spots. However, drivers must always be cautious of their surroundings, especially during such a busy time for travelers. Keep flashes of red, white, and blue to the fireworks in the sky instead of blinking on top of police cars. There is no doubt which would make the Founding Fathers more proud.


The 4th of July is a day to celebrate freedom for all people in the United States of America. Driving is a privilege not a freedom. Don't take advantage of the holiday as a reason to drive dangerously, drunkenly, or distractedly this upcoming Independence Day weekend. If you or someone you know has been a victim of an automobile collision, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

The Impact of Autonomous Cars on the US Economy

There has been continuous buzz about self-driving cars over the past few years, with successful tests and disastrous accidents alike, being reported in the news. There is no doubt that such a ground-breaking invention will change transportation norms throughout the United States, just as Henry Ford’s automobiles forever changed the way to get around the country.

In fact, Wired reports autonomous vehicles are expected to add $7 trillion to the U.S. economy over the next 35 years, based on data from Intel and research company Strategy Analytics. This is no small number, considering just robotic cars alone could add $2 trillion to the nation's economy by 2050, not even taking into account the current jobs and businesses that will be affected financially. To put these numbers into perspective, $1 trillion could buy about 40 million new cars, according to Kiplinger. But what makes up this enormous number?

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Self-Driving Cars and Jobs

Autonomous cars are predicted to positively influence the economy in the coming years, but their impact will be spread unevenly across sectors. Companies like Google and GM who have invested in making this technology a reality, will see the most money. Then, for the average Joe, the industries that will likely see a rise in job demands include data analysis, IT, and mechanics. Just like our smart phones and credit cards, autonomous cars collect data on a driver's habits, which in turn creates jobs for humans who need to sort and analyze this data. Intel reports jobs in information technology (IT), though they will see a shift from actual discovery of information to the management of machines finding information, will almost double in intensity. Additionally, the number of miles driven is expected to rise, increasing the need for cars, self-driving or otherwise, to be repaired by mechanics. 

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On the other hand, there will also be a decline in jobs, especially for people working in the service industries. Jobs like food delivery and taxi services may no longer be needed with the use of self-driving cars. This brings into effect the concept that Intel and Strategy Analytics call "The Passenger Economy," an idea which places economic and societal value on pilotless vehicles. Essentially, why hire humans to do a job that cars can do on their own? While they profit either way, this is a question that companies like Uber will have to face when replacing human drivers with company vehicles. 

It should also be noted that self-driving cars may create jobs that are still unknown. After all, with new technologies come new jobs the market previously did not anticipate. On the flip side, new technologies could also make jobs that currently exist obsolete. No matter which sectors see an increase or decline in job security, the fact remains that the American economy will still receive an estimated $7 trillion economic boost (or even even bigger-no one can put an exact number on the future!) Just like the Model-T helped restructure city spaces and bring the suburbs into existence, autonomous vehicles have the ability to transform job markets. There are endless possibilities for economic reform.

Autonomous Car Regulations

Michigan Self Driving Car Ethics Lawyer

Though all the glory of creating thousands of new jobs and boosting the economy sounds appealing, it does not happen without the technology meeting all safety standards first. Which is why, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not counting their chickens before their eggs hatch. The NHTSA has released the Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles, a document which, "outlines best practices for the safe design, development and testing of automated vehicles prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads." Included in this document is a 15-point safety assessment that requires manufacturers to meet objectives such as operational design, post-crash response, privacy, and cybersecurity before their cars can go to market. Considering that 94% of automobile crashes are due to human error, there is definitely room for technology to advance driver safety. Hopefully, if all autonomous vehicle manufacturers can meet the standards set by the NHTSA, this will be a step in the right direction to saving lives. 

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

What does all this mean for people who are willing to give up their spot behind the wheel and let the car drive itself? (That is a scary thought for a lot of people!) Well, most people want more proof that these cars won't crash and will safely deliver them to their destination before they surrender the wheel. That is why companies who create autonomous car technology need to be regulated to ensure absolute safety in their products and so that consumers are not just paying for the newest trend in transportation. Put simply, this technology needs to save lives and be safer than the transportation methods we already have. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute said to Consumer Reports that “there’s no way that we as a society would accept self-driving cars that cause the same number of fatalities as humans.” 

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In 2015, there were roughly 35,000 traffic deaths in the United States. Future autonomous vehicles must allow for more safety if they are to replace human drivers. People also need to remember that transportation technology takes years of planning before it can be used in everyday lives, and that for now, only people can drive cars. Testing allows room for development and improvement, but overall “we expect machines to be better than us,” as Pratt said.

Until it's proven that autonomous vehicles are safer than human-operated vehicles, humans need to be careful when driving on the road today. While we may one day be able to sleep while a car drives us around, we have to make sure that for now, we don't fall asleep behind the wheel! Sleepy driving, distracted driving, and drunk driving are bad human habits that can lead to serious injuries and death in the event of a car crash. By following the rules of the road and maintaining good driving habits, people can protect themselves from being involved in fatal car accidents. 

At the end of the day, it is impossible to plan the future or to predict how large of an impact autonomous vehicles will have on the economy or auto law. What we do know is that self-driving cars will add jobs, take away jobs, and, based on how well they are regulated, even save lives. 


Self-driving cars are growing closer to reality than we think due to the rapid development of technology. However, today, we still rely on people to drive vehicles, and as such, following the rules of the road is the best way to stay safe and to avoid motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been in involved in an auto accident, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Belle Isle's Detroit Grand Prix

Michigan Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, a staple event in the Motor City for the last three decades, took place from June 2-June 4, 2017 on Belle Isle. The results ended in a weekend sweep for driver Graham Rahal, who became the first IndyCar driver to win both races in the Grand Prix doubleheader. Rahal has followed in the footsteps of his father, Bobby, who won one of the races at the event in 1992.

Over 100,000 fans from around the area attended the three-day event, gathered in bleachers near the track to watch cars race by at speeds up to 150 m.p.h. For fans, there is a fascination created from race cars zooming by combined with the classic Michigan location. The racers movements around the track are so elegantly sleek and the air on the track is so charged that it can seem as though anyone can just jump in a car and step on the gas pedal. However, looks can be deceiving as only the professionals are capable at taking round turns and switching lanes at high speeds without flipping their cars and causing serious injuries to themselves. This precaution leaves all other non-race car drivers to keep an eye on speed limits and follows the rules of the road in order to avoid motor vehicle accidents and even death. 

Detroit Speeding Car Crash Attorney

It's not news that speeding endangers the lives of drivers and those around them. In fact, in 2014, 9,262 lives were lost due to speeding-related crashes. Plus, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the factors that inspires people to speed is the feeling of detachment drivers feel when inside a motor vehicle. It is easier to disregard speed limits when one feels like their behavior on the road cannot be seen by others. However, drivers on local roads can be observed by others, and speeding does lead to severe crashes and fatalities. When getting behind a wheel of a car, people need to remind themselves that they are not on a race track and the high speeds like those at the Grand Prix are not suitable for everyday roads.

There are a variety of ways to prevent accidents caused by speeding. In general, drivers should pay attention to signs listing speed limits and go slower than what they believe the limit is, when they do not see any signs. People also need to go extra slow in highly congested areas and where there are many pedestrians. It is important for fans of race car driving to remember that these high speeds are made for tracks and experienced drivers, and that high speed driving should not be imitated on local roads.

The fast paced competition on Belle Isle this weekend provided endless entertainment for people as they took in the surrounding view of the Detroit skyline and cheered on their favorite drivers. It brought fans together from across the area, wondering who would be the one to pass all the other cars for the trophy and a victory lap. The big weekend winner, Graham Rahal, said to the Detroit Free Press that, “when you get a chance to win a race, you never take it for granted.” While enjoying the sport, fans of the Grand Prix and other high-speed race car competitions also need to keep an eye on the speed limits of local roads, so they too can enjoy safe driving without taking it for granted.   


The Motor City is known for its love of sports, including race car competitions like the Grand Prix. Fans of high-speed races need to make sure that they drive within the speed limits on local roads, and remember that they are not on a race track. Following speed limits and the rules of he road can help drivers from being involved in high speed car accidents. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a speeding car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation today. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Virtual Reality: Coming to a Courtroom Near You!

Virtual reality is becoming more prevalent when it comes to playing video games or watching a movie at home, but it could also start playing a role in the courtroom in the not-so-distant future. Recently, researchers from Staffordshire University in England were announced as the recipients of a $200,000 European Commission grant to create ways of presenting crime-scene evidence to jurors and lawyers through virtual reality. 

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“A number of novel, digital non-invasive methods, have the potential to...permit access to difficult and/or dangerous environments, create a more accurate record of buried or concealed evidence and provide more effective means of presenting evidence in court,” Caroline Sturdy Colls, the leader of the project, said in a statement. 

Staffordshire University told The Wall Street Journal that one technique being coordinated and tested with the Staffordshire police department, uses virtual reality motion-capture headsets, which have become popular in the video gaming world. The Head of Justice services for Staffordshire Police told the BBC that these new developments could “bring to life” complicated crime scenes. 

Not everyone is thrilled about the idea of bringing virtual reality into the legal world however. Jason Holt, a barrister at Steven Solicitors told the BBC that “we don’t have a very good track record with bringing technology into courtrooms." The debate on the merits of reenacting crime scenes has been played out before. In 2001, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy released the Federal Judicial Center-funded guidebook that outlined the potential advantages and drawbacks of transporting jurors to “virtual environments”: 

“This kind of equipment is used for recreating scenes where it is important for the viewer to feel a part of the action. If compensation for fear, anxiety, peril, or the like are at issue, lawyers may want the jury to feel what the plaintiff or defendant felt. Virtual reality equipment comes the closest to that goal.  Because a full recreation of the relevant scene (from the point of view of the people involved) is usually impossible there remains a good deal of possibility for unfair prejudice.” 
Virtual Reality Court Room Lawyer

A decade ago, William & Mary Law School’s Center for Legal and Court Technology researched ways to integrate virtual reality into law practices, according to Law Professor Fredric I. Lederer. The project involved a mock trial where expert witnesses in a medical negligence case used virtual reality to visualize the scene in the operating room. “It left us with the certainty that you could do it," Lederer said. Although the door was left open for future use, there were some lingering concerns including the accurate recreation of crime scenes and making sure jurors, lawyers, and judges were all viewing the same thing. Oddly enough, nausea was also a noted concern. “I wouldn’t want to lose a quarter of my jury because they’re trying not to throw up,” Lederer added. 

While virtual reality hasn't reached the courtroom quite yet, other industries are putting it to full use. Last summer, the University of Michigan's Athletic Department became the first collegiate athletic department to utilize virtual reality for recruiting and fan engagement. Players and fans will be able to wear HeadcaseVR's as glasses and see first hand what it's like to practice during the week, get ready in the locker room, and run out of the tunnel in front of the largest crowd in the United States.


While virtual reality has yet to play a role in the courtroom, the attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC will work with you to create an accurate description of what took place in your case. Our attorneys are committed to doing thorough research and investigation in order to get you the help you need. If you or somebody you know has been in an accident, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation. 

Public Gets Chance To Drag Race at "Roadkill Nights" in August

For anyone who has ever driven has envisioned themselves driving a vehicle over 100 mph without any consequences, the opportunity is coming close to home. On August 19th in Pontiac, Michigan, thrill seekers will have the chance to drag race down Woodward Avenue at the “Roadkill Nights Powered By Dodge” event. 

Drag Racing Accident Lawyer

“It is the first time ever that we know of that street-legal racing will be allowed to take place on Woodward Avenue,” Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge and other passenger car brands for Fiat Chrysler told the Detroit Free Press. “This event is going to be big.”

This year’s event is modeled after last year’s drag racing festival which drew over 10,000 people to the parking lot of the Pontiac Silverdome. “After last year, when we started brainstorming…for this year, we said we really want to make it bigger- not only in Detroit, but we want to make it bigger across the country,” Eric Schwab, Chief Commercial Officer for The Enthusiast Network said. Roadkill Nights was staged in Kansas City on June 18th and that drew more than 12,000 automotive and racing fans. 

Mustang Car Crash Lawyer

While fans in Pontiac will be entertained by activities on the M1 Concourse, which will include a racetrack, private luxury garages, restaurants, and retail space, the real attraction will be the street-legal drag racing. For $50, 350 drag racing fans will be able to register and compete in drag races that will run from South Boulevard to Rapid Street, a 0.8 mile strip. Drivers will be competing for various cash prizes: $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place. 

For non-thrill seeking spectators, the event is free and attendees will be asked to park in downtown Pontiac and will be shuttled to the event area. “We’re excited about hosting Roadkill Nights as one of the main events during our newly branded ‘Pontiac Power Week’ festival,” Mayor of Pontiac Deirdre Waterman said in a statement.  


We have all seen drivers on the road who think they are a drag-street racer on busy roads. Being involved in a car accident caused by a driver who was speeding can cause both short-term and long-term physical and emotional consequences. If you or somebody you know has been involved in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Speak to an experienced car accident lawyer today who will work towards a settlement in order to get you the help you need. In the case that a settlement is not reached, we are ready to take your case to trial. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.