Getting Out Alive After Being Trapped In A Car

Auto safety expert Byron Bloch recently provided tips for escaping from being trapped in a car, which may prove helpful for drivers. In addition to providing the Detroit Free Press with important details about car safety and tips for car emergencies, Bloch frequently testifies in courts across the country as an expert witness.

The first key to getting out of a car alive is to arm yourself with knowledge so that you don't panic.

Study the owner's manual to know where any emergency handles for escape are located, said Bloch. Be sure every family member who uses the car knows where they are, he said. 

trapped in car accident

Car entrapment can occur in a number of settings. It may result from an serious auto accident, a popped tire could crash the vehicle, vandalism or crime could be the cause of car entrapment, and even flash flooding could put drivers in this type of emergency situation. Oftentimes people involved in car entrapment situations are suffering from injuries. Things might be foggy if you have a head injury, concussion, TBI, or dizziness after an accident, so it’s always best to be prepared, just in case.

Some of the solutions that car safety expert Byron Block suggests are:

  • keeping a charged cellphone available

  • ensuring that the key fob battery is charged every couple of years

  • having a spare key available for emergency situations

  • remain calm if you find yourself in an emergency situation

While these are just a few of the options to increase preparedness in a car emergency situation, drivers should always remain cautious and keep an eye on their surroundings. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for releasing the brief guide on the topic of car entrapment and escaping from a car after begin trapped.


The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles auto accident cases throughout the state of Michigan. Our injury attorneys are ready to help you collect benefits for pain and suffering, lost wages, household services, attendant care, and other types of compensation as well. Contact our experienced legal team today for a free consultation. Speak to a Michigan injury lawyer today!

National Safety Month 2018

The start of June marks the beginning of National Safety Month. Each year, the National Safety Council (NSC) takes a month to emphasize the importance of safe practices in the home, on the roads, in the workplace, and within the community as a whole. Many people don't realize how dangerous some very commonplace practices can be. Simple things like looking at who liked your latest Instagram post when you are driving, not wearing a helmet while riding a bike around the neighborhood, or skipping out on safety glasses when working with heavy machinery, can lead to serious accidents and injuries. It just takes one poor safety decision to dramatically change, or even end a life.

Michigan Accident Lawyer

Since, National Safety Month is a month long, each week concentrates on a different safety topic. The first week of National Safety Month focuses on emergency preparedness, to remind people that emergencies can happen anywhere and at anytime. It is important to be prepared for any emergency situation, from an active shooter to a tornado to a heart attack. For example, according to the NSC, approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests occur each year, but only 45% of United States employees are trained in first aid. According to EMS Safety Services, a, “corporation that provides instructor training and support internationally,” 70% of heart attack deaths occur before the victim reaches hospital. Learning first aid can help keep the victim alive until medical professionals are able to treat the patient.

Week 2 of National Safety Month focuses on wellness. Many of our day to day practices, such as lack of physical activity or not getting enough sleep, can put strain on our bodies. Therefore, the NSC reminds people to take a step back from their busy lives and care for their bodies by making healthy choices. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating an apple instead of potato chips, taking time throughout the workday to stand up and stretch, and getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night are all healthy choices that lead people to being more alert and help avoid accidents.

Detroit Slip and Fall Lawyer

The third week of National Safety Month alerts people to the dangers of slips and fall accidents, and how to prevent them. The NSC states that over 9 million preventable slip and fall injuries occurred in 2016. That is more slip and fall accidents than the entire population of New Jersey! In the workplace, approximately 800 slip and fall deaths occur, many of which can be prevented by following the correct safety procedures at all times, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 700 of these workplace accident fatalities occurred when someone fell from a higher level to a lower level. Patrick Kapust, the director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Program, revealed at a presentation of the Top 10 OSHA violations, that improper fall protection is the most commonly cited safety violation, with 6,887 violations in 2017 alone! This is a shocking statistic considering that slip and fall injuries are the easiest to prevent, by doing simple things such as cleaning up spills and taking precautions when climbing ladders.

Finally, Week 4 of National Safety Month focuses on safe driving practices. Out of the 4,000 workplace fatalities each year, 2,000 are caused by car accidents. Distracted driving is a leading cause of these car accidents. As a result, some companies, such as Cargill and Union Pacific, have created policies banning people from talking on the phone while driving to prevent distracted driving car accidents. However, it is the driver’s responsibility to follow these safety rules and precautions. That’s why National Safety Month takes a week to remind everyone why they should put their phones and other distractions away and focus on the road, and practice safe diving each and every day.

The NSC created National Safety Month in order to decrease the number of preventable deaths that occur each year. Ignoring simple safety precautions may seem like no big deal but it can create an unsafe environment for not only the rule breakers themselves, but for everyone around them. In order to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and deaths, people should take heed of the NSC’s safety instructions. After all, the best way to save lives is to prevent them from being in danger in the first place.


Workplace accidents and injuries are much more common than people realize. It is easy to brush off seemingly inconsequential safety practices, when we are not aware of the dangers of poor safety. To combat workplace injuries, distracted driving car accident fatalities, and other accidents due to unsafe practices, the NSC spends the month of June reminding everyone of the importance of safety at work, at home, and everywhere in between. If you or a loved one have experienced a workplace injury due to unsafe working conditions, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our attorneys fight for the rights of Michigan’s injured workers.

Hyundai Launches Online Car Shopping Program

Between Amazon Prime, Postmates, and a number of other online retailers with quick delivery times, almost anything can be purchased online and arrive at your doorstep in as little as an hour. Now Hyundai is trying to get in on the massive online retail business by introducing a car shopping program that allows drivers to purchase a car online just like they order home goods from Target or food from Blue Apron.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

According to Edmunds, the Hyundai Shopper Assistance Program is a retail program in the U.S. that allows drivers to online shop for vehicles. Launched on October 10, 2017, the program claims to offer transparent pricing, flexible test drives, a streamlined purchase process, and a three day money-back guarantee. The program is currently only available in Miami, Orlando, Dallas, and Houston, but the company plans on making it available nationwide by early 2018.

As part of the program, participating dealer websites will post vehicle specific pricing so customers know the exact price of the make and model they are interested in. Hyundai says this “not only makes it easier to shop and compare” but will allow the driver to make “faster better-informed decisions.” They can then schedule a test drive on their phone, either online or through an app. The test drive can even begin at their home, with a representative from the dealer bringing the vehicle to the driver’s house. The car manufacturer says that “this can be especially convenient for parents at home with children, as well as those who would prefer their test drive on familiar roads.”

Hyundai is the first mass-market car brand to enter the world of online shopping. The brand says they know “buying a new car hasn't always been as smooth a process as we'd all like. We hear you. So we're happy to introduce Hyundai Shopper Assurance.” Consumer Reports notes that Hyundai knows people don’t like going to the dealership, so they’re trying to eliminate that aspect of the car buying experience.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

In addition to pricing and scheduling test drives being available online, the program also offers the ability to apply for financing, get credit approval, figure out payment plans, and value trade-ins online as well. The hope is that consumers will be more likely to purchase a vehicle if they don’t have to spend large amounts of time at the dealership. The program also allows customers to return their vehicles within three days of purchase (as long as it has less than 300 miles and passes a dealer inspection). According to Dean Evans, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor America, “for nearly a decade, the word 'Assurance' has been synonymous with Hyundai and represents our efforts in redefining the car ownership experience. Shopper Assurance is the next step in that tradition and is car buying made simple.”

Online shopping is clearly a very popular means of making a purchase, and car dealerships are largely unpopular. Hyundai is smart for realizing this, and allowing their customers the ability to purchase a vehicle from the comfort of their own home. As the program rolls out into more and more cities, we will see if customers like online car shopping, or if they miss being able to see all of the dealer’s vehicles in the flesh. If the program is popular, it is likely we’ll be seeing more and more automobile manufacturers offering online shopping programs too.  


Car accidents can still happen no matter how much time and effort you put into researching and purchasing a vehicle. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney today. 

Rock Thrown From Overpass Kills Michigan Man

A Michigan man has died after the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a large piece of concrete. According to the Detroit Free Press, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Kenneth White, 32 of Mount Morris, Michigan was riding in the passenger seat of a work van, traveling south on I-75 at about 70 MPH. As the vehicle approached the Dodge Road overpass, a chunk of concrete weighing about 6 pounds smashed through the windshield. White sustained fatal injuries, most notably a fractured skull, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The accident occurred in Vienna Township, Genesee County, about 80 miles north of Detroit. White leaves behind a fiance and a young son.

Flint Car Accident Lawyer

Investigators immediately suspected that the chunk of concrete had been thrown from the overpass intentionally, as opposed to other accidents in which debris has fallen from overpasses accidentally. Before White’s vehicle had been struck, approximately 20 other rocks had already been thrown, and 4 vehicles had been hit and were pulled over waiting for police to arrive. Those 4 vehicles only sustained minor damage.

Mlive reported that investigators were handling the accident as a homicide investigation, and initially offered a $2,500 reward for anyone with information who was willing to come forward. Police received a social media tip that lead them to take 5 teenagers into custody for questioning. Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, all of Clio, Michigan, have since been charged as adults with second-degree murder. They have also been charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and six felony counts of malicious destruction of property. They face up to a lifetime in prison, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled yesterday morning, November 2, 2017.  According to Fox 2 Detroit, "police say the 17-year-old Anger is accused of throwing the rock that hit the van."

Flint Car Crash Lawyer

Officials say the the debris were gathered from a dead-end street in Vienna Township, Michigan, and then transported to the overpass in a flatbed pickup truck. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said in a statement that “while some may be saying well we want first-degree murder, I don't believe there was pre-mediation (to cause a death) here. It's not a prank. It's second-degree murder. I don't think anybody is laughing. This is not a prank.”

According to ClickOnDetroit, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who is trying the 5 teenagers as adults echoed Sheriff Pickell saying, "I don't believe this was a deliberate act to take someone's life...It was a willful and wanton act that resulted in someone's death. These people should've known better. They should've known this could kill someone, and under Michigan law, that's second-degree murder."

While we can all make choices to drive as safely as we can, accidents like this are unfortunately something we have no control over. Nothing, a rock or otherwise, should ever be thrown from an overpass. It’s not a prank, it’s not funny, and it could be deadly. Drivers already have enough to pay attention to on the road in order to avoid being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Adding something that's falling from the sky that the vehicle will likely be unable to avoid is has proven to be deadly, and anyone who thinks that doing such a thing is funny or harmless will likely find themselves in serious trouble.


Any sort of "prank" that involves distracting drivers or adding another element to the road that drivers need to be prepared for is not funny, and could lead to a serious car accident and fatal injuries. If you or someone you know have been the victim of an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Michigan Judge Under Hit-and-Run Crash Investigation

Michigan Hit and Run Car Crash Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Roseville Car Crash Lawyer

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

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


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

Are Rear-Facing Car Seats Safe for Infants?

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On May 16th, 2017, a vehicle was rear-ended on East Stewart Avenue in Flint, Michigan. As reported by MLive, in the vehicle was an 8 month year old infant, who sadly died after suffering critical injuries in the accident. Micah Kent, the young infant, was reportedly in critical condition and was rushed to the Hurley Medical Center, however, the injuries he sustained proved fatal. The vehicle carrying the baby was a 1997 Mercury Sable, and it had been hit from behind by a man driving a 2002 Saturn SL2. Police have reported that they believe the driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the crash. It was not stated how the baby was riding in the vehicle or if a car seat was used.

Stories like this are heartbreaking. Infants are highly susceptible to injuries from car crashes because their spines are still developing and their heads are still large relative to their bodies. A baby’s neck and spine are not strong enough to sustain the force of a car accident without the proper protection of a car seat. Child car safety experts tell parents to always make sure a car seat is rear-facing for infants under the age of two. That is, the car seat is facing the backside of the vehicle.

The Issue With Rear-Facing Car Seats

Child Car Safety Lawyer

Child car safety experts tell parents to face car seats toward the back of the vehicle because an impact to the front of the car is the most common type of car crash in America. Per The Washington Post, of the infants under the age of one killed in collisions between 2005 and 2009, one third were involved in frontal or offset crashes while only 15% were killed in rear-end crashes. Facing a car seat to the back of the vehicle can keep the baby’s neck and spine straight while the car seat eliminates whiplash from the crash.

Again however, this safety measure is intended to protect babies from crashes to the front of the vehicle. As evidenced from the tragic story above, babies can face severe risks from rear-end collisions as well. The issue is that car seat manufacturers tend to read statistics like the ones given by The Washington Post and focus on creating safety measures for frontal crashes because they are the most common. As a result, they overlook the risks associated with infants in rear-end collisions. 

Flint Car Collision

The Washington Post also outlined an experiment and study published by the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention. The experiment depicted the impact of a rear-end collision with a car moving 30 mph carrying an infant-sized dummy sitting in a rear-facing car seat. The experiment showed the car seat lurching toward the back of the car and the dummy’s head colliding hard with the back seat. The car seat researchers who conducted the experiment recognized that a car colliding with another vehicle in reverse at 30 mph is unlikely, but they were nonetheless surprised by the force of impact absorbed by the infant dummy’s head. The child car safety experts, however, were more concerned that their findings would scare parents into thinking rear-facing car seats were not the safest option. They made sure to specify that babies should remain in rear-facing style. The experts intentions for the study were not to show that babies are unsafe facing the back of vehicles, but rather that rear-facing car seats could be made safer.

No Car Seat is Crash Proof, But Rear-Facing Car Seats Are The Best Option

Rear-facing car seats, as opposed to forward-facing, are the best option for infants up to the age of two. As stated above, frontal or offset crashes are the most common type of crash. Rear-facing car seats have been designed to mitigate the force of these frontal crashes and stop any whiplash from occurring. Additionally, the most common type of rear-end crash occurs when the car is moving between 5-10 mph. Although whiplash can still be felt at these speeds, it is more important to focus on reducing the impact of frontal crash that could occur at 30 mph or faster. It is even mandated in three states that infants are remain rear-facing until they reach the age of two. 12 states require babies to sit in rear-facing seats until they are at least one. To ensure an infants rear-facing seat is as safe as possible, parents should secure the car seat through their vehicle's seat belt or L.A.T.C.H. system. Generally, a car seat is secure if it cannot be moved more than one inch in all directions.

Below are more car safety tips provided by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Car Safety Tips for Infants

Car Seat Safety
  • Your child should be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two.
  • Always put your infant’s rear-facing car seat in the back seat of a car. A baby sitting in the front passenger seat of a car could be fatally injured by the blunt force of an air bag.
  • Always have snug safety harnesses at or below your baby’s shoulders. Make sure there is no room to pinch a fold in the harnesses.
  • Never place a blanket between your child and the harnesses, and do not dress your baby in bulky clothing that could lessen the snugness of the safety straps. Instead, place a blanket over the harnesses and child. 
  • Lastly, remember that your child has outgrown his or her’s rear-facing seat if his or her head is touching the top of the car seat. There should be at least one inch between the top of their head and the top of the car seat.

So, the question remains: are rear-facing car seats safe for Infants. The easiest answer is that they are the better of two evils. The rear-facing car seat is the best option for children under two years of age. However, they do not completely ensure an infant's safety, especially from rear-end accidents, but they are safer against the more common frontal car accidents. Hopefully however, the focus for the future of child car safety is not on deciding which type of crash deserves the most attention, but rather, how to make a car seat that can be safe in all car accident types. 


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Birmingham, Michigan personal injury firm. Our firm handles personal injury lawsuits throughout the state. Call 844.464.3476 today to speak to an experienced injury attorney today. We offer free consultations and honest and fair legal representation.

Obesity Is A Factor In Motor Vehicle Fatalities

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If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight but find yourself falling off of the workout routine, a study conducted by Berkeley School of Health might give you an extra incentive get back in the gym. In conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC), UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation and Research Education Center (SafeTREC) decided to conduct a study on whether or not obesity played a factor in motor vehicle fatalities.

Though the study was published in 2013, this information is even more relevant in 2017 as 1 in every 3 Americans are obese, and since obesity in general is steadily on the rise. The study's results showed that obese drivers are actually 78% more to die in a car crash compared those in the normal-weight category. So, yes, obesity is definitely a factor in car crash deaths.

Co-author and SafeTREC researcher epidemiologist Thomas Rice said, “This study highlights yet another negative consequence of obesity.”

The Higher The BMI, The Higher The Chance of A Car Crash Fatality

Drivers with a body mass index (BMI) under 18 or between 25 to 29.9 are found to have around the same fatality rates as those people with an ideal BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9. The problem comes in for those who have a BMI ranging between 30 and 39.9. Those whose BMI falls between 30 to 34.9 have a 21% increase in risk of death as stated by the SafeTREC’s study. The study also showed that those with a BMI between 35 to 39.9 increase their fatality rates by 51%. Obese drivers with a BMI above 40 have a 81% possibility of death in the event of a motor vehicle fatality. SafeTREC's study also confirmed that woman who are obese are more likely to die in a car crash than their male counterparts. 

In simpler terms, if a male driver was the nation's average male height of 5 feet 9 inches and weighed the national male average of 195.5 pounds with a BMI of 28.5, he would essentially face the same mortality rates as a male that weighs 158 pounds at 5 feet 9 inches with a BMI of 23. However, if a male that was 5 feet 9 inches weighed 220 pounds with a BMI of 32, he increases his chances of death by 21%. 

Vehicle Changes Made For Overweight Drivers

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Researchers of the study suggest that,“it may be the case that passenger vehicles are well designed to protect normal-weight vehicle occupants but are deficient in protecting overweight or obese occupants.”

Rice said, “Vehicle designers are teaching to the test –designing so that crash-test dummies do well, but crash-test dummies are typically normal size adults and children. They’re not designed to account for our nation’s changing body types.”

Now changes are underway starting with vehicle safety and design through test-dummies that are heavier in size to reflect the nation's growing weight. Michigan Medicine trauma surgeon Stewart Wang, M.D., is a collaborator on car safety as the director of the University of Michigan's International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM). Dr. Wang offers some perspective to engineers who are designing a safety mechanism that will later be placed into vehicles.

The surgeon says, "crash-test dummies look nothing like my patients...The condition, size and shape of an individual is hugely important in how severe their injuries are in any given crash." Dr. Wang also says that many of his obese clients suffer from lower extremity injuries in auto accidents as a result of the lap belt being too slack and causing them to slide under it upon impact. These types of injuries combined with, "their obesity makes treatment more difficult and delays recovery." Wang's medical research of live patients have provided ICAM with vital information which was used in the creation of new test dummies by manufacturer Humanetics, so that engineers can better interpret potential injuries to drivers of a certain weight, sex, and age. 

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

According to ScienceDaily.com, "Teams at ICAM gain tremendous insight from hundreds of thousands of CT scans, which can quickly be used for 3-D printing of prototypes once they're shared with engineers. This has revolutionized the way dummies are made and what they look like."

With scientific research highlighting the importance of test-dummies reflecting the nation's growing population of overweight and elderly drivers, changes can finally be made to vehicles that lead to lower rates auto accident fatalities, for all ages and body types. 


According to the CDC, obesity can be combated through local and state programs that work with communities in creating an environment that encourages healthy eating and physical activity. Living a healthy lifestyle including a lifetime commitment to eating healthy and exercising should help those combating with obesity lose and keep off their weight. Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of an auto accident? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today. 

Hamtramck, Michigan Residents Take Road Repairs Into Their Own Hands

Residents of Hamtramck, Michigan are taking road damage control into their own hands as the summer approaches and potholes become a bigger problem for the community. 2014 data shows that Michigan is near the top of the list for worst roads in the U.S: Almost 40% of Michigan roads can be considered to be in “poor shape”. According to a national study by the Associated Press, funding for roads in Michigan fell 8% from 2008 to 2013, so there is not enough money to go around, for these local side streets. 

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After purchasing 17 bags of cold patch, about 900 pounds worth, for about $120, residents of Lumpkin Street were able to repair the littered potholes. Lumpkin Street is just one of the mild cases of road damage in Hamtramck, as Charest Street alone has 33 different potholes. 


“We thought we’d just do this quietly,” resident Jonathan Weier told the Detroit Free Press. “There’s holes in the ground, and there’s no one filling them, so let’s fill them.”


The efforts of this self-made repair crew have not gone without notice, as they have garnered an interview from NPR’s “All Things Considered” show and gaining financial support through a GoFundMe page that raised $4,475. They have even received the support of Hamtramck’s mayor Karen Majewski. 


“It just speaks to me about the level of commitment to and affection for Hamtramck that residents here have. There’s such a strong sense of community spirit and a feeling that we’re all in it together. People here are willing to step up and do what they can to make the city work,” Majewski told MLive. 

Road Damage Car Accident

Tips for Avoiding Potholes: 

Here are some tips from the Michigan Department of Transportation on how to avoid rough patches during your commute: 

  • Be Vigilant: Potholes aren’t always easy to see, especially at night. Make sure that the vehicle’s headlights are working properly before getting on the road. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Tires should be properly inflated. Also, it is good to have suspensions and steering components inspected. 
  • If you have no way of avoiding the pothole, it is best to slow down and then release the brakes before you hit it. You should also straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through it. 
  • If you do hit a pothole, it’s important to inspect the vehicle for any damage that may have been done once you get out of the car. A properly maintained car can help avoid any further damage to the vehicle. 

If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident, including collisions caused by potholes or other types of road damage, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are very experienced in handling car accident cases, and will get you the help that you need. Call us, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation. 

Hands Free Technology in Cars Makes Driving Safer

Could driving while using your smartphone make the roads safer? Well, we are about to soon find out, as automotive companies are partnering up with Android and iOS operating systems, allowing consumers to start seeing some added technology to their driving experience. As people become more connected, so will the things around them, especially as a part of the "auto industry's strategy and new product development," says Project Manager Andrew Brenner from Google's Android Auto.

In January, in Detroit, Michigan, Brenner spoke at the Automotive News World Congress and said, "Consumers are finally starting to shop for cars with the expectation that the vehicles operate with the technology, design and pace of innovation that they are used to with their mobile phones."

 

Texting and Driving Car Accident

Digital technology is vastly changing the driving experience from “connecting” to being “connected.” Consumers, under the strain of trying to use their phones in the safest way possible while driving and being under the radar from law enforcement, can now gain better piece of mind that their mobile device will have full functionally on their dash.

Android Auto, for example, which launched back in 2015, already offers user many apps including Pandora, iHeartRadio and Skype. The platform, which has 60 partners as of January, 2016, and has plans of increasing by 20 more according to Benner, was designed “with safety in mind.” With future plans of adding Google Maps with voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance, on-demand Google Play Music, and voice calling in addition to messaging abilities, Android Auto could potentially provide users with a better and safer driving experience.

"Anything we can do to reduce distraction for people in their cars-whether they have an Android or iPhone-I think is a huge benefit," says Brenner.

Like its competitor, Apple Carplay offers similar apps although with a slightly different interface. iPhone users can also expect to gain more connectivity and options in their motor vehicles in the years to come.

With more hands free access, lawmakers may have to adjusts the rules for driving while using a cellular device.

But the bigger debate may not be which platform is better for drivers, but whether this new technology will have an effect on smartphone related automobile accidents. The National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that stands on advocating safety for over 100 years, seems to think so. Back in 2012, the organization published a study titled “Understanding the Distracted Brain: Why Driving While Using Hands-Free Cell Phones is Risky Behavior,” indicating that cognitive use is a form of “distracted driving,” pointing at hands-free phones as the risky behavior. It’s no secret distracted driving incidents inflate lawsuits, injuries, and deaths. Subsequently, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and the automotive industry should get ready as cognitive distraction may become a hot topic in the coming future.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of car crashes. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.


Can PTSD Come From A Car Accident?

Most people think that only war veterans or victims of violent crimes can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. This misconception is strongly false. Post-traumatic stress disorder can be triggered by experiencing or observing anything that horrifies a person. Most people who have been involved in a dangerous car accident usually recount the experience as one of the most terrifying memories of their lives. Victims of car accidents recall ‘seeing their lives flash before their eyes’ and ‘praying that they’ll be ok’. These are extreme reactions to terrible events that they will remember for the rest of their lives. As such, it’s understandable that people involved in car crashes return to the moment and revisit the gut sinking feelings every time they remember the accident or anything triggers their memory of it.

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Immediately after the traumatic accident, people may have an aversion to getting back in a vehicle let alone driving one. Auto accident victims sometimes are afraid to get back into a car.  The presence a car or the thought of riding in one may bring back unwanted, distressing memories of the crash, causing them to relive the event. People involved in gruesome accidents may even have dreams of the crash and in some cases, experience problems sleeping. All of this constant reminder of the accident may cause people to avoid thinking or taking about the crash, which is a negatively impacts their ability to properly and fully heal.

With avoidance come other negative changes in thinking and mood such as memory problems, emotional numbness, depression, inability to maintain close relationships, and an excess of negative feelings. Those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due can also have changes in emotional reactions such as aggressiveness, irritability, angry outbursts, self-destructive behavior such as drinking too much, trouble sleeping, being on constant edge, trouble concentrating, eating disorders and drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

According to the Mayo Clinic, If not treated property, PTSD can only get worse. It is recommended that if symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder last longer than a month after the traumatic event, the victim should see a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially true for those victims who have suicidal thoughts. Any time victims of PTSD have any suicidal thoughts, they should immediately seek help. Cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, are all therapeutic options for those who are trying to overcome PTSD. In addition to therapy, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and Prazosin may be implemented to help people cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is important to note that some car accident victims may also suffer from traumatic brain injuries and should seek medical attention with a licensed specialist if diagnosed with a TBI

Of course, along with medical and mental health issues, motor vehicle accidents also cause legal problems. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC helps victims or car, motorcycle, and bus accidents take care of their legal needs. Our experienced attorneys deal with insurance companies, make sure your medical bills are paid, and make sure that you are compensated for any pain and suffering you may be entitled to under Michigan law, so that you may focus on physically and mentally recovering from your traumatic accident. Call our highly skilled attorneys today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.