Dangerous April Fools Day Car Pranks!

Today is April Fools’ Day, a day for pranksters to up their game and go wild! Planning pranks can take time and energy, but it is worth the effort when the victim springs the trap and is caught up in the prank. There are many harmless pranks people can pull for April Fools' Day, like scattering toy spiders throughout the house and waiting for an arachnophobia to stumble across them. Or perhaps switching the salt and sugar labels for some extra salty cookies. However, there are some pranks that may go too far and are no longer funny. In fact, they could be dangerous. According to Statistic Brain, about 175 people are injured by an April Fools’ prank each year. That may not seem like a large number, but considering pranks are supposed to be fun, it is far too high.

Detroit Car Accident Attorney

A viral video from July showed a motorcyclist picking up a mug from the back of a car and returning it to the owner by driving up to her window! While this was done as an act of kindness, the opposite could be done as a prank. An online forum lists several car pranks that could easily go wrong. One trick is to leave a cup with coffee, or other drink, on a person’s car and hope they won’t notice. When they start driving, the cup goes flying and spills all over the car! This doesn’t seem like a big deal, other than possibly making a mess on the car, but the cup could also fall and hit the windshield of the car, or even another car, causing confusion, panic, and possibly a car crash if the surprised driver swerves. 

Another prank that most people have heard of, is covering someone’s car in Post-it notes or wrapping it up in saran wrap. These may seem funny at first glance, but another look can reveal car accident dangers. The Post-it prank is more of a painstaking, time-consuming art project, so the “victim” may want to only clear the windshield and drive with the rest of the car still covered. Not only does a colorful Post-it car cause other drivers on the road to be distracted but the Post-its could go flying from the vehicle and hit the other cars, once again causing confusion, panic, and swerving cars to get into a car crash.  Wrapping a car in saran wrap on the other hand,  makes it difficult for someone to get into their car in case of an emergency. Also, once again, a saran wrapped car may encourage distracted driving behavior from other drivers who see the car and are puzzled or humored by it. It just seems like any pranks concerning a car, though they seem funny, may also be dangerous, because at the very least, they cause distracted driving on the road.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The cinder block prank is another popular car prank posted online, that seems more dangerous than funny. This prank involves someone removing the tires of a car and leaving the car boosted on cinder blocks. Unless the prankster is a professional mechanic, removing tires could possibly damage the car and make it unusable for the foreseeable future. If not done properly, taking parts off of a car may damage the car in a way that makes it unsafe to operate and may even lead to car accidents. Car damage and the associated risk of car accidents, are also a possibility in pranks that involve filling the car up with water by tossing a hose through a partially open car window. If not water, even filling a car up with something like golf balls could cause car accidents, if the balls rush out of the car and into the road or into traffic, when a door is opened.

April Fools' pranks are meant to be funny, enjoyable, and perhaps also embarrassing to those exposed to the prank. They should not make people concerned for their safety, for the safety of their possessions, like their car, or the safety of others not even involved in the joke. Pulling a prank in, on, or around a car should be thoroughly thought out before being put into action, so that it doesn’t lead to permanent car damage or cause car accidents. If you have to cover a car in Post-its, even if it takes a whole day to do so, it’s best to film the victim’s reaction and then help them remove all of the paper before the car is driven. You’ll still get Instagram likes for the victim’s priceless reaction video and you’ll likely avoid any legal trouble you may have risked if you had caused a car accident. 

April Fools’ Day can be a very enjoyable holiday. Who doesn’t love the trick gum that snaps at a person’s fingers or squirting water at someone through a flower pin on your lapel? These pranks are small and harmless, however, not all pranks are. Don’t be the person who wraps your best friends car in saran wrap. Setting up a prank in or on someone’s car could cause a car crash, whether it be from distraction or even causing damage to the car. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

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. 

Drugged Driving Accidents Increase In Michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Now that opioid addiction has been declared a national epidemic, it should come as no surprise that drugged driving has increased as well. Although drunk driving is still an issue that many police officers and legislators are combating nationwide, the increase in social acceptance of using marijuana and prescribed medications is making driving under the influence of drugs hard to combat. Statistics from the Michigan State Police (MSP) speak for themselves with "fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%."

"Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable, but drugged driving is socially acceptable because people don't think it's a problem...I fault the pharmacists and the doctors. They do not do a good job of educating their patients about these drugs," said Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and We Save Lives.

Drugged Driving Statistics

According to a report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of motorists that have been fatally injured as a result of a car accident are known to have tested positive for drugs in their system. This number that is surprisingly higher than the 37% of drivers that have tested positive for alcohol in their system after a fatal car crash.

Drugged Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Another scary fact, is that unlike drunk driving, drugged driving has been shown to occur at any time of the day, not just at night or on the weekends, like most predictable drunk driving accidents. According to the Detroit Free Press, The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute collected data from 2011 to 2015 in order to prove there was a correlation between the time of day a drugged driving car crash took place and the results of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

"Alcohol-involved crashes are very concentrated late at night and on weekends when bars close, but drug-involved crashes seem to occur at all times of day." said Carol Flannagan, a research associate professor at The Transportation Research Institute.

Drugged driving has grown to be such a major issue on the roads in Michigan that a roadside drug testing pilot has been planned to roll out before the end of this year in 5 undisclosed counties. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed the drug testing pilot program.

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot

Since drugged driving is so hard to convict due to most drivers using drugs that were prescribed to them, Michigan law has allowed for a driver to be legally persecuted if a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) can prove that the drug(s) impaired their driving. The roadside drug testing pilot will only allow for state approved DREs to identify drivers who may be driving while under the influence of an abused substance and request an oral sample that will be sent off to an independent lab to be tested. If a driver is found guilty, legal repercussions include but are not limited to 15 years in prison, community service, and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, according to The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). The reason behind such harsh punishments is to drive home the seriousness of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Detroit DUI Lawyer

The roadside drug testing pilot was influenced in part by a drugged driving car crash took place in Escanaba, Michigan involving a truck driver under the influence of THC, a chemical often found in marijuana. The high driver crashed into an elderly couple,Thomas and Barbara Swift, both 73, on the highway. Thomas died at the scene of the crime whereas Barbara died 3 days later succumbing to her injuries in a hospital. Their son, Thomas Swift, proposed a bill in memory of his parents and Governor Rick Snyder later passed the bill as law.  A second case that highlighted the severity of drugged driving made international news after a driver in a pickup sped erratically in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed 5 bicyclists before police could arrest him. The driver was identified as Thomas Pickett Jr., 50, and was found not to have alcohol in his system as expected, but methamphetamines, painkillers, and muscle relaxers. He was charged with 14 felonies and is facing trial this year.

With data showing that drugged driving happens throughout the day coupled with the knowledge that 10 million Americans, 12 years and older, have admitted in a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that they have driven under the influence of drugs, it is enough to scare anyone away from driving. However, people should have faith that the roadside drug testing pilot, once implemented, will hopefully decrease and deter the number of car crashes caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alchohol. Then, Michiganders will only have to worry about horrible Michigan winters cuasing them road trouble.

It is sad that medications meant to help people handle their illness are oftentimes abused, not only by the prescribed user, but possibly by loved ones too. Until pharmaceutical companies, patients, and lawmakers can come together to figure out how to properly handle this growing epidemic, drugged driving accidents will continue to be a problem motorists face on the roadways. Have you been hit by a drunk driver or a drugged driver? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. With our legal team by your side, you can hope to receive any compensation you may be entitled to under Michigan law.  

Hillsdale, Michigan Teen Killed In Car Crash, Another Hospitalized

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, a teen was killed in a car crash in Reading Township, Michigan when his vehicle struck a railroad crossing pole. MLive reported that the vehicle, a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage then spun out and laid to rest on the side of S. Edon Road just north of Lilac Road. The accident appeared to have occurred shortly after 9 P.M. The driver, Kade Parish Moes, a sixteen year old from Hillsdale, Michigan, was not wearing his seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The passenger of the vehicle, who was wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Parkview Regional Hospital via Samaritan Medical Transport of Fort Wayne. There has been no update of the passenger's condition, but it is safe to say that the seatbelt she was wearing saved her life, for the time being.

This crash is a brutal reminder that the leading cause of deaths for teens in this country is auto accidents. Young adults also have the highest crash related injury rates among all drivers. According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, seat belts reduce serious crash related injuries and deaths by about half. Of all teenagers who died in crashes in 2012, about 55% were not wearing their seat belts. Men are also 10% less likely to wear their seat belts than females. Passengers in the rear seating portion of a vehicle are less likely than those in the front seat to wear their seat belts also, making them far more at risk to injure themselves or die in a car crash.

Car Crash Lawyer

Every state in the United States of America has laws requiring seat belt use. Although the laws may vary in severity, each state requires drivers to wear a seat belt and almost all states require passengers to do so as well. Police have stepped up their coverage of the issue in recent years with the ‘Click It Or Ticket’ campaign, but it is the driver's and the passengers' responsibility to ensure their own safety when travelling in an automobile. The time to wear a seat belt is not just after being pulled over for not wearing one, it’s every time a driver gets in the car to travel any distance. As the statistics show, wearing a seat belt is literally the difference between life and death in many automobile collisions. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including car crashes. We help victims of automobile collisions identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to, under Michigan Law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.