Michigan Woman Dies After Being Struck By Vehicle In Parking Lot

A Michigan woman has passed away after being hit by a car in a grocery store parking lot outside of Muskegon, Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, Betty Jean Wolovek, 82, was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of E&A Grocery on East Apple Avenue in Egelston Township, Michigan. The accident occurred on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017, at around 10:30 AM. She was taken to Mercy Health, where she died from her injuries.

Michigan Car Crash Attorney

The car accident is still under investigation. Currently, Muskegon police have not released any details about the driver or if any criminal charges have been filed. According to Wolovek’s son, she was hit by a female driver who remained on scene until the police arrived. He believes the driver was backing up when she hit his mother.  

Parking lot accidents are unfortunately common in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an average of 50,000 accidents occur each year in parking lots and garages. Parking lot accidents result in about 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries each year. And since traffic deaths on highways and surface roads have been rising in recent years, it’s likely that the number of parking lot accident deaths may rise too.

A survey done by the NSC in 2016 found that 66% of drivers admit to making phone calls while driving in parking lots, and 56% admit to texting. Drivers also admitted to programming their GPS, sending or receiving emails, taking photos or watching videos, using a smartphone, surfing the internet, and video chatting, all while driving in parking lots.

Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the NSC, said that, "Parking lots are intense driving environments that require both drivers and pedestrians to pay close attention...It is discouraging that so many drivers are willing to add distractions to that mix. When you're in a parking lot, you need to be hyper-vigilant to the risks surrounding you – just because speeds are lower doesn't mean you are safe." To help prevent car crashes, the NSC provides the following tips for drivers while in parking lots.

Parking Lot Driving Safety Tips

  1. Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across lots.
  2. Drive slowly and use directional signals.
  3. Anticipate the actions of other drivers.
  4. Obey stop signs and no-parking signs.
  5. When backing out, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians.
  6. Watch for small children and parents with baby strollers.
Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

It’s not just drivers who need to remain vigilant and free from distractions while in parking lots, however. From 2001 to 2011, more than 11,000 pedestrians were seriously injured because they were distracted by phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that like traffic deaths, pedestrian accident deaths are also on the rise. Pedestrian deaths jumped 9% from 2014 to 2015, and are at the highest number they’ve been since 1996. When walking through a parking lot, pedestrians need to put the phone down, and be aware of vehicles that could start backing up at any moment.

Drivers and pedestrians must work together to car accidents in parking lots. Pedestrians need to stay away from their phones and any other distractions while walking to and from their cars, and be on the lookout for cars with their brake lights on, or any other signal that a car may be about to move. Drivers should program their GPS, send emails, make phone calls, and do whatever else they need to do while their car is in park and not moving - not while driving. When backing out of a parking space, drivers should check and double check for pedestrians, shopping carts, and any other hazards that may be their way. Parking lots may not seem as dangerous as highways, but distracted driving accidents can happen anywhere, and drivers should always know how to be safe avoid car accidents.


Parking lot accidents may not receive as much attention as high-speed car crashes on the freeway, but the truth is that car collisions can happen anywhere. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Takata Air Bag Inflators Recalled After Explosion Caused Fatality

The Takata airbag scandal is not new news to readers who follow The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog. For those who are unaware however, in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Takata airbags were defective and could explode when deployed during a car accident, or even spontaneously due to wear over time. These exploding airbags have caused serious injuries and even death. The Detroit Free Press has recently issued a warning to all 2006 Ford Ranger drivers, in relation to defective Takata airbags, urging them to get their vehicles inspected immediately.

Michigan Takata Recall Accident Lawyer

The Detroit Free Press also reported that, "inflators, which use ammonium nitrate as a propellant, can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel. The problem touched off the largest string of auto recalls in U.S. history and forced Takata into bankruptcy and more than 180 people have been injured." In January of 2016, Ford recalled 391,000 Rangers in the U.S. and Canada from 2004 to 2006 to replace the vehicles’ inflators. The recall was announced after the unexpected death of South Carolina resident, 52-year-old Joel Knight in December of 2015. He was driving his 2006 Ranger when his airbag exploded randomly, and not due to a car accident.

In another similar defective airbag incident, Steve Mollohan from Hedgeville, West Virginia died while operating a 2006 Ford Ranger on July 1, 2017 when his airbag exploded. Even after that incident, as of July 28, 2017, only 3.7% of the recalled 2004 to 2006 Rangers in the U.S. had been repaired, according to the NHTSA. Recalls usually have a repair rate of around 75% after 18 months of the recall. Ford has tried everything to reach drivers in this situations and has encouraged drivers of recalled vehicles to get them repaired.

Detroit Takata Air Bag Injury Lawyer

A separate recall was issued in November of 2017, also because of faulty airbags. The NHTSA reported that around 34 million cars are being recalled and 46 million defective airbags could possibly explode and lead to serious injury or death. More airbags are scheduled to be recalled by December of 2019, bringing the total number of recalls to around 60-75 million. Of those recalled, only 43% of the airbags have been repaired. If you currently drive a Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet), Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter), Dodge/Ram, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion , Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, or Volkswagen, use the Recalls Lookup Tool to see if your car has been recalled. Ford has also said that loaner cars will be available to those who need them and repairs will be completed free of charge.

There are many cars out there that have been recalled, but not yet repaired. Drivers shouldn't hesitate in getting their cars fixed. It's better to be safe, than sorry and risk getting into a car accident or other type of dangerous situation. 


Every year many companies issue recalls to improve equipment or to implement safety measures. Ignoring recalls may lead to injuries, for example in the event that a vehicle's problem leads to motor vehicle accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

Volvo's Automatic Braking System for Semi-Trucks

Truck Accident Lawyer Michigan

Volvo Trucks Global is taking a step into the future with its new automatic braking system. The company has created a Collision Warning/Early Braking system for its trucks. This development, as detailed in Business Insider, is designed for trucks to brake automatically if they get too close to other vehicles in front of them. A sensor on the front “sees” the road ahead, and brakes the truck on its own, if it gets too close to the car in front of it. 
 
When braking, an alarm sounds and a display light activates on the dashboard, anticipating the truck’s sudden stop. The truck’s back taillights flash like hazards when the automatic braking system is in use, alerting drivers behind the truck, so that drivers behind can avoid a rear end car crash. All this for a truck carrying 40 tons of cargo!   

The primary goal of Volvo working to make automated features for semi-trucks is to increase auto safety. Hayder Wokil, Autonomous and Automated Driving Director for Volvo Trucks, said, “We are focused on solutions that can make difficult, repetitive and time-consuming tasks easier for all concerned.” The latest technological improvement will affect other drivers on the road, beyond just the truck drivers. In 2015, almost 64% of fatal crashes involving large trucks also involved two other vehicles, as found in an analysis by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In other words, other drivers are at risk of injury or death from a semi-truck accident. Developments like automated truck brakes may improve the safety of truck crashes for all drivers. 
 
Worldwide, companies like Volvo are using trucks to minimize harvest damage that human-operated trucks create, utilizing automatic garbage trucks, and enlisting self-driving delivery trucks to bring packages to people’s doorsteps. With so many possibilities for advancement, the automated truck industry will likely see rapid growth in the coming years. It will be exciting to watch consumer fears grow into fascination, as more and more automotive companies focus on turning even the biggest trucks on the road into a safer form of transportation in the near future. 

Michigan Truck Accident Attorney

Volvo's automatic braking system for semi-trucks will make stopping suddenly much easier for truck drivers, helping drivers behind them avoid rear end car accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our skilled attorneys can tell you if you are eligible for any compensation under Michigan law. 

Are Automated Traffic Cameras Harmful to Drivers?

Detroit Traffic Accident Lawyer

You are driving home from work, eager to beat rush hour. You pull up to a red light intending to make a right turn on red before oncoming traffic approaches. You successfully make your right turn, however, you happened to miss the ‘no turn on red’ sign in your rush to evade the traffic! Now, a Michigan State Police officer has stopped you and has given you a $130 ticket for making an illegal turn.

Despite the pain of receiving a traffic ticket, Michigan drivers may actually have it better than drivers in 25 other states in the US. In each of these 25 states, at least one form of automated traffic cameras have been permitted to monitor traffic and automatically punish offenders. There are two forms of these traffic cameras: speed enforcement cameras and red light cameras. Each of these cameras is equipped with a trigger and a computer. As reported by PhotoEnforced, once a driver has committed a traffic violation by exceeding the speed limit or running a red light, the camera is triggered and automatically snaps a photo of the act. The snapshot and a traffic fine is then mailed to the owner about a month later.

According to The Detroit News, these automated cameras have proved extremely lucrative for some cities and states. Since first installing automated cameras in 2003, Chicago has raised $625 million from traffic fines alone! Using over 400 cameras, Chicago currently collects about $45 million from traffic violations annually. After being hired by the city to study the effects of the traffic cameras, Northwestern University (NWU) reported a 14% increase in rear-end accidents in intersections where cameras were present. NWU also found that the public perception of the cameras is that they are very unfair due to the “dilemma zone.”

Michigan Traffic Accident Lawer

As The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog previously discussed, the dilemma zone is the zone in which the yellow light turns red and the driver has to decide whether to brake immediately or drive through the intersection. To back up driver displeasure, NWU studies found that traffic violations are actually reduced if yellow lights are extended from three to four seconds. This time extension allows the driver more time to cross the intersection safely and avoid colliding with other cars. 

All of the information collected in NWU's study is important because, according to The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration, in 2015, vehicle travel reached an all time high with over 3.1 trillion miles traveled. Among the 6 states with the lowest fatality rate, 5 have all banned automated traffic cameras.

How Some States Deal With Automated Cameras

The Texas Transportation Institute supported the claim to lengthen yellow lights by reporting a 40% decrease in intersection car collisions when one second is added to yellow lights. Adding an extra second does not come without a cost, however. Georgia tried mandating the extension of yellow light signals too, but as a result, private companies running the traffic signals went bankrupt due to the decrease in traffic violations.

Some other states have been modifying their laws regarding the use of automated cameras. In Oxnard, California, after collecting over $2 million from traffic violations in 2016, a court found the city guilty of not extending yellow light times after it had been mandated by the state 2 years prior.

In North Carolina, almost all automated cameras have been removed after the state ruled that all profits are to go to school systems rather than private companies. On the contrary, after banning red light cameras in Virginia in 2005, the state reinstated the cameras in July of 2016.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Automated traffic cameras are less harmful to drivers when the yellow light is extended in their favor. Regardless of whether the traffic light is being run by a city or private company, when the yellow light is purposely shortened in an attempt to collect more revenue from tickets, the driving situation becomes harmful to the driver. In the case of shorter yellow lights, drivers have to decide whether to brake abruptly or proceed through the intersection and assume the risk of running a red light, both of which are actions that can result in dangerous car accidents.


Although Michigan does not permit the use of automated traffic cameras, the risk of being involved in an automobile accident at an intersection or traffic light is still prevalent. In some circumstances, the absence of traffic cameras could lead to drivers speeding more often and driving more aggressively at intersections.  If you have been involved in any type of car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our accident attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have regarding any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Lawrence Technical University Students Developing Autonomous Tech

While much of the focus on the development of autonomous vehicles in Michigan has been on automobile manufacturers in Detroit, and MCity at the University of Michigan, another Michigan college has been making strides in the development of autonomous technology as well. Lawrence Technical University in Southfield, Michigan, is one of the only places in the country where an autonomous vehicle is being developed by students, not engineers.

Michigan Autonomous Accident Lawyer

According to The Detroit News, a group of students, lead by two professors, are creating an Autonomous Campus Transport/Taxi, also known as ACTor.  The vehicle is a semi-autonomous car that so far, can navigate short routes, stop at stop signs, and detect pedestrians in the street. Investors have donated money to the project to take it from a semi-autonomous vehicle to a fully autonomous vehicle that can be used as a taxi around campus. This is expected to be achieved by August of 2018. At that point, the vehicle will be fully autonomous, but the driver would still be ready to take over the vehicle at any time.

The vehicle is a Polaris Gem, and the project has received a great amount of support form local investors. Hyundai MOBIS invested an initial $15,000 in the project, which allowed the students to purchase the vehicle. Dataspeed, an engineering firm in Rochester Hills, invested in the project by installing the hardware into the vehicle, which allowed the students to be able to focus on writing code. Solar Technology Inc. provided the radar system that allows the vehicle to be able to find it’s way, and Realtime Technologies Inc. provided a cash donation. Last spring, the project won the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University, which has also lead to the project receiving more funding. 

Nicholas Paul is a first-year computer science graduate student who is leading the team of student developers. He said that once they got the vehicle, “[they] were able to plug in the vehicle and begin working. [They] were able to write smaller programs; some of them only handle stop sign recognition, obstacle detection. All of these things that come together to create the software that runs on this vehicle currently. All of those components help make intelligent decisions, safe decisions about the surroundings and the destination, where it needs to go.” He also says that word about the vehicle is traveling quickly around campus. Informing people about autonomous technology is one of the goals of having a self-driving taxi on campus, as well as a providing a transportation option for those who have trouble getting around. 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

The students at Lawrence Technical University are further highlighting just how important southeast Michigan is when it comes to the future of autonomous technology. With their contributions, along with the work being done at the University of Michigan, and by Detroit automobile manufacturers, we could be seeing autonomous vehicles on the streets sometime very soon. Having autonomous car on the road in turn may lead to safer roads with fewer car accidents. Since driver-less cars remove the driver and thereby human error, it's very likely that we will have fewer car accidents on the road. It's exciting to know that southwest Michigan is playing such a large part in developing autonomoustechnology that will likely change driving and driver safety as we know it. 


Until self-driving vehicles become mainstream and are able to fully eliminate human error, car accidents are still going to happen. If you or a loved one have been the victim of an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are highly expereinced in dealing with all types of motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bus accidents. 

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.  

New Ambassador Bridge Coming To Michigan

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Remember back in September 2015 when the Moroun family was against a second Ambassador bridge being built and filed a lawsuit to make sure their privately owned bridge stayed in business? Well, it looks like they are finally getting their way, sort of.

Despite the constant back and forth between Canadian officials and the Moroun family, Manuel Moroun to be specific, the family has received permission from the Transport Canada federal agency to build their second Ambassador Bridge. The permit has been at least a year in the making and comes with a few stipulations. Canada is requesting that the Morouns demolish their previous Ambassador Bridge once their new bridge is complete and ready for use. Additional requirements include environmental protection, protection of Canada’s indigenous people, infrastructure improvement, and the creation of green spaces.

Out With The Old, In With The New

In the late 1920s, the Ambassador Bridge was one of the biggest and daring bridges to be built, now it is old and showing it’s age. The bridge can barely sustain the amount of traffic and trade that comes across every day since it was built with only 4 lanes. According to the Detroit Free Press, in a statement on September 6, 2017 Manuel Moroun said that the new Ambassador Bridge is expected to have 6 lanes not including lanes dedicated to NEXUS, FAST, and bus traffic. Moroun also mentioned that the cost of the new Ambassador Bridge is about $1 billion in private funds, roughly half of which has already been spent.

On a side note, the Gordie Howe Bridge is still expected to open in 2023. This is the bridge the Government of Canada was trying to build before being wrestled into court to fight lawsuit after lawsuit from the Morouns. So while Transport Canada has given the Morouns permission to build a second Ambassador bridge, the Canadian government would much rather back thier own project. In fact, architects, engineers, and other contractors are still being interviewed to build  the Gordie Howe Bridge, not to mention millions of dollars have already spent on purchasing property and roadbeds. Even the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has spoken of how the Gordie Howe Bridge will be the country's primary infrastructure project, which comes as no surprise with the amount of bad blood between the Canadian Government and the Morouns.   

Gordie Howe Bridge vs Ambassador Bridge

Now that the Morouns have the green light from Transport Canada, people might expect the new Ambassador Bridge Project to break ground by the end of this year, but that's not hopeful. Additional permits are needed from both Canada and the US, so construction will most likely begin sometime in late 2018 or early 2019 and may be completed by 2023. It should also be noted that both bridges will utilize tolls. However, since the Morouns' bridge is privately owned it's unknown what their set toll price will be? The Gordie Howe Bridge, on the other hand, is expected to have a more ‘economic pricing’ since it is a Canadian government project.

Windsor Car Crash Lawyer

Either way, the public will win. With 2 bridges in the works in addition to the already existing Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a future economic boom and regional popularity are sure to follow. These new bridges will also allow for safer transportation between Michigan and Canada.  Back in 2016, the Transport Canada agency cited the current Ambassador Bridge with being a "risk to public safety." The citations included safety hazards such as not having railings and having crumbling concrete. Thankfully, no one standing under the bridge was killed or injured by having pieces of concrete falling on them and no motorists had driven off the side of the bridge without railing to hold them back. However, it the bridge hadn't been inspected and closed, it may have only been a matter of time before a pedestrian death or car crash occurred. 

Also, with the addition of two new, safer bridges, travel between Detroit and Windsor will be much quicker and less congested. While repairing the bridge to bring it up safety standards was the right call, during the time it was closed, traffic barriers limited drivers to a single lane at certain points, causing major traffic congestion. Also, since there are currently only two options to drive between Canada and Michigan, the bridge and tunnel routes tend to be extra congested during daily peak hours and especially on holidays. Plus, no one wants to keep raging Redwings and Maple Leaf fans away from travelling back and forth to hockey games! The problem with any kind of limited mobility is that it leads to aggressive driving and road rage. Aggressive driving and related aggressive driving car crashes and road rage car accidents are a big problem when according to The American Safety Council, 66% of traffic falatilies are casued by aggressive driving. Therefore, the construction of a new Ambassador Bridge and the new Gordie Howe bridge will be welcomed by citizens of Detroit and Windsor alike.


Considering the frequent backups on the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the current Ambassador Bridge, it is about time that another thoroughfare between Canada and Michigan is being built. Soon, Michiganders have the choice between 3 options to commute to Canada. Since 3 travel routes don't completely get rid of traffic congestion however, drivers still need to be on the look out to avoid getting into road rage car crashes or aggressive driving accidents. The attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC are here to help any victims of these and any other types of motor vehicle accidents. We know that the legal process can be hard and are here to fight for you. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today.

Overheated Car? Here's A Few Tips.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

It’s rush hour, the freeway is packed, it's 90 degrees outside and the air conditioning is at full blast in the car. While most drivers are busy complaining about the stop and go traffic, they may not notice their car's temperature gauge edging past the middle line and slowly creeping toward ‘H’. Then the ‘check engine light’ comes on and the driver realizes they didn’t check their fluids last weekend like they were supposed to. Just as this comes to mind, the vehicle begins to lag and stutter and soon smoke plumes began to rise from underneath the hood of the car. Now they are stuck on the side of the road.

How Do Cars Overheat?

There are actually quite a few things that can lead a car to overheat. Luckily however, many of the ways cars overheat are often times fixable and even avoidable. As mentioned above, one way a car can overheat, is if not enough engine coolant is put into the vehicle, causing the remaining fluid to congeal and no longer circulate between the radiator and the engine. When the coolant is unable to circulate, it causes the engine to work harder and burn out. The engine congealed coolant can also form a blockage and prevent the radiator from fairly distributing the heat from the engine. Other possible factors that can cause a blockage are, a build up of inside or outside fluids, the thermostat’s flap refusing to open and close, and even an unknown or forgotten object getting lodged in the cooling system.

A car engine's cooling system is a very temperamental thing that should be kept an eye on, in order to sport potential leaks that can allow air to get inside the system and form a bubble, which in turn causes coolant fluid to be blocked from reaching where it needs to go.

Another leading cause of cars overheating, is a failed water pump. The cooling system inside a car relies on water to keep the vehicle at a reasonable temperature, and without it can lead a car to overheat within minutes.

Overheated Car Tips

With the dog days of summer in full effect, now is the time to brush up on what to do when a vehicle is overheated. Thankfully, AAMCO, an American transmission repair company, has a few tips on how drivers can prevent their car from overheating and what to do in case it does.

Source: GIPHY, Fox Broadcasting Company's  The X-Files

Source: GIPHY, Fox Broadcasting Company's The X-Files

  • “If the air conditioning is on, turn it off and roll down the windows.” Then, turn the car's heat on instead and roll down the windows to reroute some of the heat from the engine.
  • If the car's temperature continues to rise, it’s best to turn on the hazard lights and maneuver the vehicle to a safe area. If the driver feels that the area they are in is not safe, AAMCO assures that a stop and go method until arriving at a safe destination is reasonable, as long as the driver waits long enough for the car to cool a bit before driving onward.
  • Once a driver is in a well lit and safe space, they should take note of any possible smoke rising from the hood of the car and see if the hood feels extremely hot to the touch. This will help them determine if it is safe to open up the hood of the car and proceed to analyze if the engine or the radiator is the issue. However, touching anything is a big no-no until everything has cooled down.
  • It should go without saying that an overheating car should be immediately fixed by a state licensed mechanic in order to prevent possible car fires and accidents. A driver could become anxious and distracted while driving and trying to handle the fact that their car is overheating, causing other drivers to panic or react rashly.
  • It usually takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour for the engine and radiator to cool, after which, the driver can safely proceed to check the engine's coolant to see where the fluid level exactly is. If the coolant seems dangerously low or none seem to be inside, a 50/50 mixture of water and engine coolant is the best way to go.
Overheated Engine Car Accident Lawyer
  • If the engine coolant level seems fine, the next place to look is the hoses. The hoses could have possibly been severed or have a leak. Look around for any puddles of fluid on the ground, and if that help find the leak, listen to see if any fluids are draining from the car.
  • “Restart the car and check the temperature gauges on the dash.” Then, eyeball the temperature gauge to see if it still reads in the red. If not, proceed forward, but if it still reads that the car is hot, turn it off and wait a while for the vehicle to cool. After a while, if the car is still overheating, there are one of two possible explanations-either the temperature gauge is broken or the vehicle needs to be serviced.

Though these tips don't guarantee that inexperienced people will be able to fix an overheating car by themselves, without the help of a licensed professional, they may be good temporary suggestions that drivers can consider while waiting for a professional to come to their aid. At the very least, drives who are concerned that their car is overheated or sense that their motor vehicle is acting up while on the road, should immediately pull over, in order to avoid a car collision, and then call for help. The last thing drivers want is their car to stop in the middle of the highway or an intersection, bringing on the risk of becoming involved in a car accident.


An overheating car is not something to take lightly. Drivers should make sure to service their vehicles regularly, and especially when the 'check engine' light comes on, to prevent future wear and tear on car parts that can hinder a motor vehicle's performance. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney today.  

Driving Road Rage Killing In Ada, Michigan

Road rage is once again to blame for claiming another victim in Ada, Michigan. In October 2016, ex-boxer Christian Hilman, 19, was driving his dirt bike home in front of General Motors retiree William McFarlan, 64, when McFarlan began honking his horn and flashing his lights at Hilman. Finally, Hilman had enough of McFarlan driving behind him and turned into a church parking lot where McFarlan decided to follow him. It is said the two engaged in a heated argument before McFarlan placed his hands on Hilman's neck and the two began to fight. Eyewitnesses say that the fight resulted in “McFarlan collapsing by his pickup truck and Hilman continuing to kick him.” After police were called, Hilman was arrested and McFarlan was rushed to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, including fractured ribs and a fractured skull. Unfortunately, nearly five weeks after the assault, McFarlan passed away due to the severity of his injuries.

Medical malpractice

At first, Hilman would have only faced 10 years in prison with an assault charge, but now in light of McFarlan’s death, Hilman has been charged with murder in the second degree and is facing up to 100 years in prison. “I think just because someone gets angry in a road rage incident, it doesn’t justify assaulting and killing a man,'' said Blair Lachman, Kent County Assistant Prosecutor. However, Michael Bartish, a defense attorney, argues that, “Whatever happened, Mr. McFarlan [followed] Christian into that parking lot...There is no reason for that vehicle to have followed him into that parking lot unless the intent was for a fight.’’ Bartish feels that, Hilman a voluntary manslaughter charge would be more appropriate thatn a second degree murder charge, since the crime occurred in the heat of passion.

Tips To Handle Road Rage

Unfortunately, road rage is starting to become a common behavior on American roadways, due to the increase in the number of motorists on the road, an uptick in aggressive driving maneuvers, and personal factors affecting individual motorists. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC does not condone road rage or aggressive driving behaviors. Neither does DMV.org, who provided the following tips for those drivers who find themselves in driving situations in which they become angry at another driver or another driver engages in aggressive driving behavior towards them.

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  • Maintain your space. This tip does not only refer to keeping enough brake space between cars, but for drivers to do what they need to in order to distance themselves from stressful drivign situations and to remain calm behind the wheel. Playing calming music, a funny podcast, or simply planning ahead for their commute, can prevent drivers from becoming angry.

  • Avoid making eye contact. If the angry driver cannot make eye contact, they will hopefully fume for a moment and continue on their way.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel. Keeping hands busy at 10-and-2 and refraining from making obscene gestures can keep motorists from fanning the flames of anger from other drivers.

  • Show remorse. If a wrong was committed, be the bigger person and correct it by mouthing sorry, waving to the other driver to acknowledge the wrong, or moving out of their way so they can pass.

  • If all else fails - call the police. There may come a time when none of the above tips will help avoid an aggressive driving accident, and the agitated driver may proceed to commit bodily harm to a fellow motorist. In this case, if possible, drivers who find themselves in this situation should pull over and call the police.

Drivers who find themselves engaging in aggressive driving behaviors and have tried bullying someone off the road should remember that acting on violent urges, like what happened between Hilman and McFarlan, can lead to serious consequences. If police catch a driver in the act they could be fined, possibly face prison or jail time, not mention, the aggressive drive will will have to live with a severe assault or a road rage fatality on their conscience.


The altercation between McFarlan and Hilman should serve as a cautionary tale to those who feel they need to teach an aggressive driver a lesson. It is best that the proper authorities handle any road rage incidents, in order to prevent escalating a potential aggressive driving situation. Have you or a loved one been a victim of a road rage car accident? Contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. We know going through the legal process can be scary, but our firm is here to help victims of car accidents every step of the way. 

Elon Musk Announces Approval of Hyperloop Connecting NY to DC

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Elon Musk is certainly not afraid of the spotlight. The business mogul has wowed the nation in the past by taking on ambitious projects such as launching the first recycled rocket, planning to colonize Mars, and attempting to design the safest vehicle that also happens to be electric and affordable to the common citizen. 

As reported by Forbes, the serial entrepreneur has raised eyebrows once again by taking to Twitter last week, to announce that he had received verbal government approval to build a hyperloop below ground, that would connect New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. In the tweet, Musk wrote that the hyperloop will deliver cars between New York and Washington, D.C. in 29 minutes.

The hyperloop is planned to be built by The Boring Company, a Los Angeles based infrastructure and tunneling company, founded by none other than Musk himself. Musk started the company back in 2016 after he began juggling with the idea of building tunnels for travel. The concept, as of now, entails elevators, which look like parking spaces located on the side of roads, that are actually platforms that can carry a vehicle below ground, to the hyperloop rail. These platforms would then deliver the car and its passengers at very high speeds of around 150 mph through the tunnel. In another tweet Musk wrote that each city would have about a dozen platforms built alongside commercial roads.

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The sub-ground hyper rail concept originally stems from Musk’s earlier 2012 vision, of an above ground tube train that he believed would be the future of travel. Musk initially envisioned above ground tubes delivering individuals housed in pods, at speeds close to 700 mph. Hyperloop One, a company also based in Los Angeles, adopted Musk's old idea and has been working to make his vision a reality. The company is looking to commercialize the hyperloop system and allow individuals to travel at the super-speeds for a fraction of the cost.

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Musk’s current vision meanwhile, is focused on below ground travel, transporting people in their own vehicles through underground tunnels, at very high speeds. Musk explains that one of the main reasons this large project is necessary, is to alleviate traffic congestion in large cities. In response to a tweet asking if he is considering adding underground hyperloops in other cities as well, Musk confirms that he is evaluating loops connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a loop for Texas.

There are still more questions about the project than answers. Musk did not specify who gave the verbal approval, however, he did say official approval will be given soon. It has also not been specified how the project will be funded either, which is a quite a looming question given the high cost of tunneling. For example, the Second Avenue Subway built along the East Side of Manhattan cost $4.5 billion to construct just three more stops.

It can't be ignored however, that an underground hyperloop would be an extraordinary innovation in the world of travel. Traffic congestion is an everyday issue that causes delays, and poses potential road rage car crash and pedestrian accident risks. This project would revolutionize how people travel by offering a much faster means of transportation while also greatly reducing traffic in large cities. There are still many questions about the project that Musk will hopefully answer, or tweet about, in the near future. 


Only time will tell if Elon Musk is successful in constructing an underground hyperloop. The underground hyper rail would allow for exceptionally faster transportation between cities, while alleviating traffic congestion. In the meantime however, traffic congestion is still a major problem that can cause stress for drivers and may even lead to road rage car accidents. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a reckless driver or a road rage driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. 

Update: Roseville, Michigan Man Ticketed For Warming Up His Car

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently informed blog readers of an incident that happened last winter when a Roseville, Michigan man left his car running in his driveway with the keys still in the ignition. Nick Taylor Trupiano, 24, was given a $128 ticket that he felt was unfair. He conveyed his upset by posting a picture of the citation and a verbal rant on his Facebook page, on which the Roseville police received unkind remarks. The post led to many other Michigan residents to being concerned on how they could warm up their vehicles in the winter without being charged for endangering the public.  

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Following this incident, Republican Rep. Holly Hughes introduced Bill 4215 that would allow citizens to leave their keys in the ignition while the car is running on private property - at their own risk. The bill passed in the House and Governor Rick Snyder just officially signed it into law on June 28, 2017. It should be noted however that the bill does not allow for citizens to leave their cars unattended and idle while on the freeway, but only on their private property. 

Another piece of legislature that Snyder approved was for drivers to show proof of their vehicle’s registration by phone or another electronic form along with their auto insurance when asked by a police officer. This measure will help those who like the convenience of having their documents on their phone or simply want to be green, by using less paper.

Now with the bill signed into law, many Michigan residents can rest easy when warming up their cars during the colder weather months. While this news may cause citizens of Michigan to rejoice, they should remember that a car that is left running for more than 10 minutes is essentially wasting gas, while polluting the environment, and causing damage to their car's engine. In fact, most people who live in cold areas don't even realize that warming up their car by letting it idle isn't even practical. Global News was informed by Car Help consultant, Mohamed Bouchama, that, “the car warms up much faster when it’s driving than when it’s idling...As long as your windows and mirrors are clear of snow and frost, you’re good to go." In other words, Michiganders should just take the time to start the car, clear the windows, and then drive, this winter. 


Bill 4215 has saved many motorists from being fined for something most believed was perfectly legal. However, motorists should still be careful of leaving their keys in the car where any person passing by could potentially steal the vehicle. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Tips On Driving During Heavy Winds and Storms

A couple of months ago, in February 2017, a semi-truck driving on a highway got caught in high winds and toppled over, landing on top of an unoccupied police cruiser. Fox News reported that the truck driver drove the semi after ignoring a high wind advisory banning commercial vehicles from that particular area of the highway, close to nearby Elk Mountain. Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant Kelly Finn said that wind speeds were close to 70 m.p.h. at the time of the accident.  

While Michigan isn't currently experiencing such a magnitude of winds, forecasts expect thunderstorms for the rest of the week. This week's thunderstorms could deter Michiganders from driving to the beach or relaxing out on the porch. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC would therefore like to take the time to remind Michigan motorists how they can safely drive in severe weather conditions, including high winds and heavy rain. 

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Safety Tips for Driving In High Winds and Storms

In bouts of extreme weather, the first safety precaution drivers can take is to remain in a specific location, such as home, and avoid driving in dangerous situations completely. 

If venturing out into the bad weather is unavoidable, the Defensive Drivers Team suggests that drivers check local weather reports and take note of any high winds, blizzard, flooding, or other extreme weather advisories that have been issued in the areas they plan to drive in.

When driving in a storm, motorists should remember to pay close attention to the road. Drivers may better focus on the road by turning down the radio, silencing or ignoring cell phones, and properly securing any pets in the vehicle so they don't cause a disturbance. Minimizing these distractions keeps drivers alert for instances in which storm debris or trees may be blown into the driver's path. Drivers should also remember to keep their headlights on since storms typically darken the sky. 

In addition, drivers should give large vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractors, RVs, and buses more space, as these vehicles may be more difficult to control in extreme weather. No one can anticipate sudden gusts of wind, so driving slower than normal and making lots of extra space for other motorists on the road may help ensure motorist safety. Drivers should also take safer, local routes and avoid speedy highways, rocky terrain, and routes through infrastructure such as tunnels and overpasses, which can potentially be damaged during storms. 

As for driving in windy weather, head and tail winds, or winds coming from the front and back of a vehicle, are not too difficult to deal with. A slight adjustment in speed or acceleration may allow the driver to compensate for these winds. On the other hand, side winds are the ones that create the most trouble for drivers. If strong enough, these winds can blow a vehicle off course. In the event that a driver finds themselves caught in a side wind, they should remember to not panic or move the car too abruptly if they feel the vehicle being pushed in the other direction, and instead move smoothly and gently to stay on the road. 

Mountainous Road

Tips For Driving In Heavy Rain

High winds and storms also bring precipitation. Heavy rainfall or a large snow melt may cause puddles to form, many with depths too hard to judge from behind the steering wheel. RAC, a British automotive service company, warns, "If it’s clearly too deep for your car, find another way to your destination." Drivers might find themselves in a harrowing position if driving through a puddle that is particularly deep and may cause their car to float. Water can also cause a vehicle to stall or breakdown. It is important to ignore the urge to try and crank the vehicle back to life in order to avoid further damaging the engine. Instead, drivers should wait for a professional to arrive and attend to the vehicle. This might even serve as an alarm for other drivers to follow safety tips to possibly avoid a serious car accident. 

With the looming threat of thunderstorms in Michigan this week, drivers and passengers are encouraged to follow these extreme weather safety tips to stay safe and help prevent an accident like the one which occurred in Wyoming. It is difficult to predict what the sky will do next, but motorists should practice driving safely in extreme weather, in order to reach their destinations before the next lightning bolt hits. 


All motorists could benefit from paying attention to the road and heeding wind and storm advisories this summer. If you or a loved one have ever been in a car accident, caused by extreme weather conditions, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney, today.

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.
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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.

Detroit's Street Lighting Overhaul

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In Detroit, Michigan more than 50 light poles became damaged and were in need of replacement every month due to vehicle collisions. This year alone, two fatal speeding car crashes on Detroit’s westside resulted in death and have respectively caused a damaged utility pole and a split pole. Car vs. pole collisions are one of the leading reasons why the Public Lighting Authority (PLA) worked diligently to replace the streetlights in Detroit. In fact, the streetlight project was one they had been working on since they were formed in 2013, following the Auto Industry Crisis during which the city fell on hard times causing many streetlights to be neglected and longer operating. In addition, during this economic downfall, an estimated 40% of the 80,000 streetlights within the city were scrapped for their metal.

In December 2016, Dr. Lorna Thomas told The Detroit Free Press that, "This is a symbolic project. It stands for the resurgence of Detroit," Thomas said. "They said it couldn't be done."

The symbolic lighting project has replaced over 65,000 streetlights since 2014 with LED light bulbs that save on energy while emitting a brighter light. The PLA also took it upon themselves to upgrade 85%-90% of the lighting systems and wiring to deter vandalism. Since the old lights using copper based wiring, scrappers would strip the light poles of the wiring to sell the copper linings for money. The PLA also hoped to put a stop to theft by changing the wiring to hang overhead instead of in the ground under the light poles.  

Another reason that citizens of Detroit have been pleased by these much needed repairs is because they didn't have to pay for them upfront. The repairs and upgrades were paid for in the form of bonds provided by Citicorp, a New York based banking corporation that agreed to have the money paid back over a 30-year-period, through Detroit’s utility tax.

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The PLA was proud to announce that the lighting project had been completed ahead of time and under budget, at the end of 2016. Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can benefit from better lightning on Detroit roads as a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) attributed 40% of motor vehicle accidents to be the result of intersections that are poorly lit at night. The USDOT says those accidents can be reduced by 35% if streetlights were properly installed at intersections. So, the completion of the project could not come at a better time as the summer weather causes more cars to be on the road late at night. Also, the new and better lighting keeps users of Detroit's new bike share program MoGo, safer if people want to ride bicycles after dark. 

Detroit residents are urged to call 844LIGHT313, if a light in their area needs to be serviced. With Detroit undergoing a revitalization, it is up to the residents to help make sure the city keeps the momentum by making sure streets are lit well enough to potentially prevent crime and car accidents.


The PLA's efforts in redesigning the streetlights could help provide Detroit intersections with much needed lighting to help prevent accidents. In addition to this lifesaver, new streetlights may even deter criminal activity. If you or someone you know have been involved in an auto accident, call the Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our firm is highly experienced in dealing with motor vehicle accidents and will help you identify any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Life-Saving Apps That Prevent Distracted Driving

Over the years, distracted driving has grown to be a major issue on the roadways across America. It is estimated that 660,000 drivers are using an electronic device during any time of the day. The proof of damage that distracted driving can do has been recorded on phones through social media platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat by the very drivers who are engaging in the dangerous act. With so many injuries and tragic deaths that stem from distracted driving accidents, 391, 000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 to be precise, many state governments are revising their laws and punishments for drivers who are caught driving while distracted. Although Michigan has yet to change its law concerning devices that can be used when behind the wheel of a vehicle, for safety purposes, Michigan drivers should consider not using their electronic devices while driving.

Distracted driving

While it's simple to tell drivers to not use their phones or to turn off their phones when operating a motor vehicle, it's also very easy to turn a phone back on or to reactively turn attention away from the road and onto a phone when it signals a notification. That is why it may be beneficial to drivers who own smart phones to download an app that silences all cellular communication when the user is driving. DMV.org has reviewed and suggests a few such apps that can hopefully deter drivers from looking at their phones while driving.  

Out of the several surveyed distracted driving apps, four stood out to DMV.org and were approved by organizations such as Fathers Against Drunk Driving and Mothers Agains Drunk Driving. The apps were chosen because they are compatible on both the Apple iOS and Android systems.

Distracted Driving Prevention Apps

1. LifeSaver

Aptly named, LifeSaver is geared toward stopping drivers enacting distracted driving by utilizing GPS tracking and reward systems. Because the app taps into GPS monitoring, it knows when a driver is on the road and prevents drivers from using their phones. Once the driver arrives at their destination, it will alert loved ones that it is now okay to call and that the driver safely arrived. This app isn't just geared toward parents and teenagers engaging in safe driving habits and related rewards, but commercial businesses as well. 

2. TrueMotion

One of the few free distracted driving apps that are available on both iOS and Android, TrueMotion uniquely utilizes a trip score system. The trip score points out to the user, the moments during the road trip that a driver was driving distractedly and presents an overall rating on the motorists driving. This can then be used to positively change future driving habits.

3. AT&T’s DriveMode

This app blocks any texts and phone calls to completely keep drivers from cellular distraction. It even automatically replies to text messages telling contacts that you are driving if they try to text you.

Also, since most parents control their children's cell phone usage already, parents who are worried about their teen driver can set up the app to alert them when it is not in use and if they are any changes to the settings. One of those helpful settings is that DriveMode can be set to automatically engage once the user's car is going more than 15 mph. This app also allows parents and all users to set up goals and prizes for the number of miles driven safely.

4. Drive Beehive

This app is the official safe driving app of Parents Against Distracted Driving. It creates incentives to promote safe driving by allowing the driver to connect with family, friends, schools, business, and any other responsible sponsor who can set an award for the amount of miles driven safely. 

Apple's iOS 11

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While it is not an app, The Michigan Law Firm blog recently informed readers of a feature of the new Apple iOS11 operating system called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD). Similar to ATT's DriveMode, when DNDWD is in use, the iPhone automatically detects speed when it determines that a user is driving, it proceeds to turn off of cellular communication. The DNDWD function also informs anyone trying to contact the phone that the owner is currently driving and even gives them the options to text the word 'urgent' if it is vital that the iPhone owner be reached. 

In today’s world, phones have become an essential item of everyday life. As useful as they are however, they can also be highly distracting and cause accidents. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds, coincidently the same amount of time people use to glimpse at a text message or to scroll through contacts to make a call. But it's not worth it! As DMV.org says, "Distracted driving accounts for 9 deaths every day—deaths that are completely preventable simply by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel." 


Distracted driving apps exists for a very serious and useful reason - to save lives. If you or a loved have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our firm offers experienced advice on distracted driving accidents and will work to fight for any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Sleep May Help Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries

It has been reported that one of the leading complaints people dealing with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have is that they either cannot get enough sleep, or suffer from insomnia, or that they are constantly sleeping or feel sleepy. So, it comes as a bit of a surprise when a study conducted by the University of Montreal's psychology department found evidence that TBIs and patients' recoveries correlate with sleep patterns. Nadia Gosselin, the study's author, claims that the study shows that if hospitals took more time regulating a sleep routine for a patient diagnosed with a TBI, it could go a long way in their recovery process. Gosselin also adds that, "Making sure patients are exposed to sunlight or its equivalent during the day and at night rest in a dark, quiet environment," TBI patients may be able to maintain a sleep cycle.  

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But First, What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury).  Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions."

Effects TBIs Have On Sleep And Health

Research has proven that when sleep cycles are disrupted, it can have an affect on mood swings, weight, memory, and other consequences. Hence, if someone is losing sleep due to a TBI, other serious health problems can correspondingly occur. Some of the more common diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Additional problems linked to sleep deprivation are a lower libido, depression, and in extreme cases death. This doesn't include health problems that are usually a direct result of having a brain injury such as visual perception, motor function and problems with reading. spelling, and/or speaking. 

Sleep Routines May Help Heal TBIs

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As Gosselin mentioned, setting up a sleep routine tied to the time of day is a good way to get started on resetting the bodies internal clock. Designating a time to wake up to every day and a time to go to bed every night are the simplest ways to set a routine. And by going to bed at least ten minutes ahead of the scheduled time gives the body time to relax to help get to sleep better. It should be noted that eating and drinking drinking alcohol and/or caffeine at least five hours ahead of bed time will also help a person suffering from sleep problems fall asleep easier. Visual stimulants such watching TV, checking email on the laptop, or playing smart phone games, should also be avoided because they can keep the brain busy and essentially signal it to 'stay awake.'

After about 30 minutes of trying to fall asleep and failing to do so, sleep experts recommend that people don't try to force themselves asleep as this can potentially lead to a restless night. Instead, researchers suggest getting out of bed and doing something boring until they feel sleepy. 

Night time isn't the only time a sleeping pattern should be enforced. There are also a few tips that TBI victims can use to stay on track during the day. Staying active through a workout routine during the day is an essential to good sleep. If the body works and tires out during the day, the brain and body are more likely to be susceptible to falling asleep at night. Again, by limit the amount of visual stimulants TBI survivors are exposed, such as smart phone apps, TV shows, and YouTube videos, is also important during the day. If a nap must be had during the day, they should be limited to no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day. Lastly, those dealing with TBIs should increase the amount of time they are outside, especially on days when the sun is out. 

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A cure has yet to be found for some types of traumatic brain injuries, however, most TBIs can be managed through treatments and medications provided through a licensed medical provider. As for prevention of TBIs, the best way to avoid a traumatic brain injury is to take every precaution from getting a head injury. For example, one of the most common ways people suffer from TBIs is by being involved in a car accident. A study conducted by the CDC in 2013, revealed that "Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths (14%). When looking at just TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the third leading cause (19%)."

For the most part, car accidents themselves are preventable since many of them occur due to human error. Though it's easier said than done, by following the rules of the road, by properly wearing seat belts, and by not engaging in distracted driving behaviors, the number of car accidents, and thereby the number of car crash traumatic brain injuries, may decrease. 


Traumatic brain injuries are serious conditions that require time and attention to heal, if they can be healed. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle collision, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. We offer free consultations to car accident survivors so that they are not left in the dark on the legal process under Michigan law. 

90% Of Motorcyclists Killed In 2016 Had No Formal Training

Although May was National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, today, June 19, is International Ride to Work Day. Today, motorcyclists worldwide are celebrating their favorite form of transportation. Motorcycles give a certain freedom and excitement to drivers, unique from other boxed-in vehicles on the road. Add to that the fact that the weather in Michigan is starting to heat up, motorcyclists are starting to increase in number on the roads.

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Unfortunately however, not all motorcycle drivers ride safely, and often motorcycles don't stand a chance of surviving a collision against the giant hunks of metal that are cars and trucks, moving alongside motorcycles on the roads. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, nearly 90% of motorcyclists killed in crashes on Michigan roads last year had no formal training during the last ten years. This is a staggering statistic, especially considering the wide number of training classes available across the state. However, many motorcycle accidents may be preventable if riders receive the proper training these classes provide and an official endorsement. 

Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The Michigan Department of State encourages programs that educate people on the safety of operating a motorcycle. There are multiple types of motorcycle training classes offered, through both public and private organizations, all as part of the Michigan Rider Education Program. And it is not just first-time riders who have the opportunity to take Michigan motorcycle driving classes. Beyond the Basic Rider course for beginners, other classes include: the Three-Wheel Basic Rider course for those who want to learn to ride three-wheel (instead of two-wheel) motorcycles, a Returning Rider Course for experienced drivers looking to refresh previously learned motorcycle skills, and an Advanced Rider course for already endorsed motorcycle drivers who want to brush up their riding skills.

With such a range of training class options, it seems silly for those operating a motorcycle to think they do not need training. Yet, the facts are there. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there was an 8% increase in fatalities from motorcycle crashes, nationally from 2014 to 2015. Obviously, the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents in the United States is only increasing. With many of these deaths being able to be prevented with simple training courses, there is a need for more awareness and exposure regarding these types of classes.
 
Michigan residents are encouraged to check Michigan.gov for the location of nearby motorcycle training classes that have been approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). In addition to taking a motorcycle safety class, motorcyclists may be interested in reading some general safety tips for motorcyclists, that The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously posted.

Michigan Motorcycle Car Crash Lawyer

Inexperienced and unprotected drivers may put themselves in dangerous situations that may lead to serious injuries or death from a motorcycle crash. The training classes the State of Michigan offers may be able to teach proper riding techniques to prevent motorcycle collisions or at the very least inform the rider how to act in such dangerous situations.

There is nothing wrong with a little wind in your hair, as long as one remembers to enjoy motorcycles the safe way. And this International Ride to Work Day, it is especially important to remember that safety comes first when enjoying the celebration of motorcycles.


Motorcyclists face unique safety risks as they are sharing the road with other, much larger vehicles. Special training classes can teach new skills or refresh old techniques, in order to help riders prevent themselves from getting into motorcycle accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Obesity Is A Factor In Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

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. 

Dangerous Takata Air Bag Inflators Are Still On The Market

Since early 2015, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog has informed and kept readers updated on the Takata air bag scandal, in which faulty air bag inflators exploded, either randomly or when deployed in car accidents, when the chemical propellant inside degraded. In the latest news, it was discovered that the government overlooked a glaring error while attempting to rid vehicles of defective Takata air bags when they came to an agreement back in January, 2107. Under federal law it is completely legal for junkyards to sell previously or currently recalled and other wrecked vehicle parts to repair shops that later can be placed into other cars. The transaction is easy to do since there isn't a government agency that currently tracks the purchases, nor a state that has laws against the reuse of recalled vehicle parts. This means that faulty Takata air bags have been sold from junkyards and repurposed in cars that people are currently driving.

Faulty Air Bag Accident Lawyer

How To Avoid Buying A Faulty Car

A reused faulty air bag is the reason why Karen Dorado suffered from a punctured trachea, neck injuries, and damaged vocal cords after getting in a minor car crash on March 3, 2017. Dorado’s father bought her a Honda Accord so that she would have reliable transportation to get her back and forth to work and was unaware, at the time, of the car’s history. This history includes a car accident in Phoenix, Arizona in 2015 that declared the vehicle to be totaled and was later salvaged, repaired, and sold in Las Vegas on March 2016. The inflator however, was traced to a 2001 Accord that had been under recall, but had yet to be serviced and must have been stolen or replaced by a junkyard that sold it to the shop that repaired Dorado’s Honda Accord. 

Dorado is only one of almost 200 people injured or killed by the faulty Takata inflators. To avoid getting into car accidents in tricky situations such as Dorado's it is recommended that anyone who is looking to purchase a vehicle first check it's complete purchase and repair history. Auto history trackers like Carfax or AutoCheck are resourceful sites that research the history of used vehicles so that potential buyers will have an idea of any problems they could possibly be inheriting by purchasing a used vehicle.

Takata's Air Bag Buy Back Program

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Takata now has a program in place that will buy up any of their air bags to take them out of circulation. In fact, Takata has already purchased around 60,000 of them. However, this still doesn’t prevent future buyers of used or salvaged cars from potential danger even when searching the car's VIN number on websites like the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is only allowed to monitor reported vehicles and not car parts, whether they are reported or not. An NHTSA spokeswoman admitted as much to the L.A. Times stating that, “The federal government has no authority over used car sales and cannot stop air bags from being resold.”

Acting director of the Center for Auto Safety Michael Brooks, said,

“People should be suspicious of cars with salvage titles because there is no way of knowing where the parts came from or the quality of the repair work. Although some are safe, stolen or counterfeit parts can be used.”

Update On The Takata Air Bag Scandal

On January 13, 2017 Federal Detroit prosecutors announced that a settlement was reached with Takata over their defective air bag inflators that would cause debris to explode upon impact. The settlement agreement includes Takata pleading guilty to wire fraud, paying $1 billion in criminal penalties, and the indictment of 3 former Takata executives, Shinichi Tanaka, 59; Hideo Nakajima, 65; and Tsuneo Chikaraishi, 61. Roughly $125 million of the fine is going to go to those who were injured by the air bag - if they haven't received a separate settlement - while $850 million will go to automakers who have incurred debt over replacement costs for the air bags. Takata was also ordered to recall the almost 100 million air bags, in phases, which should be completed by the end of 2019.

Drivers are encouraged to make sure their vehicle has been recently serviced in order to prevent serious injuries and death resulting from the Takata air bag inflators. Future car buyers who may be purchasing a used car or salvaging a current one should be vigilant in making sure that the car parts are purchased from a state approved auto shop. At the very least, any one in the used car buying market should should look up the history of their car's parts.


Although, Takata is now compensating families for their loss, it comes a little too late for those who have lost a loved one due to their negligence. Now, the horror continues through sales of salvaged parts that is completely legal under federal law. If you or someone you know was injured due to faulty air bags or any other recall defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. today. We will work hard to earn you any compensation you may be entitled to.

New Apple Technology Seeks to Break Bad Driving Habits

Distracted Driving Car Accident Attorney

Do-do-do! Your iPhone goes off from the car's cup holder signaling a text message. You pick it up to read it while simultaneously switching to the far left lane on the freeway and speeding up. It’s your best friend. The text says that he needs to call you right now to talk about last night's episode of The Walking Dead. You turn down the radio and dial his number as you grab a fry out of your McDonald's bag and stuff it into your mouth. With both hands off the wheel, you accidentally serve into the lane to your right. The car behind you and the car to your right honk! You abruptly drop your phone and use both hands to get back in your lane. Now you hear your phone ringing but it's lodged in the space between your seat and the center console. You sigh and try to fish it out while driving singlehandedly.

Sound familiar?

This is what it is like to drive distracted - something many of us have done but hate to admit. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that, daily there are about 660,000 drivers who use their cell phones while driving. The constant need to multi-task and the busy work life of hundreds of thousands of Americans endanger the safety of everyone on the road.

Therefore, as technology continues to develop, companies are being challenged to develop products that are not only new and improved, but that keep individuals safe while driving. Many cars already have wireless programs that allow drivers to talk on their phone or respond verbally to text messages without having to take their eyes of the road or their hands off the wheel. However, cell phones are still easy to check and within reach of the steering wheel, making cell phone usage while driving a lethal combination.

Michigan Distracted Driving Car Crash

Apple’s latest software, iOS 11, has been created with these distracted drivers in mind. Its newest feature, called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD), is designed to prevent people from checking their phones while driving a car. Engadget tried out the new software and explained that the program uses Bluetooth or WiFi doppler effect to determine how fast a phone's user is moving. If an iPhone user is moving at high speeds, like those achieved while riding in a car, a blank screen will appear if the user tries to use the phone, in order to shield drivers from the constant flow of notifications and alerts. There is however an option to disable DNDWD when the program prompts users to say whether or not they are the drivers, thereby allowing passengers in moving cars to freely use their mobile devices.

The feature also has the capability to auto-reply to text messages, telling your phone contacts that you are driving and will view their messages when you reach your destination. There is even an option to customize certain contacts, allowing them to text back “urgent” to have their text message come through even if Do Not Disturb While Driving is on. Obviously, this feature is only intended to be used in case of emergency. While no software can prevent complete distraction, iOS 11 is Apple’s way of making iPhones safer for drivers. These efforts may dramatically decrease distracted driving.

Source: GIPHY, FX's  Louie

Source: GIPHY, FX's Louie

One demographic that can definitely benefit from DNDWD is teenagers. Teens are the largest age group reported to have engaged in distracted driving behavior when involved in fatal car crashes. Young people also make up the majority of smartphone users in the United States. With DNDWD, Apple has discovered an easy way to save the lives of many of its teenage iPhone users, even marketing the idea of safe driving as “cool.”

Teens aside, distracted driving is not something for adults to take lightly either. Distracted driving may lead to serious injuries and death from car collisions in any age group. Alarmingly, 3,477 people were killed by distracted driving accidents in 2015 alone. Parents need to lead by example for their children, who may make the excuse that “Mom does it,” to use their phone while driving. In some states, it is against the law to text, talk on the phone, or participate in other distractions while driving. Yet time and time again, adult drivers pick up their cell phone while also driving on the road. Citizens of Michigan are especially guilty of this action since cellphone usage while driving is not illegal in Michigan. By utilizing Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, drivers of all ages, Michiganders included, have even less of an excuse to drive distracted and are encouraged to choose to be safe rather than sorry.

Aside from any emergency situations, most motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving are completely avoidable. The next time you drive, consider the serious and deadly consequences of driving while distracted. Pick your radio station before leaving the driveway, save the snacks for the dinner table, do your makeup and shave in a bathroom mirror, and keep your pet securely fastened away from the driver. Most importantly and most easily, keep your phone in the back seat, in a purse or bag, or just simply turn it off. If a phone must be kept on, use programs designed for your safety, such as DNDWD, to help break the bad habit of checking every text, game notification or Instagram post, while driving. Explaining to the ER doctor that you wrapped your car around a tree because you needed an update on the Tigers game is not fun.

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com


Distracted driving is a constant threat to drivers and passengers. Cell phones are a common form of distraction, taking driver's eyes, hands, and ears off the road, possibly leading to a car crash. If you or someone you know has been been the victim of a motor vehicle collision caused by distracted driving, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our firm offers free consultations for those who need assistance in navigating their legal options while recovering from their car accident injuries.