9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

Just as Michiganders started to get their hopes up believing that this year’s winter may be mild, the state was hit with a snow storm yesterday and is expecting subzero temperatures today. Governor Gretchen Whitmer even declared a state of emergency, stating, “Keeping Michiganders safe during this stretch of dangerously cold temperatures is our priority. Such widespread, extreme conditions have not occurred in Michigan for many years and it is imperative that we are proactive with record-low temperatures being predicted by the National Weather Service. Wind chills are predicted as low as 50 degrees below zero in many places, such as metro Detroit which is especially unaccustomed to these temps.”

Since humans can’t hibernate in the winter, it’s important for people to know how to drive in snowy, icy, and freezing temperature so that they can get to work, the grocery store, the hospital, Zumba, or wherever else they have to go. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog shared a vehicle safety to-do list from The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) that informs drivers of vehicle maintenance they should peform before heading out on winter roads. However, just as it’s important to know what to do, it’s also important to know what not to do when it comes to winter vehicle safety. Weather.com has collected some advice for drivers regarding some winter vehicle maintenance mistakes that can hurt a car rather than help it.

9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

1. Forgetting to Change the Windshield Wipers

Changing the windshield wipers is one of the easiest items to forget when it comes to car maintenance. See the streaks your wipers are leaving on the window? Pep Boys says, "the trick is changing your wipers as soon as they don't clear the windshield well." Windshield wipers are vital to your safety on the road; better wipers mean better visibility. 

2. Warming the Car for Too Long

Climbing into a freezing car is not fun, so many resort to starting the vehicle and letting it warm up before they leave for the day. This is viable for a couple minutes; however, engines are not designed to idle for long periods of time. According to AutoBlog, idling for too long causes buildup on the spark plugs, rendering them less efficient. This may be bad news for your wallet, too, as it wastes gas. 

3. Continuing to Use Summer Tires When Winter Hits

Many who live in cities that rarely see snowfall neglect changing their tires for the appropriate season. Summer tires begin experiencing faulty performance when the temperature falls below 44.6 °F, Giti Tires says. A thin layer of ice on the road can weaken summer tires, leading to poor handling and braking. 

4. Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

Tires tend to be a bigger issue in the winter due to compressed air that cooler weather brings. CarInsuranceQuotes.net notes that the pressure in your tires is reduced by one PSI every 10-degree drop in the temperature. It may be a good idea to keep an emergency maintenance kit in the car and include a portable air pump and pressure gauge. 

5. Failing to Protect the Dashboard

It may be cold outside, but the sun is just as intense as it is in the summer. If you park in the sunlight, you may see the color of the dashboard fade, and the material may crack or blister. AutoBlog suggests keeping a cardboard sunshade in the trunk for days when the sun is bright and likely to cause damage. 

6. Keeping Up with the Amount of Gas in Your Car

During the winter months, it's better to fill up frequently as a near-empty tank can cause problems. CNN Money reports the moist air in an empty tank can freeze and crystallize, leading to ice in the fuel lines. 

7. Pouring a Bucket of Hot Water on the Windshield for Deicing 

The temperature difference between the scalding water and your freezing car may crack your windshield. Remember that rock that put a lovely crack in the glass yesterday? The hot water will work its way in there and expand, creating a problem you don't want to see. Instead, go for the old fashioned way: the ice scraper. 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

8. Slamming on the Brakes and Overcorrecting When You Hit a Patch of Ice

This may put you on the front page of local newspapers after you cause an accident involving several cars. If you slam on your brakes, you're almost guaranteed to spin out of control and into traffic or the guardrail. To avoid a costly accident, stay calm, gently turn the steering wheel in the direction you are sliding and lightly tap the brake. 

9. Speeding in Snowy Conditions 

Yes, even the most experienced drivers can falter in their winter driving skills. Overconfidence in one's abilities can be detrimental and end up causing a serious crash. Black ice may be lurking beneath that fresh coat of snow, and if you're speeding, it all goes downhill from there. Keep your speed steady and drive below the speed limit when roads are icy or the threat of ice is possible.

Extreme winter weather does a great job of ruining vehicles on its own, without needing help from human error. It’s easier on the wallet to take care of vehicle maintenance before the car inconveniently breaks down or doesn’t start, or before poor vehicle conditions causes a car crash.


Car maintenance bills in the hundreds are easier to stomach than medical and legal bills in the thousands. Many winter car crashes may be avoidable if the right winter vehicle maintenance is performed. But for victims of those winter weather car accidents that occur anyway, the car crash attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC are available to help ease the burden of being involved in a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan car accident lawyer, call 844.4MI.FIRM today.

(Legally) Get High But Don't Drive

Michigan Marijuana Lawyer

On November 8, 2018, Michiganders made some sweeping changes in the Great Lakes state when they went out to the polling stations. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected Governor, hourly minimum wage was increased from $10 in 2019 to $12 in 2022, and legislative district lines will be re-drawn! Also, an awesome number of women were elected to the US Senate, US House, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan House of Representatives, and for the first time in Michigan history, all of the top Michigan offices of Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General!

Perhaps the most controversial and astonishing result of this election was the victory of Proposal 1, the legalization of marijuana, with a 56% - 44% margin! As such, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana. But before people start to search Google Maps for the nearest hydroponic shop or post pictures of themselves lighting up on Facebook or Instagram, they should know that it may be a few years until they can commercially grow or purchase marijuana. While smoking marijuana is now legal, residents likely won’t be able to legally buy recreational marijuana until early 2020.

It should be clarified however, that Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, so the proposal that just passed governs, “the personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.” So, what does adult recreational use of marijuana entail? Well, The Detroit Free Press discusses the new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

Michigan’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

  • Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.

  • Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.

  • Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

While many are celebrating this new legislation, Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana may have negative consequences. Marijuana legalization may result in increased crime, abuse of the substance, and even more car accidents. A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, which have legalized recreational marijuana, were associated with a 6% increase in collision claims compared with 5 neighboring states that did not legalize the drug. According to the study, “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, “results from simulator studies suggest that consuming marijuana increases lane weaving behavior and interferes with drivers’ ability to maintain a constant headway.”

Michigan has already been seeing some marijuana car crashes. On January 20, 2019, a driver under the influence of marijuana crashed into a parked Michigan State Police trooper who was responding to an accident on I-75. According to a local report, the 26-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and was taken to the hospital for a blood test. The driver admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and was issued a DWI.

With new laws come new responsibilities. Michigan drivers should know that the legalization of recreational marijuana doesn’t mean they can get high and drive. Most people know better than to drive under the influence of alcohol, so since marijuana is a psychoactive drug, they should know better than to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving while impaired under the influence of any drug can cause car accidents! In fact, other states that have legalized marijuana have seen an increase in the number of marijuana car accidents, so there may be an increase in Michigan marijuana car accidents soon. And instead of calling a lawyer to get them off of a drug charge, Michigan marijuana smokers may soon be seeking marijuana car crash legal representation.


People typically don’t call attorneys for good reasons. Being hit by a driver under the influence of marijuana, or worse, being the impaired driver who causes a car accident, is a terrible circumstance in which to call a lawyer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC recognizes that calling a lawyer and dealing with a marijuana car accident case can be a tough process. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with all types of car crash cases and help clients make the legal process as easy as possible. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan marijuana lawyer, call us at 844.4MI.Firm.