Holiday Season Causes More Drunk Driving Accidents

It is almost impossible to separate Christmas and New Years from drinking alcohol. From spiced wine, spiked punch, and brandied eggnog at holiday parties, to beer while watching football on New Year's day, almost every holiday event has a corresponding alcoholic beverage. And while it is, of course, fun to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, with a drink or two, often times figuring out how to safely get home from those parties is overlooked. The winter holiday season is therefore unfortunately notorious for seeing a spike in drunk driving accidents, as too many people drunkenly get behind the wheel after their holiday celebrations.

Detroit Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more people are likely to die in alcohol related crashes during the holidays than at any other time of year. During Christmas and New Year's, 2 to 3 times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during comparable time periods during the rest of the year. During this time period, alcohol causes 40% of traffic fatalities, as compared to just 28% during the rest of December.

Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in December of 2015, drunk driving resulted in 840 deaths. Also in that month, drunk driving accidents were 4 times more likely to occur at night as opposed to during the day. In Michigan alone, the Michigan State Police reported that there were 5 fatal crashes and 6 fatalities on Christmas day in 2016. On New Year’s Eve 2016 and New Year’s Day 2017, there were 9 fatal accidents and 11 fatalities. In all of these car accidents, alcohol and lack of seat belt use were factors that lead to car accident fatalities.

Making matters worse, there is a significant increase in traffic during the holidays, putting more people at risk of being involved in any type of car accident, let alone a drunk driving car accident. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the amount of long distance road trips taken increased by 23% during Christmas and New Year’s as compared to the rest of the year. People travel, on average, 275 miles to visit friends and family over the holidays, with about half of travelers completing their trips in one day, without spending any nights away.  So many people on the road means heavier traffic, and more people at risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s fall on a different day of the week each year, making traffic patterns more difficult to predict.

When consuming alcohol at holiday parties, drivers often don't realize just how drunk they are, and think they are OK to drive. When alcohol is consumed, skills that pertain to driving (such as concentration, and decision making) are diminished more quickly than some of the more obvious signs of drunkenness take to set in. Even though alcohol may not initially change the drinker's behavior, anyone who imbibes alcohol may still be impaired. Alcohol slows reaction times, makes it tough to control behavior, and may even amplify aggression. When large quantities of alcohol are consumed, speech can be slurred and drinkers may feel a loss of balance and drowsiness. All of these symptoms of drinking can impair driving abilities, and a person experiencing drunk driving behavior has no business being behind the wheel.

Michigan Winter Car Crash Lawyer

If you find yourself enjoying an alcoholic beverage this holiday season, call an Uber or take the bus home. Better yet, if you know you'll be drinking ahead of time, prearrange a ride.  If you're spending the holidays with a group of people who will all be partaking in alcoholic beverages, select a designated driver. These are all ways in which you may be able to reduce the likelihood of causing a drunk driving accident. And if you see someone who is drunk at a party, HuffPost has the following tips for helping prevent a drunk driver from taking the wheel.

Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention Tips

  • If someone is noticeably impaired, take away their keys.

  • Remind drunk people that police often set up more drunk driving checkpoints during holidays (although this is illegal in Michigan, so it may only work if you are out of state).

  • Set ground rules, such as a person cannot start drinking until they have turned over their keys

  • Find out who at the party does not drink, and assign them as designated drivers.

  • If you’re at a family party with teenagers, hire them out to “babysit” the adults by driving them home.

So, if you have a drink or two during holiday festivities, keep in mind that  no matter how quickly you think you can sober up, or if you’re the "least drunk" person at the party, anyone who has been recently consuming multiple alcoholic drinks is not suitable to drive. There are plenty of options available to make sure a drunk person does not operate a vehicle. While you can’t guarantee you won’t be involved in an automobile accident, you can guarantee that you will not be the one to call an accident attorney and admit to driving drunk.


Drunk driving is never OK, but alcohol-related accidents are unfortunately common during the holiday season. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let us handle the legal issues while you focus on recovering. 

Drivers Should Be Prepared for Heavy Christmas Traffic

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and for many of us, that means hitting the road and driving to visit friends and family. Time Magazine reported that approximately 100 million Americans travel between December 23 and January 3, and a whopping 90% of those travelers travel by car. That means traffic-a lot of traffic, and all of over the span of only a couple of days! And when more cars are on the road, it means car collisions are more likely to happen.

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It should be noted that Christmas traffic patterns are much harder to predict than Thanksgiving traffic patterns. Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday every year, making traffic flow on the days leading up to and after the holiday, pretty predictable, since it’s the same day of the week each year. Christmas, on the other hand, falls on a different day each year, making traffic more difficult to forecast. When the holiday falls in relation to the weekend, as well as when schools start winter break, can vary year to year and will impact travel days and traffic patterns. That being said, Waze, a navigation app, has released travel data from years past to help forecast what traffic will be like this year.

Since Christmas falls on a Monday this year, it is likely that Friday, December 22nd, will be the worst travel day. Specifically, traffic will be the heaviest between 3 PM and 6 PM when people start leaving work, but roads will be more congested than usual starting as early as 11 AM. In years past, Christmas Eve has also been a pretty heavy travel day. However since Christmas Eve is a Sunday this year, it's likely that many people will begin their travel on Friday or Saturday, and Christmas Eve traffic won't be as heavy as it's been in years past. Like Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day is the best day to travel, as traffic is at its lightest, and mimics weekend traffic patterns. Regardless of when your holiday travel plans are, it's important to be alert, as traffic flow probably won't be the same as it is on a normal day.

Waze’s data in regard to what destinations people are searching for on Christmas Eve likely won’t come as much of a surprise. Places of worship were by far the most searched for destination, seeing a 148% increase in searches. Before they go to church though, drivers appear to be running some last minute errands or trying to catch a flight. Grocery stores, restaurants, shopping areas, and airports all saw increases in number of searches as well, with most people making their drives between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you can, try and complete any urgent or last minute errands before Christmas Eve, and save yourself from a potential highway standstill!

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When it comes to returning home after Santa has made his visit, traffic is more spread out over a few days. Historically, December 27th has been the worst day in terms of return traffic. But since Christmas falls on a Monday this year, drivers' return trips will largely depend on what day of the week they need to be back at work. This means that there will likely be more variation as to what days people are heading home. Based on data from 2016, waiting to return home until the 28th, as opposed o the 27th, resulted in lighter traffic.

Sitting in traffic may not bring much holiday cheer, but it is an unavoidable part of traveling over the holidays. If you can plan your travel to avoid the most congested times, you may be able to avoid the worst of the gridlock. Also by avoiding traffic, you may be able to avoid expressing and being on the receiving end of aggressive driving behaviors. Road rage car accidents are often prevalent during rush hour, and are like to be worse at a time when millions of people are running late to Christmas dinner. 

If you do find yourself traveling at one of the more popular travel times, know that your drive to Grandma and Grandpa's house is probably going to take longer than usual. Allow yourself extra time to get where you need to be, and let friends and family know that traffic may make you a little late. No one likes sitting in traffic, but it's a part of the deal when it comes to holiday travel, and no holiday can be happy when a loved one has been injured in a car accident.


Heavier traffic which can lead to road rage and aggressive driving, combined with winter weather conditions, means that there may be many car crashes this holiday season. If you or a loved one become injured in a car crash due to aggressive driving, distracted driving, road rage, or winter weather, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

Beware Of Traffic Light Camera Ticketing

With the holiday season fast approaching, thousands of Michiganders will do doubt be travelling to see their families or even to take a winter vacation. While many may choose to fly, driving is also a popular travel method to reach nearby destinations. While roadtrippers are crossing between states, they need take into consideration any differences in state road laws, particularly at intersections. Unlike Michigan, the Detroit News says 23 other states use automated ticket cameras to fine drivers unaware that they are being filmed for breaking the law. 

Michigan Out of State Traffic Ticket Lawyer

Privatized traffic law enforcement systems are growing in number throughout the United States, but Michigan has yet to follow the trend. The fact that Michigan hasn't followed suit may be for the best since many states have had negative experiences, and even scandals arise from the use of ticketing cameras. While traffic cameras were designed to make drivers follow road rules, since even just seeing a camera causes motorists to slow down, this is the exact reason they also caused trouble when drivers are ticketed after driving through an intersection during the “dilemma zone." The dilemma zone refers to the time frame in which a driver has to make a split-second decision to proceed through or slam on their brakes to stop, when a traffic light has just turned red.

Additionally, a study conducted in Los Angeles, California highlighted how red-light cameras led to an increase in traffic accidents, predominantly rear-end car crashes from drivers slamming on their brakes after seeing the camera's flash. This study led to many cities in California to break their contractual agreement with the traffic camera companies and even discover that one city's police department purposely stopped recording the information received from the traffic cameras in order to hide the results.

The scandals occurring in other states who use ticketing cameras at intersections include companies bribing local officials, automated ticket companies refusing to use the money acquired through traffic citations for public school funding, and privately owned ticket operation companies placing profit over traffic safety by setting ticket quotas.

It is for all of these problems with traffic cameras that Michigan Senator Mike Shirkey introduced Senate Bill 593 in November 2015. The bill suggests banning the use of unmanned traffic monitoring devices to detect or enforce traffic violations concerning speed limits, signals, traffic signs, etc. 

Shirkey has said, “The recent scandals that took place in other states (related to ticketing cameras at intersections) show the true nature of some of these programs, and Michigan drivers have always, thankfully, valued freedom and we've avoided the added stress that cameras and their inaccurate ticketing can present.”

Michigan Traffic Ticket Lawyer

For now, Michigan residents can rest easy that the traffic cameras currently in place at select intersections across the state are simply there to monitor the flow of traffic. That doesn’t mean however, that drivers should disobey traffic signs or forget the laws of the road. Police can and will issue traffic citations which may be difficult to fight in court and may lead to points being added to a motorist's license, no matter if the ticket is received out-of-state or in-state.

Although some Americans relate traffic cameras to sinister government objectives such as increasing tax rates and invading citizens privacy, and point to the above mentioned scandals as proof, these state governments view traffic cameras as a safety addition to their city which keeps down traffic violations and keeps school zones safe. So, when you're driving to Bubbe's house for Hannukah this year, mind your speed or traffic cameras won't mind giving you a speeding ticket. It's better to eat cold latkes than have to explain to your Michigan accident Lawyer that you got rear-ended in Ohio when you slammed on your brakes at a traffic light that took your picture for speeding. 


Red light cameras and speeding ticket cameras seem to be a reasonable safety measure for many American lawmakers who are working to help decrease and prevent auto accidents and traffic violations. While Michigan doesn't employ cameras to catch speeding or rule breaking drivers, Michigan drivers should always remember to follow the rules of the road to avoid getting in trouble with the law and to avoid getting into motor vehicle accidents. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

Holiday Shopping Means Heavier Traffic

With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, family gatherings, and office holiday parties rapidly approaching, more and more Americans are going to be heading to the mall to do some shopping. As much as we tell ourselves the holidays aren’t about the gifts, Americans spend a lot of time and money each year buying presents for others (and quite possibly themselves). In fact, Fortune reported that holiday sales exceeded $1 trillion in 2016. And when that many people are heading to the mall, it not only means long checkout lines, but long traffic lines as well.

While Black Friday, which took place on November 24, 21017 is often thought of as the pinnacle of holiday shopping days, according to ShoppingTrak, Saturday, December 23, 2017, is a close second. While December 23rd may seem like an arbitrary date, the last Saturday before Christmas is known in retail as Super Saturday, because shoppers are finishing up finishing up their gift purchases or have left all of their shopping until the last minute. According to Fortune, 155.7 million people went shopping on Super Saturday in 2016. By the time Super Saturday rolls around, it is likely too late to be placing any online orders, so shoppers must go to the store. Rounding out the top five shopping days of the year are December 16, 2017, (the second to last Saturday before Christmas) December 26, 2017 (presumably when people are making returns and exchanges), and November 25, 2017 (the day after Black Friday).

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With millions of people going shopping on Super Saturday, and really throughout all of December, traffic near malls and shopping centers is going to be worse than usual. Whether you’re a shopper trying to get in on the action, or someone who finds themselves in the unfortunate position of living or working near a big shopping area, the traffic will be hard to miss. Parking lots will be chaotic, highway exits will be backed up, and more pedestrians than usual will be on the streets. And no matter how much you love the holidays, sitting in traffic can be frustrating, to say the least. So, to keep tempers down, driving school Aceable has some tips on to how drivers can avoid road rage when stuck in shopping traffic, and what to do should you find yourself in a motor vehicle accident with an aggressive driver.  

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage

  • Most road ragers are usually dealing with some sort of emotional crisis, so if your girlfriend or boyfriend just broke up with you (or got unpleasant news from your doctor, or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed), be extra careful when you get behind the wheel. Give yourself some time to defuse before getting behind the wheel.

  • Expect other drivers to make mistakes and remember that everyone is human. You’ll be less freaked out when they do.

  • Be predictable. Always check your blind spots and use your signals when you change lanes so you don’t turn anyone else into a road rager. Checking all the views around your vehicle and being a considerate driver should help with preventing road rage.

  • If it’s rush hour or you find yourself in a traffic jam due to an accident, listen to music and just come to terms with the fact that you’re going to run late. It’s okay. No need to be inconsiderate to drivers around you by making obscene gestures at people trying to merge into your lane.

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What To Do If You Enconter Road Rage

  • Avoid mad motorists, if at all possible. Ain’t nobody got time for that negative energy.

  • Don’t feed the trolls. If you try to speed up to pass an angry driver or prevent them from merging in your lane, it only makes things worse and can put your life in danger! Let them pass and leave plenty of room between you and that grump.

  • If an angry driver gives you the finger or makes another obscene gesture, be a grown up and ignore it. Such gestures have gotten people physically attacked many times. Um, no thanks.

  • Honk that horn only if you really have to for defensive driving purposes… like if a driver is merging into your lane and doesn’t appear to see you. Don’t use your horn if you’re simply annoyed because you’re sitting in traffic. We’re all in the same boat … er, car. Honking your horn is meant to be used to alert other drivers, not to scold them. Take the high road, engage in polite driving.

  • Don’t be afraid to report aggressive drivers to the authorities. You could save a life and prevent road rage from causing a bigger issue.

  • If you see a driver with road rage get into an auto accident, be cautious about approaching the vehicle and driver. Stop a safe distance away from them, then call the police to report the incident. Aggressive drivers can be unpredictable and it’s important to keep yourself safe

  • If an aggressive driver starts following you, don’t go home. Call the police and drive to the nearest police station. You don’t want to become the victim of a road rage attack.

While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, sitting in traffic, especially when you're trying to get last minute shopping done, can be anything but. No one likes sitting in traffic when they could be doing literally anything else, but no one likes getting in automobile accidents either. When shopping on Super Saturday, or doing any other holiday shopping this season, know that the mall is going to be busy, and things will likely be moving more slowly than usual. Remain calm, put on some holiday music, and remember that the holidays don’t last forever. Soon your Saturdays will consist of more than just sitting in mall traffic, and you won't be spending your time dealing with accident attorneys, insurance companies, and body shops, since you avoided getting into an aggressive driving car crash. 


Sitting in traffic can be frustrating, but it's important to not let that frustration get the best of you, and result in unsafe aggressive driving behaviors, which can lead to road rage car accidents. If you become the victim of an aggressive driving car accident, talk to an experienced accident lawyer at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

How To Get Vehicles Ready For Winter Driving

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With winter here and snow on the way, and knowing Michigan's reputation for brutal winters, it’s important for citizens of Michiganders to make sure their cars are prepared for winter driving. Just as people spend extra time layering on jackets and gloves and scarves, extra time needs to be taken to prepare cars for colder temperatures as well.

Since we can’t control the weather, and we really can’t control how other people drive in it and what winter car accidents may occur as a result, we need to be in control of how well taken care of our vehicles are. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted an analysis of critical reasons for motor vehicle accidents, problems related to the vehicle accounted for 44,000 accidents over the span of two years. While this may not seem like a lot when compared to accidents caused by human error, there are more preventative measures that can be taken when it comes to vehicle-related causes to make them avoidable. And while winterizing your car won’t necessarily keep drivers out of any automobile accidents over the coming the months, it can help to ensure that your car runs as smoothly as possible in colder temperatures.

Of those 44,000 accidents, tires and wheels, along with brakes, were the biggest culprits in causing car crashes. Steering, suspension, transmission, and engine-related problems all accounted for a smaller percentage of the automobile accidents. All of these car parts, regardless of how many car accidents they may cause, are aspects that driver’s should pay extra attention to as the winter season is nearly in full swing. DMV.org suggests the following tips for getting your vehicle ready for winter driving.

How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Coolant: It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual for information on this mixture. Pick up a tester at an auto parts store and make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line.

Oil: Some mechanics recommend switching to a thinner oil if you live where temperatures drop below freezing. Your best bet is to consult your owner's manual or talk to your mechanic.

Wiper Fluid: Often overlooked, you'll need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear.

Inspect or Replace Your Tires: Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction

Snow Tires: Mounting the right tires on your car or truck can give you a huge advantage when trekking through snow. Many car makers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. If you don't swap all four, the difference between snow and summer tires can cause other problems for your vehicle.

Cold Weather & Battery Capacity: It isn't only your engine that doesn't like to start in the winter. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter.

Pack an Emergency Kit: Items to include in your winter safety kit include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, hat, bag of kitty litter or sand, ice scraper and brush, small shovel, safe and leak-proof container of coolant, and snacks.

Michigan Ice Car Accident Lawyer

This list for winterizing a car is extensive and may seem a little overwhelming, but properly maintaining your car is a part of being a car owner, and is especially important in the winter months to help avoid getting into winter weather car accidents. While no amount of preparation can guarantee your car won’t break down or that you won't be involved in a motor vehicle collision, it can help prevent things that are easily avoidable. Winterize your car, take extra precautions when driving in winter weather conditions, and be prepared for a heavy holiday traffic this winter. It may not feel like it, but winter won’t last forever, and clear, sunny driving conditions will be back soon!


Winter driving is inherently more dangerous than driving during other times of the year. With snow, sleet, and ice already complicating driving over the next few months, the last thing drivers need is an easily preventable vehicle malfunction that makes them careen into a ditch or get into a motor vehicle accident. If you get injured in a car crash this winter, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. 

Police Pull Over Vehicle Transporting Giant Christmas Tree

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Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, our attention turns to Christmas. And kicking off the Christmas season usually means heading out and picking out the perfect Christmas tree. Chopping down the tree provides for some great photo ops, and decorating the tree often calls for Christmas music and hot chocolate. But the in between time - getting the tree home - is possibly the most crucial part of the process, but often doesn’t get as much attention. Transporting your Christmas tree safely is crucial not only to keep the tree in good shape, but also for keeping everyone on the road safe.

One driver learned the importance of Christmas tree travel safety the hard way. According to local news outlets, police in Massachusetts pulled over a vehicle that was transporting a mammoth sized Christmas tree. The tree was spilling over the roof of the vehicle, with the vast majority of the vehicle not even visible. In a now viral Facebook post that's been shared thousands of times, the local police department stated that “Sudbury PD would like to remind you to transport your Holiday trees responsibility.” The incident occurred on Route 20, about 25 miles west of Boston. It’s unclear if the driver actually received a citation, or just a warning.

The danger in transporting a large tree on top of a car should be obvious. A 7-feet tall Douglas Fir can drape over the windows and windshields, drastically limiting the driver’s visibility (if not obscuring it completely). The heavy weight could very likely be too much for the vehicle, slowing it down and disrupting the flow of the traffic. Should the tree come loose from the car, it could hit another vehicle on the road, or block the road, causing cars to try and swerve out of the way, likely causing an automobile accident. So, to safely transport your Christmas tree home, check out this recent blog post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC.

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Picking out the family Christmas tree is a quintessential part of the holiday season. And while safely securing the tree to your vehicle may not be the highest priority or the most fun thing to be doing while celebrating the holiday, it is crucial. A poorly secured tree can not only damage the tree and/or your vehicle, but can endanger your life, the lives of everyone traveling in your vehicle, and other drivers on the road. This Christmas, you want to call your lawyer to convey well wishes, not to embarrassingly tell them you caused a car crash because your Christmas tree fell off your car and landed on top of another!


Car crashes are always devastating, but can be particularly damaging to the spirit during the holiday season. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation if you've been involved in a car accident. Our experienced attorneys will handle your legal woes while you focus on spending this joyous time with your loved ones.

Christmas Tree Transportation Safety Tips

Once Thanksgiving has come and gone, many of us set our sights on finding the perfect Christmas tree. It has to be just the right size and shape, fit in the front window perfectly, and the lights and ornaments need to be distributed just so. But whether or not you get your tree from a local lot, or head out to a farm to cut one down yourself, we all need to get those trees back to our houses somehow. While seeing cars on the highway with a Christmas tree secured on top is a quintessential sign that the holiday is approaching, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the tree is secured properly not only for the tree’s sake, but for the safety of you, your family, and other people on the road.

Winter Car Crash Lawyer

While there aren’t really statistics that tell us exactly how many car collisions have been caused by rogue Christmas trees falling off of the tops of cars, having any sort object come lose from a car traveling at any speed is undoubtedly dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 52,000 of all automobile accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007 were due to environmental factors. Of those crashes, 50% were due to road conditions, such as debris on the road, and 11% were due to obstruction of the driver's view. A Christmas tree that is not secured properly can slide down the roof, blocking the windshield and obstructing the driver’s view. Should the tree come off the roof completely, the tree can slide down the car obstructing the driver's view, fall on to another car, or fall in the road causing drivers to swerve their vehicles to try and avoid hitting the tree, which are all outcomes that can cause a car crash. As such, Cars.com, in partnership with the National Christmas Tree Association, suggests the following tips for properly securing your Christmas tree to your vehicle.

Christmas Tree Transportation Safety Tips

  • Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If it's going on the roof, the trunk should be facing the front. Both will help reduce wind damage to the foliage.

  • Make sure to select a tree that will either fit inside your cargo area or, if you have a roof rack, on top of your roof properly. Also ensure that you have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks.

  • Place a tarp or blanket over the cargo area to protect the interior from loose needles. If you're going to place the tree on the roof, place a tarp, plastic sheet or blanket between the tree and the rack to protect the roof from scratches.

  • If you are transporting a tree in the back of a pickup truck, keep in mind that there could be hot spots in the bed—from the exhaust pipe, for example. This can damage the tree's foliage, so put something under it like an old blanket.

  • Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it's secure.

  • Drive slowly and avoid the highway, especially if you're not used to hauling heavy objects on your roof. They affect your vehicle's center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.

Michigan Christmas Car Accident Lawyer

Following these tips can’t guarantee that your tree will stay put, but they can help decrease the likelihood of losing your tree in transit. Some car collisions, such as those caused by winter weather conditions, may be out of your control. However, by taking time to tightly secure your Christmas tree to your vehicle is something you can be responsible for. While automobile accidents caused by Christmas trees may sound far fetched, it’s undeniable that having such a large object come loose on the freeway would be incredibly dangerous. Taking a few extra minutes to really secure your tree will not only keep you, your family, and other drivers safer, but may also save you an embarrassing phone call to your attorney about how you were involved in an accident with the family tree.   


The holidays are a joyous time of year, but hauling Christmas trees, winter weather, and holiday road trip traffic can all lead to car accidents. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident this holiday season, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our experienced accident attorneys put you at ease while you enjoy the season's festivities. 

Shoppers Should Prepare For Black Friday Traffic

Black Friday. We’ve all seen the videos of massive crowds outside of a Walmart, people trampling over safety barricades at Target, and getting into fistfights over flat screen TVs at Best Buy. While consumer greed and violence are as closely associated with Black Friday as turkey is with Thanksgiving, something that often gets overlooked is Black Friday traffic. After all, those hordes of people storming the doors of the local mall had to get there somehow, right?

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Thanksgiving traffic is bad all week and Black Friday is no exception. According to data collected by Google, eager shoppers actually begin their drives to malls across the country on Thanksgiving evening. Traffic starts to pick up at around 4 PM on Thursday, with the number of drives over the course of Thursday evening being 5 times higher than a normal Thursday in November. Waze, a navigation app created by Google, found similar data. Users of the Waze app saw traffic peak throughout Thursday evening, drop off slightly overnight, and pick up again early Friday afternoon. Waze reports that traffic is at it’s worst on Friday between noon and 3 PM. Similarly, Time reports that traffic between 12 AM and 2 PM on Black Friday is significantly higher than traffic on an average November day. More drivers on the road than usual, coupled with the fact that they’re anxious to get to the store quickly and could be driving in an unfamiliar area, means that car accidents can happen. Drivers need to be alert and follow the rules of the road to avoid being involved in Black Friday traffic car crashes.

So where exactly is everyone going on Friday? In general, Waze found that people are most often searching for electronics stores, outlet malls, and Christmas tree farms. Unsurprisingly, they also found that the most searched for navigation destination on Black Friday in 2015 was Walmart. The app saw an 85% increase in the number of searches for Walmart as compared to other Fridays in November. Other department stores that were frequently searched for include Costco, Kohls, Macy’s, and Target.  For clothes, drivers were searching the most for Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, Old Navy, Ross, and TJ Maxx. When it comes to home decor, drivers were most interested in finding Bed Bath and Beyond, Homegoods, Ikea, Lowes, and Home Depot. If your Black Friday plans include any of those destinations, know that the roads are going to be unavoidably congested with shoppers looking for good deals. It also means that if you wait to go Black Friday shopping until Friday afternoon, the store shelves could likely be empty when you get there.

Michigan Black Friday Car Crash Lawyer

While Thanksgiving brings bountiful feasts and plenty of leftovers, Waze also found that searches for restaurants see a drastic increase on Black Friday as well. Mcdonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, In-N-Out, and Chipotle were the most searched for restaurants on Black Friday in 2015. In Detroit specifically, the most searched for term on Black Friday was “hamburgers.” If your Black Friday deal hunting makes you hungry, your best bet for hitting a restaurant is between 2 PM and 3 PM, so as to avoid lunch and dinner traffic.

A huge increase in the number of cars on the road unfortunately means there may be an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents as well. According to Time, there are 34% more automobile accidents on Black Friday as compared to the number of accidents in the two weeks before and after. The majority of those accidents were backing or parking related, which is not surprising considering how many people are trying to get in and out of parking lots on Black Friday. On the road, drivers are likely in a hurry to get to their destination, and could be making poor driving choices as a result. While no one likes sitting in traffic (especially when a great sale is on the line) drivers should know that bad traffic is something they need to expect when it comes to Black Friday shopping.

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But there is a chance that all of that could change, however, thanks of course to the internet. A report from the Chicago Tribune found that over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, there was a significant increase in the number of people who stayed home on Black Friday, and did all of their shopping online. The National Retail Federation found that “109 million people shopped from their computers and mobile devices from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, while about 99 million hit the sales in brick-and-mortar stores.” The year before, the numbers were more evenly split, with 103 million people shopping online and 102 million in stores. The internet has already changed much of how we live our lives, and maybe soon we will be able to thank it for saving us from Black Friday traffic.

Everyone loves a great sale and being able to knock out some holiday shopping early. And while the crowds inside the store are one thing, the crowds getting to the store are quite another. If you plan on going Black Friday shopping, traffic should be a part of that plan. Roads, especially near malls and shopping centers, are going to be congested. You probably can’t do anything to change how much traffic there will be, but you can be responsible for planning for it. Know that your drive to Target is probably going to take longer than it does on a normal day, and build that time into your schedule accordingly. When you’re on the road, don’t let your frustration with traffic and desire for a great deal on an iPad result in dangerous driving behavior. In the parking lot, check and double check that your path is clear when pulling into and backing out of parking spots, and espescially be on the lookout for pedestrians and shopping carts. There is no Black Friday sale that is worth risking your life, the lives of those you are traveling with, and the lives of other people on the road.


Don't let your desire for a good sale get the best of you this Black Friday. With so many drivers on the road, traffic will be bad and car collisions can happen. If you or a loved one are injured in an automobile accident this Black Friday, or any other day of the year, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Drivers Should Be Prepared for Heavy Thanksgiving Traffic

Thanksgiving is here, and for many of us, that means overeating, watching football, and leftover turkey sandwiches for weeks. It also means that many of us will be piling in the car and hitting the highway in order to do so. Thanksgiving, and the days surrounding it, are some of the busiest travel days of the year, with millions of Americans traveling to see loved ones.

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Thanksgiving weekend is generally considered to include Wednesday evening, and all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with some resources including Tuesday afternoon as well. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the number of long distance trips during this time period increases by 54% as compared to the average number of long distance trips the rest of the year. While TV news reports are often focused on long airport security lines and flight delays, USDOT reports that 91% of long distance holiday travel is by vehicle. They also note that the average long distance Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles, with about half of all travelers completing their trip within the same day, and not spending any nights away. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 53% of long distance trips are to visit friends and family, whereas this only accounts for about 24% of long distance trips during the rest of the year.

According to Travel and Leisure, an estimated 41,900,000 people piled into their cars over Thanksgiving weekend in 2015. With that many people on the road, traffic is going to bad. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday after are when the roads are at their worst, but roads are more congested than usual for the whole weekend. Time reports that roads start seeing an increase in traffic at about 1:00 PM on Tuesday, with gridlock setting in from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Heavy traffic returns on Wednesday morning at around 11:00 AM, and stays that way all day, with 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM being the worst of it. When coming home after the holiday, traffic is up to 60% worse on Saturday than it is on Sunday. If you’re able to complete your trip in one day, Thursday is the day to do it. Traffic on Thanksgiving day mimics weekend traffic patterns, meaning if you leave in the morning or evening (avoiding mid-day) you shouldn’t see too much slow down.

Detroiters should be warned that they likely won’t be able to avoid traffic this Thanksgiving, as Northbound US 23 and Northbound I-75 Merge in Detroit rank #9 on ABC News’ list of America’s Top 10 Most Congested Roads. They say that “this stretch of road near Flint, Mich., attracts people fleeing to the beautiful northern Michigan forests for turkey and fun. Cabin owners, resort seekers and deer hunters flock north from Detroit, Indiana, Ohio and even Chicago.”

Unsurprisingly, data giant Google has been collecting information via their Maps app about our Thanksgiving travel habits. Google reports that “ham shop”, “pie shop”, and “liquor shop” are the most searched for terms on Maps on Wednesday, as people do last minute cooking or need to pick up a hostess gift. Likely a result of cooking mishaps in years past, “buffet restaurants” are what’s most searched for the most on Thanksgiving day. On Black Friday, Americans are searching for “electronics store”, “outlet mall”, and “Christmas tree farm” the most. In Detroit, however, the most searched for item on Black Friday is “hamburgers”.

So many people traveling over a certain time period unfortunately means that accidents are going to happen. According to the National Safety Council, there were 391 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving period in 2016. This accounted for 12.84% of all traffic deaths during November of 2016. That number is up from 301 deaths over the same time period in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA notes that 50% of the people who died in automobile accidents over Thanksgiving in 2015 were not wearing seat belts. National Safety Council has the following tips for how drivers can be safe and prepared when traveling over the holiday.

thanksgiving traffic

 While following these tips can’t guarantee you won’t be in any accidents this Thanksgiving, it could help reduce the likelihood. Heavy traffic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel over the holiday, but it does mean you should be prepared and know how it will affect your travel plans. Check traffic and weather before you leave, and know that your route will likely take longer than it does on a normal day. Try and stay calm when you’re stuck in traffic, and know that everyone else is likely just as frustrated as you are. And of course, making good choices like wearing a seat belt and not getting behind the wheel while drunk are behaviors that should be practiced year round.


While Thanksgiving leads to hugely heavy traffic, car collisions happen anytime of year. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 
 

Fourth Of July Travel Safety Tips

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

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

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