4th of July Travel Safety Tips

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyer

Although the Fourth of July lands in the middle of the week this year, many Michiganders will take time off to travel to their holiday destinations. In fact, according to Click on Detroit, it’s estimated that 1.5 million Michigan residents will be travelling on Wednesday! Whether staying local, crossing the state, or even crossing the country, drivers must be alert when hitting the road on Independence Day. Not only will there be higher traffic volumes, but alcohol will also be flowing in backyard barbecues and picnics. As a result, drunk driving car accidents are highly likely to occur. In fact, according to the National Highway for Traffic Safety (NHTSA), the 4th of July is, “one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk driving.”

The NHTSA also reported that, 146 people lost their lives due to a negligent drunk driver in 2015. Approximately 97 of those drunk driving car crash fatalities occurred in a car accident where the at fault driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 1.5 or higher. That’s “almost twice the legal limit!” When getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, the driver is not only risking their own safety, but also the safety of their passengers, and everyone else trying to enjoy the holiday. Aside from avoiding drinking and driving, listed below are other important driving safety tips drivers should follow, issued by Safety 1st Driving School.

4th of July Travel Safety Tips

  1. Stay in the same place all day if possible. If you’re party-hopping, walk or bicycle.
  2. If you must drive, do NOT drink.
  3. Stay alert and free from distractions at all times, as people, children and animals may be walking around outdoors. That means NO TEXTING, and keep your music low.
  4. If you’re tired, stay put. Nothing’s worth risking your life for.
  5. Avoid the late hours of the night or early morning hours, when people are likely to be driving home and may be drunk or tired.
  6. Observe all speed limits – even slow down a little – and buckle up.
  7. This is a day to be extra alert, patient, and cautious. If you can’t be all three of those, don’t drive.
Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

As stated by NHTSA, “America’s Independence Day is about freedom. But freedom comes with responsibilities.” The Fourth of July should be a day for celebration, not for regret. Remember, it is never okay to drink and drive. Hot dogs and potato salad may mix, but alcohol and automobiles never do! Even if drivers have only had a little bit to drink, according to the NHTSA, buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

For those over the age of 21, drinking is a fun way to commemorate the 4th of July holiday. If you choose to celebrate with a drink, for your safety and the safety of others on the road, put together a travel plan ahead of time. Drivers have many options, including local transit, taxis, and car ride services. For example, rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft make it easier than ever before to get home safe after having a few drinks. If you’re hitting the road this week, safe travels, and have a happy Fourth of July!


With plenty of Michigan drivers travelling this Fourth of July, the chances for an automobile accident to occur are extremely high. Unfortunately, car accidents are not 100% preventable. However, choosing not to drink and drive is a great start to a fun and safe Independence Day. If you have been in an automobile accident and would like a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney, contact the The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our accident attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have regarding benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

The NSC's Guide to a Safer Driving

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

This June, the National Safety Council (NSC)  is celebrating National Safety Month. Each week has a different area of focus, and this week’s goal is to raise awareness on the dangers of driving and to advise on the most effective ways to drive safely. According to the NSC, over 40,000 people were killed in fatal car accidents in 2017 alone! This number is nearly 6% higher than in 2015. It is key that drivers begin to take measures to ensure they are able to come home to their family safely each night.

The first step to becoming a safer driver is eliminating any dangerous driving habits that one might have. According to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 38% of fatal car accidents, the driver was drunk. While the number of drunk drivers has been slowly but steadily decreasing, the number of drugged driving is on the rise. Of 44% of fatal car crashes, drivers were under the influence of non-alcoholic drugs, the most common drug used being marijuana. 

These drunk driving deaths and drugged driving fatalities are a shame since all of these car crash fatalities are avoidable! With technology constantly evolving, there are a few simple ways to get back home safely while under the influence. If someone anticipates a night of drinking, they should try to arrange a designated driver. Public transportation is also always available in metropolitan areas; in Detroit, the Q-line is a safe transportation option for drunk people. If drinking in an area without public transportation or finding a sober friend is difficult, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving is to hail a ride with a rideshare app  like Uber or Lyft. A safe and quick ride home is just a push of a button away. Much like driving under the influence, driving while sleepy is another form of impaired driving and can be just as dangerous.

Detroit Drug Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 people reported having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past 30 days! The American Academy of Sleep Medicine discusses a study which shows that about 21% or car accidents from 2009-2103 were caused by drowsy drivers. Drowsy driving accidents can be prevented by getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep regularly, and avoiding drugs or medications that can cause drowsiness prior to driving. As road trip season comes around, it is important to remember to take breaks every 2 hours, or every 100 miles of driving, and if possible, switch drivers. Preventing drowsy driving car crashes is an important way to create a safe driving environment for everyone on the road.

Another common factor in dangerous driving is distracted driving. In today’s fast paced society, it can be tempting to glance down at a  phone notification on the drive to work, or send a Snapchat of a funny bumper sticker on a pickup truck, but it only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause a distracted driving car accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), in the 4 to 5 seconds it takes to read a text message while driving at 55 miles per hour,  the car will have traveled the length of a football field. In today’s busy world, people want to consolidate their time as best as possible, and try to be multitasking experts by eating or doing makeup while driving. However, by pulling over to send a text, eating a Big Mac inside the McDonald’s, or waking up a few minutes early to put on lipstick can create a safer commute for all drivers on the road. Distracted and impaired driving is irresponsible, and preventable. It is each driver’s responsibility to create as safe of a commute as possible.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The NSC lists some simple safety tips to follow when deciding to get behind the wheel. The NSC encourages drivers to be aware of how a vehicle’s safety features work, as they can vary from vehicle to vehicle. However, the NSC also states that, “you are your best safety feature” as a reminder not to rely wholly on features such as blind spot alerts, as they can miss things and malfunction. Because of car malfunctions, it is important to take all car system alerts and warnings seriously. Ignoring safety alerts can be dangerous, as it can be difficult for people who are not auto experts to identify car malfunctions. While most warnings are for a loose gas cap or a faulty sensor, a check engine light could mean that the vehicle is in danger of catching fire or has low oil. It’s best to allow a professional to inspect the vehicle as soon as possible after the car displays an alert.

Another safety measure the NSC suggests to keep drivers aware of their surroundings is to clean all snow, ice, and mud off of the car prior to driving it. Cleaning the windshields is not always enough. In winter, driving a car with snow piled on top of it can impair the view of other drivers, when the snow flies off the top of a moving vehicle and onto other vehicles behind it. In addition, braking suddenly can cause snow to slide down from the roof of the car and to the hood, obstructing the driver’s view. Ice across windshields and windows can also severely impact the view of the road around the driver. No matter how short the drive, or how how much of a hurry the driver is in, it is not worth the risk of a car accident to drive in a car with obstructed views.

Since so many car accidents are preventable, the NSC has taken the fourth week of June to teach drivers which habits to avoid and which practices to follow. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while sleepy, or driving with obstructed views are all unsafe decisions that drivers are choosing to make. The NSC reminds us that each decision a driver makes can affect the lives of everyone on the road around them, making it each individual driver’s responsibility to make the right decision each time they hit the road.


Car accidents may be common, but many of them are preventable. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to a negligent driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our attorneys fight for Michigan’s injured drivers. 
 

Automakers Break Into Ride-Sharing Car Market

Uber Car Crash Lawyer

Ride-sharing first became a tech-phenomenon in 2011 when tech-giants, Uber and Lyft, introduced the ability to hail cabs and share rides with friends instantly, through an app available on smart phones. Since then, according to Business Insider, 30% of the U.S. population has reported using some form of a ride-sharing app. Ride-sharing has made transportation fast and convenient, and the industry is only growing as new companies look to break into the market.

However, as Popular Mechanics explains, the sharing trend, as opposed to individuals purchasing and operating their own vehicles, started with car-sharing. Car-sharing became a trend in the automotive industry in 2000 and was popularized by a company called ZipCar, but has just recently taken off since the development of smart phones. Car-sharing allows customers to purchase a membership with a car-sharing service such as ZipCar, which customers can then use along with the company’s website or app, to locate the nearest vehicle, flash their membership card to unlock the vehicle, and then drive the car their reserved time period. While car sharing is very convenient for those who don't own a motor vehicle, it's most common complaint is that most car-sharing companies' customers are given the option to be charged by the day, hour, minute, or mile they drive. Being charged by the minute or mile can get very expensive. However, the positive aspect to car-sharing is that gas and insurance are already included in the fee.

While it was the first to gain popularity, ZipCar is now one of many similar services. Last year, The Michigan Law Firm Blog wrote an article about GM launching its own car-sharing service, Maven. In an effort to become the leading forerunner in personal mobility services, GM acquired assets from Sidecar, a ride-sharing start-up company, in January of 2016 and has also teamed up with the premier ride-sharing brand, Lyft. GM has also broken into the ride-sharing market by introducing Maven Gig, a service that allows drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to rent Chevy Volts, if they do not have a car of their own, to drive their ride-share costumers in. 

More recently, Daimler and BMW have become the next large automakers attempting to challenge Silicon Valley by designing their own car-sharing and ride-sharing programs. According the The New York Times, Daimler, the makers of the luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz, first introduced its car-sharing brand, Car2Go, in 2008 in Germany, and has since grown to serve about 2.4 million members across 9 countries. 33% of Car2Go members are even located in North America. The Car2Go program has yielded positive results after a 3-year study of 10,000 members done by U.C. Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, which reported that Car2Go service has reduced vehicle ownership and miles traveled in privately owned cars. As a result, greenhouse emissions have been reduced, 2% to 5% of Car2Go members have sold their privately owned vehicles, and 7% to 10% of members have stopped seeking to purchase a vehicle because of the service.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

BMW first launched its own car-sharing service, DriveNow, in Europe in 2011. In December of 2016, it went on to launch its North American car-sharing service, ReachNow. BMW has also been testing its own ride-sharing service in Seattle as well. Steve Banfield, the CEO of ReachNow, explained the company’s reasoning to enter into both car-sharing and ride-sharing markets by stating that “sometimes they (customers) want to be driven, sometimes they want to drive. Sometimes they want the car for several days, sometimes they want the car for 10 minutes.” Banfield further explained that offering customers different ways to move about cities allows the company to study and research the method of transportation individuals prefer to use, allowing the company to become closer to the consumer. Both services also allow BMW to promote their luxury brand by offering temporary rides and mobility to individuals. 

A future with autonomous vehicles is inevitable, so it is important for companies to mold a business strategy that will allow themselves to adapt to a new automotive industry that will no longer require individuals to purchase and operate their own vehicles. BMW has reportedly partnered with Intel to begin production of autonomous cars by 2021, while Daimler and Uber have partnered to start their own creation of self-operating vehicles. These large automakers hope by creating their own personal mobility brands and creating early plans to start autonomous vehicle production, they will be able dominate the market in the future.

Detroit Uber Car Accident Lawyer

With these car-sharing and ride-sharing programs, it is important to remember that human drivers are still operating these vehicles (that is, until vehicles become autonomous). Therefore the risk of a car accident due to human error is always present. Thus, passengers should always stay alert while riding in a vehicle and follow car safety precautions such as wearing a seat belt.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Metro Detroit law firm that handles all types of accident cases. If you or someone you know has been involved in car, bus, motorcycle, or truck accident, call the The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.