I-696 Ready To Go, But Please Drive Slow

Interstate 696 (I-696) officially reopened on January 6, 2019 for drivers travelling eastbound in Macomb County from I-94 to I-75. Eastbound 696 is also open, with the exception of Hoover Rd. to Eastbound 696, which are expected to reopen Saturday, January 12. This is exciting news! Still not excited? Well, this means many drivers are going back to their scheduled routines, will no longer see “workers ahead” signs, and face less stop and go traffic in the early mornings. Not to mention, drivers will no longer travel in constant fear of dodging potholes! While these new, smooth, wide, open lanes may put on a smile on commuters faces, they may also cause drivers to take advantage of these repairs and speed, which may then lead to traffic violations, monstrous fines, and even car crash fatalities.

Failing to follow the posted speed limit may lead to traffic violations issued by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Driving recklessly, speeding, or even travelling 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit are examples of traffic violations. According to Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS), “each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, drivers will have to pay certain court fines and costs.” In addition, points may be posted to a driver’s record. Under Michigan's point system, “each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code.” Also, “points are placed on someone’s driver record only after they have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction.”

Points For Speeding Traffic Convictions:

Speeding Car Crash Lawyer

Six Points:

  • Reckless Driving.

  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag Racing, 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.

Three Points:

  • Careless Driving, 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.

Once convicted of a traffic conviction, points remain on the offender’s driving record for 2 years from the date of the conviction. Racking up points might seem fun in an arcade game but in terms of driving, may lead to suspended licenses.

If traffic convictions such as tickets or license suspension don’t alarm drivers and persuade them to follow posted speed limits, maybe the possibility of a car accident, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or even death might. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “there were 37,461 traffic fatalities in 2016. Among them, 10,111 (27%) were in crashes where at least one driver was speeding.” Furthermore, the speed of a vehicle at the time of a motor vehicle accident also has an impact on the severity of a car crash and any subsequent injuries. According to a study presented at the University of California Berkeley, “for every 1% increase in speed, a driver’s chance of an accident increases by 2%, the chance of serious injury increases 3%, and the chance of fatality increases by about 4%.” So, while drivers may feel the “need for speed,” it’s imperative to remember that I-696’s posted speed limit is 70 mph. However, it is important to note that according to the Michigan Department of Transportation ( MDOT), semi trucks are not permitted to exceed 65 mph on the freeway. Going faster than these recommended speed limits may cause severe injuries or even death in the event of a speeding car crash.

Source: Giphy, Top Gun

Newly repaired roads are a treat for Michigan drivers. Aside from their shiny, smooth, aesthetic appeal, new roads mean that drivers no longer have to swerve to dodge potholes and they reach their destinations faster since their drive no longer impeded by roadblocks and machinery taking up some of the lanes. However, drivers shouldn’t take advantage of this new luxury and speed! Even the slightest speed increase may reroute a driver’s life forever if they cause a speeding car crash.


Speeding comes with a price tag, and no one can afford a traffic fatality. Drivers must use caution when travelling on the freeway. Traffic violations can be a pain to deal with, but car accident injuries like herniated discs, broken bones, and TBI’s are far more painful. If you’ve been involved in a car crash caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

How to Drive Safely Through a Railroad Crossing

Detroit can be described in three words, “The Motor City.” Ford Motor Company, one of the big three automobile manufacturers, was founded in Detroit in 1903. Over 100 years later, their commitment to the city remains strong, clearly evidenced by Ford announcing their intention to revive Michigan Central Station. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Bill Ford discussed his plans to transform the former train station from a dilapidated building into a thriving new Ford campus. Current plans suggest that in 2022, Detroiters will be able to walk into Michigan Central station and find, “coffee shops, restaurants and shopping” areas. The rest of the 18 ft. building will be dedicated to office spaces, which will be the source of 2,500 jobs for Ford employees!

While it has been idle since its operations were terminated in 1988, Michigan Central Station used to be a bustling train depot, seeing passengers frequently arrive and depart on their journeys. It’s current run-down, graffiti covered walls do not accurately paint a picture of what this building used to mean for the city. In fact, Historic Detroit depicts Michigan Central Station as, “Detroit’s Ellis Island” while it was in operation.

Detroit Train Car Crash Lawyer

Even though this particular station is no longer in service, trains continue to be an important mode of transportation. According to the Association of American Railroads, freight trains transport 5 million tons of materials and goods across America every day! In addition, companies like Amtrak allow passengers to travel throughout the country by means of rail transport.

Michigan drivers are likely to encounter railroad crossings during their travels throughout the state, or even across the country. Knowledge of how to approach and pass through a crossing may help drivers from getting into train accidents. It's important for car drivers to be alert at train crossings because because train crews do not have the ability to swiftly stop a train. Additionally, trains cannot steer to avoid an accident. Car drivers, on the other hand, can control the distance between their vehicle and the train tracks. Operation Lifesaver provides rail safety education to help drivers and pedestrians carefully navigate railroad crossings. The following are their railroad crossing car safety tips.

Railroad Crossing Safety Tips for Drivers

Ford Motor Company Lawsuit
  • Trains and cars don't mix. Never race a train to the crossing — even if you tie, you lose.
  • The train you see is closer and faster-moving than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
  • Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That's 18 football fields!
  • Never drive around lowered gates — it's illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the emergency number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local law enforcement agency.
  • Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides.
  • If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away from the tracks, even if you do not see a train. Locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number provided, telling them about the stalled vehicle. If a train is approaching, run toward the train but away from the tracks at a 45 degree angle. If you run in the same direction a train is traveling, you could be injured by flying debris.
  • At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching from either direction.
  • When you need to cross train tracks, go to a designated crossing, look both ways, and cross the tracks quickly, without stopping. Remember it isn't safe to stop closer than 15 feet from a rail.
  • ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules.

While Ford Motor Company has not yet revealed any plans to resume rail transport at Michigan Central Station, there are 4,800 public railroad crossings throughout the Great Lakes State. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is responsible for regulating the safety of these crossings. If drivers become aware of any safety concerns, they can contact by clicking the button below.

Staying safe while driving through a railroad crossing is primarily in the hands of the automobile driver. Oftentimes, drivers may find themselves in a rush to reach their destination, justifying the choice to forgo driving safety rules. No matter the situation, when approaching a railroad crossing with the warning signals activated, drivers must stop and wait for the train to pass. It might cause a delay, but waiting for the train to pass instead of speeding over the rails, may prevent a serious automobile accident.


When trains are absent, railroad crossings may not seem dangerous. But it’s possible that a train could pass by in a matter of seconds and demolish anything or anyone in its tracks. Drivers should be alert when near a railroad, and stay at a secure distance until it is safe to cross. For a free legal consultation with an motor vehicle accident attorney regarding railroad crossing car crashes or any type of auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

How To Drive Safely In Fog

Detroit Car Accident Lawyer

Hollywood relies on fog heavily in many movies and TV shows to set the mood of a scene. The horror thriller The Mist's entire plot is based around fog! The Mist is about a small town that is invaded by a mysterious fog which releases vicious creatures, that a group of townsfolk have to fight, to save their lives and their town. While ordinary, fog that doesn’t come out of a machine like a film set doesn’t give people nightmares for weeks like Stephen King’s story, it does come with its own horrors. Driving in fog, for example, can be a very scary experience because a lot of people don't know how to drive in fog. 
 
The Glossary of Meteorology from the American Meteorological Society informs that fog is a collection of water droplets suspended in the atmosphere in the vicinity of the earth's surface that affects visibility. Visibility distance is reduced by fog and heavy precipitation. Low visibility conditions cause increased speed variance, which increases car crash risk. Each year, over 38,700 car crashes occur in fog. Over 600 people are killed and more than 16,300 people are injured in these fog car accidents annually, according to the Federal Highway Weather Administration

According to the Detroit Free Press, early morning on January 10, 2018 there was a car crash on northbound I-275 at 8 Mile Rd. and another car accident on eastbound I-94 at Conner Ave, due to fog. These accidents are more recent, but like any good horror movie villain, fog has created other, more serious, accidents in the past and can still cause more car accidents in the future if drivers aren't careful. In April of 2015, a 60 car pile up was reported on a highway which left 2 people dead and over 2 dozen injured. The series of car accidents were caused by a dense fog that made it really hard for drivers to see where they were driving. The Detroit Free Press notes that drivers should be especially cautious of travelling through fog  when driving on bridges, overpasses, and ramps. 

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving during foggy weather is a main factor with car accidents. Fog makes it hard for people to see. Being distracted with something only adds to the chance of getting into an accident. The NHTSA reported that speeding while driving in foggy weather also contribute to the number of deaths each year from car accidents. 4% of car crashes in 2017 were caused by fog. 

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Driving in fog can be difficult and requires more attention from the driver to safely drive. Any type of distractions that draw eyes away from the road in already decreased visibility, increase the risk of getting into a car crash. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service on how to drive safely in fog, if driving is unavoidable.

How To Drive In Fog

  1. Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  2. Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
  3. Never use your high-beam lights. Using high beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
  4. Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
  5. To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
  6. In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.
  7. If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated so that other drivers don't mistakenly run into you.

Of course, it's always best to avoid driving in foggy weather, but the above tips may be able to help drivers safely navigate foggy conditions and avoid car crashes.


There is always a greater risk of car accidents occurring when mother nature throws a wrench at a driver’s plan to take the car out. Fog is one factor that increases the chances of car accidents. If you have been in a car accident and want a free consultation with a car accident attorney, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. 

Tips For Driving Over Potholes

It seems as though the freezing temperatures are finally a thing of the past! We've actually had snow in April for the last few weeks, but Michiganders are all preparing themselves for some warm weather that’s headed this way. The warm weather comes with a cost though: Potholes. Potholes are nothing new to Michigan residents, but drivers everywhere are dreading popping a tire or wrecking their car's suspension on the pockmarked roads this Spring.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) says, "Potholes are created when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan's seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, creating a gap in the pavement. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens leading to a pothole." While trying to avoid potholes is a good idea to prevent vehicle damage, dodging all the potholes like your racing your friend in Mario Kart isn’t a good idea. Yes, you missed the pothole but you put yourself and other people at risk of getting into a car accident, since swerving erratically may cause you to sideswipe a car! Instead, by following these pothole driving tips by MDOT, you may be able to avoid pothole vehicle damage and car accidents!

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

Tips For Driving Over Potholes

  1. Be Vigilant - it's best to avoid hitting potholes whenever possible. That's easier to do if you're driving cautiously, and not tailgating, so you have more time to see and react to any potholes you're approaching.
  2. Be Cautious Around Puddles - they could be potholes filled with water. Since water is a critical component to forming potholes,
  3. Slow Down - If you see a pothole ahead and can't safely steer to avoid it, it's best to slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole. 
  4. Vehicle Maintenance Helps - Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Over- or under-inflated tires are worse when they tangle with a pothole.

There are some potholes that are small and can easily be driven over without any damage to your car and there are some that can be very deep and many feet wide. The above pothole tips may help drivers navigate potholes with minimal vehicle damage, but sometimes it's not possible to avoid pothole vehicle damage. The best way to avoid pothole damage to your vehicle may be to avoid experiencing road damage all together! By reporting potholes to MDOT, and because of the recently approved road repair budget, it’s possible that all potholes could be filled this Spring before they cause too much damage to cars and to car owners’ wallets. But, if you do find yourself having to shell out cash to your mechanic because you couldn’t avoid a crater in the road, there may be a possibility that you can be reimbursed by the State of Michigan for pothole vehicle damage. However drivers should keep in mind that, according to The Detroit Free Press, there is a 30-day window, from the time a pothole is reported to when it is fixed, when road commissions and municipal street departments can avoid responsibility for damaged vehicles. The State of Michigan reimbursed only 9 of the 267 pothole claims for $1,000 or less made during fiscal year 2017, according to MDOT, but it still may be worth a shot. 

Potholes can be reported on the MDOT website or by calling 888-296-4546.


Every year tons of potholes are filled in hopes of creating safer roads for people to drive on. But potholes are an unavoidable, never ending cycle that reemerge each year, which is why car accidents due to potholes and other types of road damage occur each year too. Road damage accidents not only cause serious damage to vehicles but can also cause serious injury to people. For a free legal consultation with an auto accident attorney regarding road damage car crashes or any type of auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Beware Of Wrong Way Driving Car Crashes

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

WRONG WAY! DO NOT ENTER! Seeing a bright red sign next to the road that says, "WRONG WAY" on it, would make most people understand not to drive down that particular road. However, driving the wrong way on a highway happens more times then you would think, which is why the Michigan State Police are urging everyone to watch out for the reckless drivers who have been driving the wrong way down the highway. In Metro Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press, tipsters call 911 to report 15 to 20 wrong-way drivers a month, although only 4 to 6 of those drivers have been caught on street surveillance cameras. Out of all those reported drivers, some wrong way driving incidents result in car accidents which cause serious injuries or even death.

One wrong way driver who caused a car accident was 65-year-old Mary Okke from Plainfield Township, Michigan. Ms. Okke died in August of 2017 after she drove her car the wrong way on U.S.-131 and hit a charter bus, just north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Another wrong way driving car crash fatality was caused by Councilman, Michael Stack. The 59-year-old was driving the wrong way on I-275 in Canton when he struck and killed a young newly engaged couple in December of 2017. According to the Oakland Press, police said he had no alcohol in his system when he was driving, but they found an open bottle of vodka in his car. Finding the open bottle of alcohol led police to do a drug test to determine if there were any narcotics in his system, but all tests came back negative.

While police have determined that alcohol was not a factor in the Councilman's car crash, unfortunately that isn’t always the case. In early December, freeway cameras recorded a car driving the wrong way on I-75 heading north. Driving the car was a 27-year-old woman named Tonya Berta from Ida, Michigan. The police discovered that Berta's 1-year-old child was hidden under a blanket in the backseat. The Michigan State Police were not surprised when they found out that Berta was under the influence of alcohol. Fox2Detroit reported that Ms. Berta "was sentenced to 3 years of probation and 8 months in jail on the charge of operating while intoxicated with an occupant less than 16 and possession of a controlled substance, second or subsequent offense." 

Source: Google Maps - Partial Cloverleaf Ramp at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit 

Source: Google Maps - Partial Cloverleaf Ramp at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit 

Alcohol may have played a significant factor in Ms. Berta's car accident, but like the other 2 wrong way driving car crashes, alcohol isn’t the only cause of wrong way accidents. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has said that 60% of wrong way entries to freeways occurred at the old-fashioned design for ramps called “partial cloverleafs.” Partial cloverleafs are ramps that place the exit and entry ramps right next to each other, which can be confusing to drivers. These types of ramps can be found at I-94 and Gratiot Avenue in Detroit.

Another factor that could cause these wrong-way accidents is the time of day when the car crash occurs. A lot of car accident fatalities have happened late at night or early in the morning, when it is still dark outside and more difficult for drivers to see.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, “Nationwide, wrong way drivers cause about 360 deaths a year. In Michigan from 2011 through 2016, 8 motorists died in such crashes.” There have been almost half the amount of car crashes from wrong way driving in the last few months than there have been in 5 years. In an attempt to lessen the chances of wrong way driving, MDOT has made efforts to reduce the chances of drivers accidentally driving down the wrong ramp. As of July of 2017, MDOT has been installing better signs and new lane guides at highway entrances and exits that will help people navigate the highways more easily. However, placing larger signs next to highways does not mean that it is OK to drink and drive by any means. Drugs or alcohol should never be consumed before or while operating a motor vehicle.


When driving, it's always best to make sure full attention is kept on the road. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, is enough time to take a wrong turn on a road you aren't meant to drive on. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call 844.4MI.FIRM to have a free consultation with an accident attorney at The Michigan Law Firm, PC

Spring Pothole Dangers

Michigan Car Crash Attorney

With yesterday's rain, the snow in Michigan has finally melted! While most Michiganders are rejoicing and excitedly anticipating Spring, they shouldn’t stop worrying just yet. As the temperatures rise, so do the chances of hitting potholes. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) warns that, “Potholes are created when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan's seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, creating a gap in the pavement. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens leading to a pothole."

Potholes are as Pure Michigan® as Vernor's® ginger ale! While many understand the usual dangers of potholes, most people just grin and bear it, and drive over potholes. However, potholes are unpredictable and there are still more unexpected dangers lurking in those holes on the road than people realize. Running over a pothole could have many different outcomes. Everyone knows that driving over a pothole can cause a flat tire. Even kicking up debris from the broken asphalt can damage the body of the car or break automotive glass. It’s also well known that swerving to avoid a pothole can potentially lead to being involved in a car accident, if the driver over-corrects into the next lane or into oncoming traffic. 

However, one other danger of potholes that even many veterans of Michigan’s roads may not know is that debris can be swept up by vehicles and released with enough force to land on the cars behind them. Concrete or asphalt can plummet onto innocent drivers who haven’t even touched the pothole! This happened to a woman who was driving westbound on I-696, on January 31, 2018, when a piece of concrete crashed through her windshield as she was heading to work, Fox News reported. Luckily, the woman was uninjured, as the piece of concrete sat in her passenger seat, and she was able to pull over at the next exit. This was the second time in January that concrete had hit a windshield on the expressway.

Not as lucky was another woman who also driving westbound on I-696 last May, according to Fox News, when a piece of concrete smashed through her windshield, hitting her directly in the head. The head injury caused a car crash because the woman lost consciousness and thereby control of her car and hit the vehicle next to her.

Both of these car accidents did not occur underneath an underpass-a more likely location for such accidents, as concrete tends to fall down and hit cars driving underneath. Both motor vehicle accidents occurred because cars in front of these ladies’ cars swept up debris and tossed it back on to them with tremendous enough force to go straight through their windshields. 

According to The Detroit News, MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross confirmed that these debris car accidents were due to potholes when she said, “The roads are crumbling and chances are any concrete came from there.” 

With so many pothole-corrupted, crumbling roads in Michigan, flying asphalt breaking windshields isn’t the only vehicle damage to worry about. Firestone Tires reports that there are many other types of pothole vehicle damages, such as:

Vehicle Damage Caused By Potholes 

Detroit Car Accident Attorney
  • Tire puncture, damage or wear.
  • Wheel rim damage.
  • Premature wear on shocks and struts.
  • Suspension damage, including broken components.
  • Steering system misalignment.
  • Exhaust system damage.
  • Engine damage.

All of these types of vehicle damage due to potholes, not only put drivers in danger of being involved in a car crash, but also in danger of emptying out wallets. Vehicle repair is expensive enough that Michiganders would have to be prepared to hand over money saved for Tigers Opening Day tickets, to an auto body shop! If catching the game on TV sounds disappointing however, drivers may able to save money on potential pothole related car repairs by following tips given by Michigan.gov, on how drivers can avoid potholes, or what to do if you have no choice but to drive over a pothole. 

How To Drive Over Potholes With Minimal Car Damage

  1. Potholes aren't always obvious enough to spot in the daylight and they're even harder to spot in the dark. Make sure your headlights are working and your windshield is clear.
  2. Be extra cautious around puddles - they could be potholes filled with water. Since water is a critical component to forming potholes, that puddle may be at work creating one as you drive through it.
  3. Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel as potholes can cause your vehicle to change direction suddenly. Don't swerve into an occupied lane. No one wants pothole damage to escalate to an auto collision causing further damage or injury. 
  4. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires fare worse when they tangle with a pothole. Tires showing excessive wear or bulges in the sidewalls won't hold up as well to potholes either. 
  5. If you see a pothole ahead and can't safely steer to avoid it, it's best to slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole. This helps to reduce the speed at impact as well as give your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the impact. If you can't avoid the pothole, straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through. Hitting a pothole at an angle can transfer the energy of impact in ways more likely to damage your vehicle. 
  6. Have your vehicle's suspension and steering components checked out by a qualified mechanic. Steering that is in good condition and responsive can help you avoid hitting potholes. Remember that shocks, struts and springs in good shape help cushion the blow. 

Trying to avoiding a pothole can sometimes be impossible and extremely dangerous. While these tips may help prevent most pothole car accidents, no number of precautions can guarantee that road damage related car crashes won’t occur. As Lieutenant Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police stated in relation to one particular pothole debris car accident, “When something happens that fast, there’s nothing to do.” 


Potholes can lead to expensive vehicle damage, dangerous car accidents, and even serious car crash injuries. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor accident due to potholes or unsafe road conditions, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM today, for a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

Michigan Leads Development of Smart Roadways

Michigan is looking to lead the nation in developing smart road technology that will allow intersection signals and construction zones to alert next generation vehicles about upcoming red lights, lane closures, and traffic areas ahead. According to The Detroit News, General Motors and Macomb County, Michigan have partnered up to begin testing smart road safety features that can tell future cars to begin braking when traffic lights are about to turn red. Michigan has also begun testing 'connected construction zones' on Interstate 75 in Oakland County that can alert cars with 'vehicle-infrastructure-capability' about upcoming lane closures. Vehicle-infrastructure-capability allows vehicles to communicate with roadways, construction zones and traffic signals through smart technology.

Michigan Smart Car Crash Lawyer

These 'connected construction zones' operate by advanced-tech roadside bar codes that are able to communicate information from construction zones to oncoming vehicles. These smart traffic signal systems can even tell the difference between construction workers from traffic barrels for the safety of both the worker and driver as well. Reportedly, these roadside bar codes are intended to be the system that will navigate autonomous vehicles in the future. Michigan has already established 100 miles of connected roadways and plans to expand to 350 miles in the future. Automakers and auto suppliers alike in Southeast Michigan have already begun planning for this transition by testing autonomous vehicle technology on Michigan roadways.

The Michigan Law Firm

Citizens of Michigan who are interested in knowing what these road signals look like, should look out for bar codes signs with black and white 2D codes that have been implemented on I-75 in Oakland County. These signs appear to be QR codes that can be scanned by smartphones, however, they can only be read by test cars with vehicle-infrastructure intuition. 3M Company provided these signs for Michigan, and Tammy Meehan, global portfolio manager for 3M Connected Roads, explains that these signs contain pinpoint GPS navigation, can alert vehicles of upcoming construction zones, and can estimate the time it takes to drive through work zones. These smart traffic signal systems can even tell the difference between construction workers from traffic barrels for the safety of both the worker and driver as well. 

Outside the GM Tech Center in Warren, advanced technology has been implemented into traffic lights by Macomb County on Mound Road between 12 Mile Road and 13 Mile Road. These lights are able communicate with Cadillac CTS test sedans that possess vehicle-infrastructure capability. The Detroit News reports that the smart traffic signals and sensors calculate the driver’s speed and the time in which the traffic signal will turn red, to determine if the driver needs to begin braking. In such a case, a yellow light glows on the driver’s infotainment screen and their seat begins vibrating. This is intended to prevent the driver from running the red light or crashing into another vehicle.  The smart traffic signals work within a 1,000-foot radius.

Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive, stated that for the past five years Macomb's infrastructure department has been installing advanced sensors and cameras to develop smart highways. Hackel explains that the partnership with GM, in addition to the $13.5 million-dollar creation of the Communications and Technology Center (COMTEC) that opened in Mount Clemens in 2013, have been a part of the County’s ongoing infrastructure investments. COMTEC has allowed for the development of Michigan traffic-monitoring, weather-mapping, road-department cameras, and a video wall with 40 monitors.

Kirk Steudle, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, stated that Michigan continues to partner with automakers and suppliers for the research and development of autonomous vehicles and smart technology. Kirk claims that advanced vehicle-infrastructure communication could reduce 80% of car accident fatalities.

I-75 Car Accident Lawyer

While Michigan making great headway, it is not alone in its efforts to develop smart roadways. Other states, including Ohio, have begun testing and implementing connected roadways as well. Ohio has decided to invest $15 million into developing the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor using advanced fiber-optic cables and wireless sensors for connected roadway and autonomous vehicle testing. Ohio plans to expand connected roadways to I-270 and I-90 as well.

The smart technology innovation that Michiganders are experiencing before them will transform the way we mobilize, by making transportation far more efficient and safer. The ability for autonomous vehicles and connected highways to communicate may greatly reduce car accident fatalities in the future. Yet, it will still be some time before Michigan citizens are able to experience this transformation. In the meanwhile, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC will continue to update blog readers on the development of smart roadway technology and its effects on drivers in Michigan and across the country.


Whether you've been involved in an auto accident with with a driverless car or were struck by a negligent driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. for a free consultation. Our firm assists victims of car accidents in recouping any benefits they may be entitled to 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.

Michigan Motorycle Accident Lawyer


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.

Autonomous Semi-Trucks Drive on Michigan Highway For First Time

Michigan Autonomous Car

For the first time ever, four autonomous semi-trucks were tested on Interstate 69 in Lapeer and St. Clair Counties in Michigan in July, 2016. The test was done by the U.S Army Tank Automotive Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) alongside the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). 

Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC, told MLive that the testing, which included tracking the response of the vehicles to commands, represented “an opportunity for the U.S Army to leverage the technology and capability within this state.” The testing is also helping set federal standards and expectations while government leaders continue to craft legislation to make the possibility of driverless cars a reality on the roadways.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder called the event “the intersection of two wonderful initiatives we have going in the state to really talk the strengths of our state and the opportunities how we can help our country and the world...We’re moving forward on how we can deploy this is a safe fashion on our public roadways and bring this technology to bear to make Michigan a true leader,” Snyder said. Snyder also pointed out the progress being made at the University of Michigan’s MCity and the upcoming “Planet M” campaign. The growth of the driverless car industry will impact the Michigan economy as well. According to Lt. Governor Brian Calley the initiatives will employ approximately 100,000 residents and will allow Michigan to become a leader in the mobility industry outside of the auto industry. 

Self Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce, is excited about the possibilities of drawing the industry to the state. “We see opportunities for more research and development teams to be on the ground supporting that kind of activity,” Karcher said.

The obvious potential impact with the growth of driverless cars is increased safety. Kirk Steudle, Director of MDOT, said that autonomous technology can help cut down traffic deaths by 80%. MDOT has a goal of 350 miles worth of fiber optic lines being put in place by 2018, making Michigan the largest test bed in the United States for mobility research. 


While driverless cars may cut down on traffic accidents in the future, they are still too frequent on the road today. Injuries as minor as a few scratches or as severe as a closed head injury can change your day-to-day routine and your way of life. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will identify the help you are entitled too and will not rest until your case has been resolved. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.