Pedestrians Are At Higher Risk Of Fatalities

Michigan is ranked the 19th most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians, according to Dangerous By Design’s 2019 report. In the Midwest, Michigan is the most dangerous state for pedestrians, with a total of 1,409 pedestrian fatalities being reported between 2008-2017.

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More specifically, the Detroit, Warren, and Dearborn metro area is ranked at 18 out of 20 metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest pedestrian fatalities, with 757 pedestrian fatalities between the years of 2008-2017. Also, since 2008, the number of pedestrian deaths increased by 35%, and according to another report analyzed by USA Today, the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) reported that 6,227 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2018.

One of the reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths could be linked to an increase in the number of SUVs on the road. There are a few factors which play a role in SUV pedestrian deaths. The Detroit Free Press studied data from a July 2018 investigation and, “counted vehicles that struck and killed pedestrians rather than the number of people killed,” and noticed a 69% increase in SUV pedestrian deaths. The study also mentions that, “SUV front ends are taller, so they strike pedestrians higher on their bodies.” That means, an SUV is more likely to kill a pedestrian, whereas a smaller car such as a sedan would strike a person's leg and still injure them, but likely not kill them.

The time of day is also a significant factor in pedestrian car accidents. The Michigan State Police (MSP) found that, “most pedestrian fatalities occur between 6:00 PM and midnight.” So, pedestrians may not be able to choose the type of vehicle that hits them, but they can certainly take steps to avoid walking during the most dangerous time of day for pedestrian car crashes. And pedestrians should always be aware of how they can stay safe when walking, no matter the time of day. The MSP offers pedestrians safety precautions they can follow while walking, in hopes of preventing a pedestrian car accident.

Pedestrian Walking Safety Tips

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  • Use sidewalks whenever available.

  • Obey traffic signals.

  • Never cross mid-block.

  • Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.

  • Always stop at the edge of a parked car, curb, or vehicle before walking out into traffic.

  • Look left-right-left before crossing a street and continue looking while crossing.

  • Make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them.

  • Never assume the vehicle driver can see you.

  • Walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible when walking along the roadway.

  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking at night or in the early morning.

  • Never allow children under age 10 to cross the streets alone. Young children do not have the skills to accurately judge traffic risks.

  • Allow for enough time to safely cross the street.

A pedestrian becoming injured or even struck and killed by a vehicle is very tragic. Pedestrians and drivers in Michigan should be more aware of safety laws and driving speeds so they aren’t injured or killed in a pedestrian car accident, especially since Michigan has been ranked the 19th most dangerous state for pedestrians in the United States.


Even if a person is lucky enough to survive the impact of a car traveling 25 mph or more, depending on the road, they are usually severely injured in the car crash. Broken bones may heal but pedestrians often suffer traumatic brain injuries that alter their lives forever. The injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC’s fight to seek justice for pedestrians who are injured in automobile accidents. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

DUIs Cost More Than Money

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According to the National Highway Traffic Control Safety Administration (NHTSA), “in 2017, 10,874 deaths were caused from drunk driving crashes.” And despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive in the US, Michigan included, with a BAC of .08% or higher, The Michigan State Police (MSP) says that, “tens of thousands of people are arrested annually in Michigan for alcohol-related driving offenses.” But if this large number of car accident deaths caused by drunk drivers doesn’t make them feel guilty enough to stop driving under the influence of alcohol, maybe the financial and legal punishments will.

Fighting the cost and consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be like fighting for the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. The MSP discusses what they are.

Costs And Consequences Of A Drunk Driving Conviction

If BAC is below .17 and this is a first offense:

  • Up to $500 fine.

  • Up to 93 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to 180 days license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

If BAC is .17 or higher and this is a first offense:

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  • Up to $700 fine.

  • Up to 180 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to one year license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program.

  • Ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days license suspension is required to receive a restricted driver's license. Convicted drunk drivers have limited driving privileges, are prohibited from operating a vehicle without an approved and properly installed ignition interlock device, and are responsible for all installation and upkeep costs for the device.

Jay-walking may lead to a slap on the wrist and littering may lead to a small fine, but drunk driving can ruin lives. The irony is that drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Car accidents happen all the time. Drivers can’t 100% stop their cars from slipping on black ice or crashing into a deer that came out of nowhere. But, avoiding drunk driving car crashes is as simple as not driving after drinking alcohol.


Drunk drivers put the lives of everyone on the road at risk when they make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. DUI attorneys may be able to get the drunk driver out of trouble, but the guilt of causing avoidable injuries to innocent people can never be erased. The drunk driving car crash attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help drunk driving victims seek justice for their injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Oberon Day Is Here!

The characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones may be saying, “Winter is here,” but in Michigan, many are saying, “Oberon Day is here!”

That’s right, the summer staple, Oberon Ale is making its return on March 25, 2019!

On March 25, 2019, Oberon Ale will be distributed across the US, and many Michiganders will be swapping out their snow shovels for an ice cold Oberon. Lots of people even wait all year for Oberon to show up on their store shelves and fill their shopping carts to last them all summer. While Michiganders are proud of this Michigan brewed beer and love the citrusy taste, they should also remember to drink Oberon responsibly.

In every state, Michigan included, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher, “yet, 1 person was killed in a drunk driving car crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017,” mentioned by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) People should remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving too. In other words, even having one beer, may impair a person enough that they wouldn’t be safe to drive.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) offers drivers who drink, some safer, legal alternatives than drinking and driving.

Drunk Driving Alternatives

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus.

  • Stay overnight.

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Oberon Day is a chance for all Michigan beer lovers to kick off their winter boots and to slip on sandals and sunglasses all while dreaming of the cool breeze of spring and the heat of summer after dealing with the long, frigid, Michigan winter. On the other hand, there is nothing cool about drunk driving, and it’s certainly not a breeze if a driver is pulled over for driving while intoxicated. Whether a group of friends are heading to their local bar to fuel up on Oberon Ale, or even stop at their local grocery store to pick up a 24-pack, they will need to figure out how to get home safely. Drinking and driving may result in a DUI arrest, paying a mountain of fines, and dealing with astronomical legal fees. And they definitely don’t have Oberon in jail!


Drunk driving is never ok. And causing a drunk driving car crash is worse. Drivers who fail to follow the law are putting themselves and everyone else on the road, at risk. The Michigan Law Firm, PC attorneys are available to help victims injured in drunk driving car accidents. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

A DUI Could Cost You A Pot Of Gold This St. Patrick's Day!

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Time to break out the “Kiss me I'm Irish” t-shirts, green beer, and your great-grandma Brigid’s secret corned beef recipe! Whether you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s day by drinking copious amounts of Guinness and shots of Jameson during a pub crawl or by taking the family down to Corktown, everyone should plan how to get home safely, before they start to party.

St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the St. Patrick's Day holiday period from 2012 to 2016 saw the loss of 269 lives due to drunk driving crashes. “In 2016 alone, 60 people, 39% of all crash fatalities, were killed in drunk driving crashes over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.” Also, on March 18, 2016, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the NHTSA reported that 69% of crash fatalities nationwide involved a drunk driver.

It’s clear that St. Patrick’s Day is turning into a holiday where most people tend to celebrate who can drink the most and care less about the cultural and religious aspects of it all. These people should take safety precautions before they take part in this year’s festivities. And they don’t need to rely on the luck of the Irish to stay safe, because the NHTSA offers partygoers several tips on how to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Safety Tips

NHTSA encourages everyone to take the following safety precautions:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.

  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.

  • Don't ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

  • Always buckle up. It's your best defense against drunk drivers.

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If you’re hosting a party:

  • Make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.

  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food.

  • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a ride home.

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

Every year, The Michigan State Police (MSP) warn drivers that extra police will be on patrol, looking for impaired and aggressive drivers. Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the MSP participated in an international traffic safety initiative known as Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for “Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts.” Michigan State Police director Kriste Kibbey Etue stated, “the department encourages safe driving and won’t tolerate drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The initiative was put in place for police to team up to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from dangerous driving behaviors during holiday festivities.

So, drunk drivers may have a better chance at finding a four-leaf clover than they do getting away with drunk driving this St. Patrick’s Day! But in the interest of the safety of everyone on the road, and so that no one’s fun gets spoiled, St. Patrick’s Day celebrators should plan their safe passage home before they start to drink.


Since St. Patrick’s Day is one of the drunkest holidays, drunk driving car crashes are very likely to occur. Drunk driving car crashes are completely preventable but unfortunately, they still happen. The car crash lawyers at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help people handle the legal aftermath of drunk driving car crashes so that victims can focus on healing from their accident injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

The Parents' Guide To Safe Teen Driving

For a parent, a teenager finally getting their driver's license can be a double-edged sword. It’s a celebration since parents no longer have to pick up and drop off their teens from their high school sports and club events and they can now make their teens run endless errands on Sunday mornings! On the downside, parents may fall into the eternal pit of worrying about their teens’ safety on the road. After all, according to the Center For Disease and Control (CDC), more than 2,400 teens died due to car crashes, the main cause of these car accidents being driver inexperience, in 2016!

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Most teens beg for a car for their Sweet Sixteen, but Michigan parents worry more than other parents around the country because in Michigan, “if an individual is 14 years and 9 months and has successfully completed Segment 1 of an approved driver education program they may be eligible for a Level 1 Learner’s License.” Before parents start panicking that their teen is driving just after graduating from Middle School, parents should make sure that their teen is qualified and ready to drive on their own.

The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) offers parents a few tips on how to coach a teen in driving.

How To Coach Teen Drivers

  • Model Safe Driving- Teens learn what they observe. Be a good role model and follow the rules of the road.

  • Practice a lot- Practice as much as possible. You and your teen should be the only people in the vehicle.

  • Plan your routes ahead of time - While your teen is driving, be able to communicate your intentions clearly before your teen executes any of your requests. For example, "turn right" is a bad request. "Turn right at the next corner" is a better request.

  • Start simple- Learning to drive can be overwhelming - for your teen and for you. Begin with the basics, such as turning, parking and backing up. When you both feel comfortable, consider progressing to more advanced skills such as merging, changing lanes and parallel parking.

  • Start sunny- Begin practicing during the day, in good weather. As your teen improves, gradually start driving during different driving conditions, including a variety of times of day, weather and types of roads.

  • Don't rush into rush hour- Start with safe, low-risk driving conditions, such as empty parking lots and quiet rural roads. Gradually make progress to neighborhood streets with little traffic, then busier roads and highways.

  • Talk with your teen- Keep the lines of communication open so your teen feels comfortable talking with you. This builds trust and respect.

  • Take deep breaths- Remember, new drivers need a lot of practice. Making mistakes is part of learning. Remain calm and focused. Teens will show the greatest improvement in the first 1,000 miles to 5,000 miles of driving.

Of course, a few coaching tips won’t cover the wide range of environments and challenges a driver may face while on the road. So, it is very important for parents to monitor their teens’ driving and educate them on how distractions can be dangerous when driving.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) mention 3 main types of distracted driving which may affect a teen driver:

  1. Visual: taking your eyes off the road.

  2. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.

  3. Cognitive: taking your mind off what you are doing.

Taking a Snapchat video, passing the aux cord, typing in a location on Google maps, texting a friend, or even drinking water or eating while driving, are all actions categorized as distracted driving. According to The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 391,000 drivers were injured by distracted driving in 2016. What is even more terrifying is that, according to the National Safety Council, “cell phone use is now estimated to be involved in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes.”

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Nobody, especially not a teen driver, wants to deal with traffic fines for distracted driving because they had to check the notification that popped on their phone. Fines may raise car insurance rates and can even eventually lead to license suspension. And cell phone usage while driving isn’t even legal for some teens, because according to Michigan Secretary of State (SOS), Michigan law prohibits drivers who are Level 1 and Level 2 license holders under the Graduated Driver Licensing program from using a cell phone while driving. “Violations are a civil infraction and fees may be up to $240.” And no teen wants to suffer through the consequence of getting their keys taken away by their parents just before prom!

So, to avoid fines, car accidents, and to give parents peace of mind, parents should ensure that their teens are properly taught how to drive before they let them on the road by themselves. Parents can teach their teens themselves or enroll their teens into driving courses. Parents and their teens should also discuss the dangers of distracted driving as well as the seriousness of car crashes to ensure that teens understand what can go wrong if they neglect to drive with caution and full attention on the road.


While parents may face the same car accident risks and obstacles each time they get behind the wheel, they have the experience to handle road dangers that many teen drivers do not. A teen driving car crash can cause serious damage to vehicles, to the teen drivers, and to others on the road. However, The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands that teen drivers aren’t always at fault in their first car accident. Our accident attorneys handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Move Over Or Face The Consequences

On February 12, 2019 a Michigan State Police trooper was hit not once, but twice while stopped on southbound I-75 as he was attending to a disabled vehicle. The officer reported he had his lights on and was stopped in the left and center lanes. The officer was taken to the hospital with neck and back pains, according to a report by MLive.

Accidents like this are why Michigan and several other states have the Move Over Law. The Move Over Law, “requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.” However, the growing trend of stopped emergency vehicles getting hit by an oncoming driver in the next lane has clearly caused many collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities, which may be why Michigan has expanded the Move Over Law.

The expanded Move Over Law, which went into effect on February 13, 2019, protects emergency vehicles such as, police, fire, ambulance, rescue, road service, road maintenance, utility service, solid waste hauler, and tow trucks.

Expanded Move Over Law

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, carefully slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and fully move over into an open lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit, and pass with caution allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

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Drivers who fail to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles could end up with 2 points on their driver’s license and a fine of $400, according to the new law. Also, “a driver could face felony charges and face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine if the violation causes death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel.”

For the safety of everyone on the road, drivers should move over when they see a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on. Why pay fines and risk points on a license, when obeying the law is as simple as changing lanes?!


Changing lanes can be a lot like playing a game of chess; drivers must consider all of the pieces, or in this case, other vehicles in play. One missed blind spot or emergency vehicle and it could be checkmate and a car crash can occur. And remember, in the real world, there are no pawns to sacrifice on the road; every piece is a queen. The Michigan Law Firm, PC represents victims who have been injured in serious car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney.