Winter Driving Safety Tips

From sledding down the most prestigious hill in the neighborhood in a dark blue, plastic sled, to skating on the ice rink at Campus Martius in Detroit, winter in Michigan can be the most joyous time of year! However, winter in Michigan isn’t all hot chocolate and toasty fireplaces. Unfortunately, the same snow and freezing cold temperatures that allow Michiganders to have winter fun can also lead to car crashes and serious injuries.

Michigan Snow Car Crash Lawyer

Drivers unlucky enough to have experienced Michigan winters know that winter drives are unpredictable and can make drivers feel like they’re participating in a Winter Olympics event! Visible road conditions in the morning might allow drivers to feel as confident as Bode Miller swishing and swooshing down a freshly groomed mountaintop. But by the drive home, heavy snowfall and terrible road conditions may create so many hurdles, that drivers feel like they not only missed the podium but placed last in the Olympic qualifier event. In fact, driving in the snow is such a gruesome task that over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy pavements annually, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). So many of these winter weather car accidents are caused by drivers who don’t know how to respond to the treacherous winter weather conditions or how to navigate their vehicles over ice and snow. Since driving in the snow can be a very daunting task, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published the following winter driving tips:

Winter Driving Tips

  1. Stay Alert

  • Keep your gas tank close to full, even with a hybrid-electric vehicle. If you get stuck in a traffic jam or in snow, you might need more fuel than you anticipated to get home or to keep warm.

  • If road conditions are hazardous, avoid driving if possible. Wait until road and weather conditions improve before venturing out in your vehicle.

  • On longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.

2. Avoid Risky Driving Behaviors

  • Do not text or engage in any activities that may distract you while driving.

  • Obey all posted speed limits, but drive even slower if necessary for weather conditions.

  • Drive sober. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory – the skills critical for safe and responsible driving.

3. Driving in Winter Conditions

  • Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.

  • Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up.

4. Navigating Around Snow Plows

  • Don’t crowd a snow plow or travel beside it. Snow plows travel slowly, make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road frequently.

  • The road behind an active snow plow is safer to drive on. If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay behind it or use caution when passing.

  • When you are driving behind a snow plow, don’t follow or stop too closely. A snow plow operator’s field-of-vision is limited; if you can't see the mirrors, the driver can't see you. Also, materials used to de-ice the road could hit your vehicle.

  • Snow plows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Never drive into a snow cloud – it can conceal vehicles or hazards.

What To Do In A Winter Emergency

If you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, follow these safety rules:

  1. Stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself.

  2. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on.

  3. To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm.

Folks in Michigan have plenty to do in the winter, like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, building snowmen, and so much more. Unfortunately, extreme winter weather can also cause many hazards, especially when traveling in snow and ice. While people may cheer on a winter storm for freezing a lake well enough to skate on, they also boo at it for causing pile-ups on the freeway. Since we can’t manipulate Michigan’s weather to be more like Florida’s, Michigan drivers have no choice but to learn how to safely navigate their vehicles in snow, slush, and ice. Hopefully, by following the aforementioned winter driving safety tips, drivers can learn to endure the next snowstorm as Olympic gold medalists and not ER patients!


Winter weather may have it’s up and downs, so it’s important for drivers to stay cautious in order to avoid car crashes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by snowy or icy driving conditions, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

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

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

9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

1. Forgetting to Change the Windshield Wipers

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

2. Warming the Car for Too Long

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

3. Continuing to Use Summer Tires When Winter Hits

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

4. Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

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

5. Failing to Protect the Dashboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Speeding in Snowy Conditions 

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

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


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

Winter Driving Vehicle Safety Check List

The 2004 movie, Dodgeball taught the lesson, “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” A similar philosophy can be applied to winter weather driving: If you can service your vehicle, you can handle the snow. Knowing how to drive in the snowy conditions is very important, especially to avoid getting into car accidents. But before even backing out of the driveway and into the blizzard, drivers should diligently check their vehicle to make sure it can weather the storm. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) provides drivers with a vehicle safety to-do list before they hit the road.

Source: Giphy, Dodgeball

Before You Go:

Get Your Car Serviced

  • No one wants their car to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition.

  • Visit your mechanic for a tune-up and other routine maintenance.

  • Have your vehicle checked thoroughly for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Check for Recalls

  • Owners may not always know that their vehicle is under an open recall and needs to be repaired. NHTSA's Recalls Look-up Tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if your vehicle or one you are looking to purchase has a critical safety issue that has not been repaired. Check for recalls on your vehicle by searching now: nhtsa.gov/recalls. If your vehicle is under a recall, get it fixed at your nearest dealer FOR FREE.

Know Your Car

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  • Every vehicle handles differently; this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Take time now to learn how your vehicle handles under winter weather driving conditions.

  • Before driving your vehicle, clean snow, ice or dirt from the windows, the forward sensors, headlights, tail lights, backup camera and other sensors around the vehicle.

  • When your area gets snow, practice driving on snow-covered or icy roads—but not on a main road. Sharpen your winter weather driving skills and know how your vehicle handles in snowy conditions by practicing in an empty parking lot. See your vehicle’s manual to familiarize yourself with the features on your vehicle—such as antilock brakes and electronic stability control—and how the features perform in slippery conditions. For example, your vehicle or pedals may pulsate when controlling traction.

  • For electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, minimize the drain on the battery. If the vehicle has a thermal heating pack for the battery, plug your vehicle in whenever it’s not in use. Preheat the passenger compartment before you unplug your vehicle in the morning.

  • When renting a car, become familiar with the vehicle before driving it off the lot. Know the location of the hazard lights switch in case of emergency, and review the owner’s manual so that you’re prepared for any driving situation that may arise.

Stock Your Vehicle

  • Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks, such as cleaning off your windshield, as well as any supplies you might need in an emergency. Keep the following in your vehicle:

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.

  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow.

  • Jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers.

  • Blankets for protection from the cold.

  • A cell phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine (for longer trips or when driving in lightly populated areas).

Plan Your Travel and Route

  • Keep yourself and others safe by planning ahead before you venture out into bad weather.

  • Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic.

  • Don’t rush; allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely. Plan to leave early if necessary.

  • Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go, even if you use a GPS system, and let others know your route and anticipated arrival time.

Go Over Your Vehicle Safety Checklist

Battery

  • When the temperature drops, so does battery power. For gasoline and diesel engines, it takes more battery power to start your vehicle in cold weather. For electric and hybrid electric vehicles, the driving range is reduced when the battery is cold, and battery systems work better after they warm up. Make sure your battery is up to the challenges of winter.

  • Have your mechanic check your battery for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity.

  • Have the charging system and belts inspected.

  • Replace the battery or make necessary system repairs, including simple things like tightening the battery cable connections.

  • Keep gasoline in a hybrid-electric vehicle, to support the gasoline engine.

Lights

  • See and be seen! Make sure all the lights on your vehicle are in working order. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights. Towing a trailer? Be sure to also check your trailer brake lights and turn signals. Trailer light connection failure is a common problem and a serious safety hazard.

Cooling System

  • Make sure the cooling system is in proper working order.

  • Make sure you have enough coolant in your vehicle and the coolant meets the manufacturer’s specifications. See your vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations on coolant.

  • Thoroughly check the cooling system for leaks or have your mechanic do it for you.

  • Have the coolant tested for proper mix, proper pH (acidity) and strength of the built-in corrosion inhibitors. Over time, the rust inhibitors in antifreeze break down and become ineffective.

  • Drain and replace the coolant in your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer, to remove dirt and rust particles that can clog the cooling system and cause it to fail.

Windshield

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  • You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so be prepared for whatever might come your way.

  • Completely fill your vehicle’s reservoir before the first snow hits.

  • Use high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer and keep extra in your vehicle.

Wipers and Defrosters

  • Safe winter driving depends on achieving and maintaining the best visibility possible.

  • Make sure your windshield wipers work; replace worn blades.

  • Consider installing heavy-duty winter wipers if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice.

  • Check to see that your front and rear window defrosters work properly.

Floor Mats

  • Improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle may interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash.

  • Remove old floor mats before installing new mats; never stack mats.

  • Use mats that are the correct size and fit for your vehicle.

  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation. Use available retention clips to secure the mat and prevent it from sliding forward.

  • Every time the mats are removed for any reason, verify that the driver’s mat is reinstalled correctly.

Tires

  • If you plan to use snow tires, have them installed in the fall so you are prepared before it snows. Check out nhtsa.gov/tires for tire ratings before buying new ones and look for winter tires with the snowflake symbol.

  • Regardless of season, inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips. It only takes about five minutes. If you find yourself driving under less-than-optimal road conditions this winter, you’ll be glad you took the time. Don’t forget to check your spare tire.

  • As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner’s manual and on a placard located on the driver's side door frame. The correct pressure is NOT the number listed on the tire. Be sure to check tires when they are cold, which means the car hasn’t been driven for at least 3 hours.

  • Look closely at your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. Tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires.

  • Check the age of each tire. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use, but check your owner’s manual to find out.

  • For more information on tire safety, visit NHTSA’s Tires page.

Michigan Snow Car Crash Lawyer

Driving in the winter, especially on Michigan roads can be a lot like playing Mario Kart. It can be a thrill to race down Rainbow Road as Mario, but seconds later the kart might hit with a banana peel and spin out landing the player in last place. A driver who neglects safety measures before heading out into winter driving conditions may end up in a real life game of Mario Kart. Therefore, to avoid car crashes, it’s important to go over every winter driving safety rule before getting behind the wheel.


Taking a vehicle to get serviced can be a pain of a process, but failing to do so may lead to larger consequences which no driver wants to endure. Servicing a vehicle before heading out is very important during winter in Michigan and keeps drivers safe on the roads. The personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC represent individuals who have been injured in serious winter accidents. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

MSP Responded To Nearly 100 Icy Road Car Crashes Today!

Source: Giphy, HBO’s Game of Thrones

It’s January 16th, but some days have been unbelievably warm and sunny with 50°F weather. People are still flocking to outdoor ice cream stands like it’s still summer! Unfortunately, it appears as our good luck has faded and as they say on Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” Metro Detroit citizens woke up to the surprise of slick, icy roads this morning after getting used to the mild winter that that graced Michigan so far.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) responded to nearly 100 car accidents, just today! Not only did they have to provide emergency services for car crash calls, but an MSP patrol car was also involved in a speeding car crash. The MSP tweeted about the crash saying, “We got lucky overnight! A courtesy van, road commission salt truck and a state police patrol car were all hit while trying to keep you safe overnight. Fortunately, we can fix metal. No one was hurt. Please, Move Over!!”

Clearly winter weather is dangerous to drive in. But, since we can’t stay indoors for months at a time, it’s important to learn how to properly navigate vehicles through snow and ice. The MSP even tweeted a winter driving safety tip, “Another quick pointer this morning. Four wheel drive is great in snow and mud. On ice four wheel drive becomes four wheel slide! So pick up drivers and SUV drivers need to slow down this morning.” The MSP also informed readers of, "Some hot spots in the district: I 75 downriver and I94 in Detroit. Multiple crashes in both areas causing temporary closures and lane restrictions."


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,259,000 weather related accidents occurred between 2005 and 2015. Specifically in winter months, the data shows that 17% of crashes occurred during snow or sleet, 13% occurred on icy pavement, and 14% occurred due to snowy or slushy pavement. Therefore, drivers need to be very careful when driving in winter weather conditions. Driving safely in the snow is better than being a passenger in an ambulance.

Winter Weather Means Hazardous Driving Conditions

While a lot of us may love the holiday season, one not so joyous thing that comes with it is the weather. What's particularly bad is that winter weather affects roads and can make driving dangerous. While fresh snow may be a pretty sight to see on Christmas morning, it’s a lot less pretty when it’s causing car collisions on the road. Unfortunately, snow, sleet, and ice, are responsible for a significant number of automobile accidents in winter months.

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), over 70% of roads in the U.S. are located in areas that receive at least 5 inches of snow on average each year. Nearly 70% of the U.S. population lives in these areas, meaning the vast majority of us have our drives impacted by winter weather conditions to some degree. Heavy snow and sleet reduce visibility of the road, and snow accumulation reduces the number of cars that fit on the street, as well as how fast vehicles are able to travel. On surface roads, speeds decrease by an average of 30-40% in snowy and icy conditions. On the freeway, speeds decrease by an average of 3-13% in light snow, and 5-40% in heavy snow. Snow and ice on the road also reduce pavement friction and vehicle maneuverability.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that of the 5,748,000 crashes that occurred between 2005 and 2015, 1,259,000 (22%) were weather related. This is an average of about 5,900 weather related automobile accidents per year. Of crashes caused by weather, precipitation and wet pavement were the most common causes, which is unsurprising because these conditions occur year round. Of weather conditions that are specific to winter months, 17% of crashes occurred during snow or sleet, 13% occurred on icy pavement, and 14% occurred due to snowy or slushy pavement. Rapidly changing conditions, such as a sudden blizzard, are the most dangerous conditions, as road visibility can change in an instant.

Road salt is commonly used to help reduce the effects of winter weather on the road. USDOT reports that winter road maintenance makes up 20% of state DOT maintenance budgets. State and local agencies spend approximately $2.3 billion on snow and ice road repairs. Salt has proven to be extremely effective in keeping drivers safer. According to a study done by Marquette University, road salt reduces the number of car collisions by 88%, injuries by 85%, and accident costs by 85%.

It’s clear that winter weather conditions make roads more dangerous and car accidents more likely to happen. However it’s unrealistic to expect drivers to just not go anywhere when it snows (especially in Michigan, where the winters can be very, very long). The Michigan Secretary of State offers the following tips for driving in winter weather.

Michigan Winter Car Crash Lawyer

While following these tips can’t guarantee you won’t get into a winter car accident caused by snow or ice, it may help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions, and keep you and your family safer if you should be involved a car crash. The holiday season is a celebratory time of year, but it’s important to be aware of the driving hazards that also occur. These scary winter car accident statistics aren’t meant to keep you in your house all winter, but should serve as an important reminder of the additional hazards winter weather poses to driving.


While winter weather conditions do make driving more dangerous, the truth is that car crashes happen all year round. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Christmas Lights May Cause Distracted Driving Accidents

With Christmas just around the corner, houses, shopping complexes, and office buildings all around, are decorated in shining lights, Santa sleighs, and reindeer. While receiving gifts may be most peoples' favorite part about the upcoming holidays, Christmas decorations are another cause for excitement, as they bring out creativity and even competition, to see who has the best displays. In fact, the whole premise of the movie Deck The Hallsis, "two neighbors having it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space!" Visibility from space may be a stretch, but many businesses, homes, and even cities in Michigan, go all out in lighting splendor during the holidays. Driving to see these Christmas light spectacles is a very popular Christmas pastime. 

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In fact, there are multiple holiday light displays throughout the Metro Detroit area which hold up traffic and draw crowds of pedestrians. Downtown Rochester, Michigan is famous for its outstanding light display throughout that connects all downtown storefronts. Restaurants and small shops are decorated in different colors, which gives the entire strip an amazing glow. Citizens of Michigan can view this sight by driving through downtown but also enjoy parking, walking around, and taking pictures with their family and friends. For those who don't like to leave the comfort and warmth of their car, Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe is a popular holiday decoration destination. The houses in this neighborhood are known for the extravagant Christmas lights and people from all across the Metro Detroit area come to see them.

While the light shows and displays are so dazzling, it is for the reason that they are eye catching that they may also be dangerous. Looking at lights while in a car causes attention to veer away from the road and may in turn cause drivers to become involved in distracted driving car accidents. These distracted driving car crashes might not only involve other cars, but in such high traffic areas, may lead to distracted driving pedestrian accidents. A few weeks ago, in Massachusetts, a local news outlet reported that a 62-year-old man was hit by a car while crossing the street to view a popular Christmas light display that is put up every year. He was hit by a 23-year-old who was driving through the light display. This is just one example of the many distracted driving car accidents that can occur relating to both pedestrians and drivers during the holiday season. And although that distracted driving pedestrian accident occurred in Massachusetts, similar winter car crashes can occur to families talking selfies in downtown Rochester or couples driving through Lake Shore Drive.  

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Whether you are a pedestrian or a driver, one thing to always remember is to be aware of your surroundings and know that your actions can affect the lives of others. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day 9 people are killed and around 1,000 people are injured due to distracted driving. That's over 12,000 people who get injured because of distracted driving! 

If you plan on driving to see holiday lights this year, choosing a designated driver, as you would to avoid drunk driving, may be a good idea. A designated driver would not look at the holiday decorations and instead would focus on the road so the rest of the vehicle's occupants can enjoy Christmas spectacles without worry. If you plan to take in the holiday spirit via walking, try to wear reflective clothing and move in a group so as to be visible, and try to stay on sidewalks and walkways, so as to avoid stepping in the road. While there is no surefire way to avoid being involved in a distracted driving car accident or a distracted pedestrian crash, by staying alert and staying in your lane (or sidewalk), any potential accidents can hopefully be avoided.

Pedestrians and drivers who want to take pictures of the holiday displays should be aware that cell phones are a huge contributor to distracted driving and adding Christmas lights just begging to be photographed and tweeted into the mix, doesn’t help. Getting the perfect Instagram picture is not worth a call to a car accident lawyer. Telling your accident attorney that you got hit by a car because you walked into the road while taking a selfie with Santa in the background not only sounds embarrassing, but may cause you deal with a ridiculous number of Michigan car insurance legal issues. 


The holiday season comes with an infectious spirit that causes people to drink eggnog, go caroling, and decorate their houses with lights. While driving around town to look at holiday light displays is a popular event, drivers and pedestrians should always remember to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to prevent distracted driving car accidents. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC, at 844.MI.FIRM, for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. 

First Snowfalls Causing Car Collisions Across Michigan

The snow has started in Michigan, and unfortunately, the dangerous impact it can have on roads is already being seen. In only the first week of December, numerous car collisions caused by hazardous weather conditions were already reported.

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In western Michigan, accidents involving over three dozen cars were reported by the Detroit Free Press. On Thursday, December 7, 2017, westbound I-94 in southwestern Michigan was closed due to various pileups that began around 9 AM. An initial twenty car pileup was then quickly followed by a ten car pileup. Eight other smaller accidents were also reported that day, including one car accident involvign a pickup truck that slid into oncoming traffic, sideswiping an SUV. Luckily, only minor injuries were reported. The car accidents occurred near Mattawan, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Slippery road conditions were cited as the cause of all of these automobile accidents.

The Detroit Free Press also reported on a tragic scene that was caused by winter weather conditions in northern Michigan. On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, a 25-year old man was killed after he was hit by an oncoming vehicle as he was clearing snow from his driveway. The man was using a snowblower when a 25-year old female driver lost control of her vehicle, hitting the man. The accident occurred in Kingsley, Michigan, which is located in Grand Traverse County. The names of those involved in the accident have not been released as an investigation is ongoing.

Michigan Snow Car Crash Lawyer

Accidents like these are unfortunately common throughout the United States as winter weather starts to set in. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 22% of car collisions that occurred between 2005 and 2014 were caused by hazardous weather. Those accidents killed an average of 5,900 people each year, which accounts for 16% of annual vehicular deaths. Of accidents caused by hazardous weather, wet pavement was the most common culprit, being responsible for 73% of all weather related accidents. Snow and sleet precipitation accounted for 17% of all weather related accidents, snowy and slushy pavement accounted for 14% of these car crashes, and and icy pavement accounted for 13%.

These numbers are scary, and Michigan winters are cold and long. This doesn’t mean that you should never get in your car again until April, but it is important that drivers are aware of the hazards that snow, sleet, slush, and ice can present. Practicing safe driving behaviors is always important, but especially so when driving in hazardous weather. Drivers should first make sure their vehicles are ready for winter driving. Steps to make a car winter ready can be found on The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. Once a car is winter ready, drivers should take their time on the road and be sure to leave enough stopping distance between themselves and other vehicles. Finally, If the weather really seems just too dangerous to be driving in, it’s likely that most businesses will be closed, and you don’t need to brave the elements and risk injuring or hurting yourself or others.


Accidents happen year round, but the truth is that winter weather conditions make car accidents even more likely. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident caused by hazardous weather such as snow or ice, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.