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.

Ready Or Not, Here Teens Come

In July 2018, a teen passenger was killed in a rollover crash while teaching another teen how to drive. MLive reported that neither of the teens were wearing seat belts when the driver, who was going too fast, lost control of the vehicle and it rolled. In another recent teenage car accident, The Detroit Free Press reported that a van full of 10 teenagers were driving on 1-75 and when the driver attempted to switch spots with another passenger as the van was still in motion, causing the van to roll. Two of the three passengers were ejected from the van. If these teen car crashes are anything to go by, it seems like teenagers are not the safest or most cautious drivers. In fact, The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) recently stated on Instagram that, “teen drivers were 2.5 times more likely to engage in 1 or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with 1 teenage peer, compared to when driving alone.” Also, “the likelihood of teen drivers engaging in 1 or more risky behaviors when traveling with multiple passengers increased to 3 times compared to when driving alone.”

Teenage License Eligibility

Just because a teenager and their friends are bored on a Friday night and they find their parents’ car keys on the kitchen counter, doesn’t mean they can go for a joyride through the Taco Bell drive-thru. There are rules on who can drive!

According to Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS), “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. Level 2’s intermediate license can be earned if a driver is at least 16 years old, had a Level 1 Learner’s License for at least 6 months, and has successfully completed Segment 2 of an approved driver education program. Drivers should also have a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult sign the application to certify the 50 hours behind-the-wheel driving experience. To be eligible for a Level 2 Full License, applicants must be 17 years old, have Level 2 License for at least 6 months, and completed 12 consecutive months without a moving violation, a crash in which a moving violation resulted, a crash, a license suspension, or a violation of the graduated license restrictions. These requirements end for all teens once they turn 18-years-old.”

However, just because teens are eligible to drive at 14 years and 9 months doesn’t mean they can just hit the road whenever they want. Michigan’s Secretary of State office has restrictions for Level 1 and Level 2 drivers.

Michigan Graduated Drivers License Restrictions

A Level 1 licensed driver:

1. May only drive with a licensed parent/guardian or designated licensed adult age 21 or older.

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A Level 2 licensed driver:

1. Shall not operate a motor vehicle between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except when:

  • Driving to or from or in the course of employment;

  • Driving to or from an authorized activity; or

  • Accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or a licensed driver 21 years of age or older designated by the parent or legal guardian.

2. Shall not operate a motor vehicle at any time with more than one passenger in the vehicle who is younger than 21 years of age except:

  • When the additional passengers are immediate family members;

  • When driving to or from, or in the course of employment;

  • While going to or from an authorized activity; or

  • When accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or a licensed driver 21 years of age or older designated by the parent or legal guardian.

So, the teen driver who was teaching the other teen how to drive before they crashed, exhibited behavior that is illegal because according to the SOS rules, they are probably Level 1 drivers, and therefore must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or a licensed driver 21 years of age or older. Also, in Michigan, it is illegal for Level 2 drivers to operate a motor vehicle with more than 1 passenger in the vehicle who is younger than 21-years-old, which means the driver with 10 passengers was also driving illegally!

Forget keeping hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel! Teens seem more likely to have their hands in the air taking a selfie behind the wheel, rather than holding the wheel. Since teen drivers take so many road risks, it’s important for parents to speak to their kids about these dangers. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog recently discussed some driving discussion tips for parents who have driving age teens. It always important to remind teens, and everyone, that driving is a privilege, not a right.


Seeing teenagers behind the wheel can be a scary sight for other drivers on the road. Risky behaviors can lead to car accidents and severe accident injuries. Teens who get into car crashes are scared to call their parents, but those parents may be terrified of dealing with car accident insurance claims. The car crash lawyers at The Michigan Law Firm, PC make the insurance process easier for car crash victims and their families, and work hard to recover car insurance benefits even when crash victims have been denied. Contact 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.

Girl Dies Falling Out Of Car Window

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Going to Miami for spring break should involve sunshine, sandy beaches, multiple pairs of sunglasses, and aside from a bad sunburn an overall a safe trip..

Mariah Michelle Logans’ Spring Break trip to Miami checked everything on this list, right up until she got in her car to drive home to Chicago. She and her friends were driving on State Road 112 on the way to the Miami International Airport at 4:43 am on March 17, 2019. According to the Miami Herald, Logan, 23, was “hanging out” of the right rear passenger window of a rented Hyundai, trying to capture every last moment of her memorable trip and yelled, “Bye, Miami,” out the window.. In these few seconds, Mariah fell out of the window and landed on the road. A Range Rover was driving behind the Hyundai and was in the process of merging into the lane to the right when Mariah fell out of her car and he crushed her to death. The driver of the Range Rover stopped when he ran over Mariah but then drove off.

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigators are looking into whether or not alcohol was involved in this hit-and-run car crash. Unfortunately, highway surveillance cameras are making the investigation difficult because they only live-stream. The FHP also won’t say if there are any other witnesses other than the three other passengers in the Hyundai.

Mariah’s friends and family are understandably reeling from the loss. Her boyfriend, Ray Olden spoke to The Miami Herald saying, “She was just being silly. She loved life...She brought energy and life. She never looked at the bad.”

Car crash deaths are very unfortunate events. Car accidents are not 100% preventable. However, there are precautions that every passenger in a vehicle can take to help lessen the chance of getting into a car crash or to avoid serious car crash injuries. One such car accident prevention tactic is that passengers in a moving vehicle should never stick their bodies out of a vehicle window and should always stay seated with a seat belt strapped on. According to the The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives in 2016.”

It seems as though passengers do know the importance of wearing a seat belt since the NHTSA reported that the national use rate for seat belts is at 90.1%. However, like Mariah Logan, nearly 27.5 million people still don’t wear their seat belts and put their lives at risk. The NHTSA also mentions that, if passengers wear a seat belt, they may reduce their risk of fatal injuries by 45%. So, remember, seat belts save lives!


Wearing a seat belt can help keep passengers secure inside a moving vehicle. Neglecting to wear a seat belt can result in being ejected from the vehicle during a car crash accident, which may further lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. The Michigan Law Firm, PC attorneys fight to seek justice and compensation for car crash injury victims.all 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.

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.

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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.

Get A Date, Not A DUI, This Valentine's Day

Being handcuffed and placed into the backseat of a police car for drunk driving can kill the romance of a Valentine’s Day date in a second.

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Picking out the most attractive outfit, spraying the most fragrant perfume, and finding the perfect dozen red roses are, of course, important parts of preparing for the perfect Valentine’s Day date. But the plan that matters most is how to get home safely after drinking a bottle of bubbly or a few Valentine-themed cocktails.

In 2014, a BACtrack report found that, “14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.” Of these holidays, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd drunkest holiday! What is even more astonishing is that, “the day after Valentine’s Day had a high of 0.092% BAC.” So, while some people are venturing out to Meijer for 50% off Valentine’s Day candies like heart-shaped Reese’s cups and chocolate covered strawberries, others may be hitting the road after a few glasses of red wine left over from the night before.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 10,847 deaths caused by drunk driving, and, “in every State, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017.” With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday this year, many individuals may want to drive home after their night of celebrating so they can wake up early and drive to work the next morning. These potential drunk drivers should know that not only are they putting themselves and others at risk of drunk driving car crashes, but they may also be endangering their driving record. The Michigan State Police (MSP) found that “annually, tens of thousands of drivers are arrested in Michigan for alcohol-related offenses.”

The MSP has a few suggestions on how to avoid drunk driving car crashes. People enjoying Valentine's Day festivities can adapt these tips to their plans to stay safe this tomorrow. After all, the police station drunk tank isn’t the ideal venue for a intimate date and you don’t want to blow your date budget on bail money!

How To Avoid A Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol. An Uber driver, particularly an Uber Black driver, is technically a chauffeur right? And chauffeurs instantly make a date feel classier and allow couples to converse in the back seat instead of having to focus on the road.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus. Aren’t midnight strolls in the moonlight the height of romanticism? So, picking a restaurant near the house will give couples the chance to pick out constellations on the walk home after dining and drinking.

  • Stay overnight. Similar to bringing over a sleeping bag to a friend’s house to crash after a rager, one way to safely drink without limitations on Valentine’s Day, is by staying the night at a hotel. Some upscale hotels even have 5-star restaurants located inside, so the only drunk traveling to worry about is walking to the nearest elevator. Take the Shinola Hotel in Downtown Detroit for example. Inside the hotel is the San Morello restaurant, but if you don’t want Italian, there are dozens of other dining options in walking distance!

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Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving on Valentine’s Day, is to just not drink! Isn’t the sugar high from the candy hearts, smarties necklaces, and the decadent dessert from dinner enough to keep people hyper?! Drunk driving car crashes can occur just as quickly as it takes Cupid to shoot an arrow. So, stop and smell the roses (bouquet) on Valentine’s Day by having a drink or two, but don’t let drunk driving become a thorn in your side!


Choosing a piece of chocolate from a newly opened, heart-shaped box of Russell Stover’s chocolate may be a difficult task, but choosing a law firm to represent a drunk driving accident victim can be very easy. The Michigan Law Firm, PC helps those who have been injured in car crashes identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us a 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation.

A Play by Play To A Safe Super Bowl Party

Is everyone ready to see the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams duke it out this Sunday, during the Super Bowl?! What should go on a Super Bowl Sunday checklist? Chips? Check. Dip? Check. Designated driver? Check!

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According to a study conducted by BACtrack, Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd drunkest American holiday! To many Americans, football is a religion and the Super Bowl is the holiest holiday. And one of the ways to worship during the Super Bowl is by consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Celebrations involve red solo cups filled with alcoholic mixed drinks, bottles of Bud Light wrapped in a lucky koozie, fancy craft brews in snifter glasses, and even carafes of wine. And if you need to calm the fire in your mouth after eating a hot wing, there are jello shots. Plus with drinking games in which everyone takes a shot when there’s a touchdown or when an announcer says a specific word, there is a lot of alcohol being consumed during a Super Bowl party!

Unfortunately, the buzz from the thrill of the Big Game can wear off long before the buzz of the alcohol. After all, the game is on Sunday evening and people have to work the next day. And especially if your favorite team loses, you may want to get home as soon as possible. But Super Bowl partygoers need to remember that, “drunk driving kills.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, “In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.” Since the Super Bowl is the 2nd drunkest holiday of the year, many drunk driving car crashes are likely to occur. In order to prevent drunk driving car accidents, the NHTSA offers drivers a play by play on how to drive safely on Super Bowl Sunday.

How To Avoid Super Bowl Drunk Driving

  • Known the Rules: It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. When it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement doesn’t throw a yellow flag; they throw the book at you. You’ll get pulled over, arrested, and prosecuted. Your wallet takes a big hit, too: the average DUI court case cost approximately $10,000.

  • Play It Safe: Defenses win championships; your best defense is to plan a safe ride. From buses and trains to car services and designated drivers, connect with the option that will get you home safely. NHTSA even has an app for the-SaferRide-which is available for Apple and Android devices and can connect you to a local cab company or with a friend who can come pick you up.

  • Be a Party MVP: Volunteer to be a designated driver. Let your squad know that you’ll be there for them when the party’s over with a safe, sober ride home. (You can even tweet their names to @NHTSAgov to make them part of the NHTSA’s Wall of Fame. Use the hashtag #designateddriver.)

  • If You’ve Been Drinking, You’re Benched: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. There’s no place on the road for anyone who has been drinking. If someone tries to drive after drinking, tell them to ride the bench until you help them find a sober ride home. If you’re hosting the party, you’re the head coach. Make the right call: take their keys before they drink and drive.

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyer

The Super Bowl will end with one team winning it all, but by not engaging in drunk driving, everyone can win. Sure, a shiny trophy signifying a football season full of hard work and dedication is nice, but drivers should avoid the shiny prize of handcuffs signifying a night of bad drunk driving decisions. People planning to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl should sober up before leaving the party, celebrate at home, find a designated driver, or call an Uber or Lyft. Drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Drunk driving car accidents ruin the lives of the drunk driver and anyone they injure in a car crash. Drunk driving attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC, seek to help victims injured in drunk driving car crashes identify and collect benefits and compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan drunk driving lawyer, call 844.4MI.FIRM.


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.

#BirdBoxChallenge Is Becoming A Bigger Horror Than The Movie

Move over In My Feelings Challenge! The Bird Box Challenge, a recent viral challenge inspired by Netflix’s hit horror movie Bird Box, has taken over!

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Starring Sandra Bullock, the movie’s antagonist is a supernatural entity that shows people their worst fears and terrorizes them to the point where they kill themselves. To avoid certain and painful death, the characters blindfold themselves as they travel to safety. Fans of Bird Box have started performing various tasks while blindfolded and have been sharing images and videos as #BirdBoxChallenge.

Unfortunately, this dangerous ‘challenge’ has been causing tons of injuries, including a car accident on January 11, 2019. Layton, Utah law enforcement stated that a 17-year-old driver was partaking in the “Bird Box Challenge” when she swerved into an approaching vehicle and crashed into a light pole, according to a local news report.

“Apparently, as a part of this ‘Bird Box Challenge,’ (the driver) used her beanie to pull over her eyes as she was driving on Layton Parkway, and she ended up losing control of her car and skidded into the westbound lanes of Layton Parkway and hit another car and ended up hitting a light pole as well,” Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said.

After the challenge went viral, Netflix urged people to not participate in the challenge, tweeting, “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”

In 2016, the NHTSA reported that 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Although no car accident injuries occurred in this Bird Box car crash, it must be noted that drivers who take part in distracted driving “challenges” not only put themselves, but also others, at risk of a being involved serious car crashes.


The car accident attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC take care of the legal hassles involved car accident lawsuits so that car crash victims can focus on getting their lives back on track after a serious car accident. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation if you have been injured a distracted driving car crash.

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

Winter Car Crash Lawyer Detroit
  • 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.

Takata Faulty Airbag Update: More Deaths, More Recalls

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Takata’s airbag nightmare seems to be never-ending. Readers who follow The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog, are familiar with the now notorious Takata scandal which started on November 18, 2014. After an intensive investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Takata airbags were defective and could explode when deployed during a car accident. More specifically, upon deployment of the airbags, defective inflator and propellant devices may shoot metal fragments into the vehicle occupants they’re supposed to protect. These exploding airbags have caused serious injuries and even deaths. So many recalls were issued due to these faulty airbags, that Takata of Japan saught bankruptcy protection and sold most of its assets to pay for the repairs.

While the scandal erupted in 2014, it is still causing problems in 2019, with Toyota issuing a recall of 1.7 million vehicles in North America on January 9, according to the Detroit Free Press. Toyota is urging the drivers of these recalled vehicles to get their front passenger airbags fixed immediately, to avoid airbag injuries in the event of a car crash. Toyota is scheduled to replace 10 million airbags starting this month. This report comes just after Ford recently recalled nearly 1 million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, on December 28, 2018.

The Detroit Free Press lists the Toyota and Ford vehicle models included in both recalls.

Toyota Faulty Airbag Recalls Ford and Lincoln Faulty Airbag Recalls
2010 through 2016 4Runner 2010 Ford Edge
2010 through 2013 Corolla and Matrix 2010 Lincoln MKX
2011 through 2014 Sienna 2010 through 2011 Ford Ranger
2010 through 2012 ES Lexus models including the 350 2010 through 2012 Lincoln MKZ
2010 through 2017 GX 460 2010 through 2011 Mercury Milan
2010 through 2015 IS 250C and 350C 2010 through 2014 Ford Mustang
2010 through 2013 250 and 350
2010 through 2015 Scion XB
2010 through 2014 IS-F

NHTSA’s December 2018 report, Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls, mentions that 15 people have been killed in the U.S. and hundreds have been injured worldwide due to Takata’s faulty airbags. According to the report, “more exposure over more time to high heat and humidity further degrades the Takata inflators phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate compound, making it more porous, more volatile and more prone to transform from a life-saving device to a life-threatening one.” The report also mentions that one-third of the recalled inflators still have not been replaced! Also, as of October 2018, approximately 16.7 million recalled Takata airbag inflators remain unrepaired and close to 10 million more inflators will be added to the recalls in January of this year.

Drivers can enter their vehicle’s VIN number in the Safety Issues and Recalls lookup tool on the NHTSA’s website to find out if their vehicle, “needs to be repaired as part of a recall.” It’s recommended that vehicle owners regularly check to see if there are any recalls out on their cars to avoid any accident injuries that result from not making these repairs.


Drivers of recalled vehicles are encouraged to have their automobiles serviced by certified professionals, in order to prevent more serious injuries and deaths resulting from the Takata airbag scandal. Faulty airbag deaths can occur if defective inflator and propellant devices shoot metal fragments into a vehicle’s occupants upon deflating during a car crash. The defective airbags may also deploy randomly and not just during car accidents if the chemical compound inside deteriorates. Drivers can enroll in NHTSA’s recall notification email system to receive alerts regarding recalls affecting their vehicles. If you or someone you know was injured due to faulty airbags or any other recall defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC today at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

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:

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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.

4th of July Travel Safety Tips

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

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

4th of July Travel Safety Tips

  1. Stay in the same place all day if possible. If you’re party-hopping, walk or bicycle.
  2. If you must drive, do NOT drink.
  3. Stay alert and free from distractions at all times, as people, children and animals may be walking around outdoors. That means NO TEXTING, and keep your music low.
  4. If you’re tired, stay put. Nothing’s worth risking your life for.
  5. Avoid the late hours of the night or early morning hours, when people are likely to be driving home and may be drunk or tired.
  6. Observe all speed limits – even slow down a little – and buckle up.
  7. This is a day to be extra alert, patient, and cautious. If you can’t be all three of those, don’t drive.
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As stated by NHTSA, “America’s Independence Day is about freedom. But freedom comes with responsibilities.” The Fourth of July should be a day for celebration, not for regret. Remember, it is never okay to drink and drive. Hot dogs and potato salad may mix, but alcohol and automobiles never do! Even if drivers have only had a little bit to drink, according to the NHTSA, buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

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


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

The Michigan Supreme Court Tweets: Don't Text And Drive

The Michigan Supreme Court recently released a tweet about Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is in April, in order to show their support of this campaign. The dangers of distracted driving are well known, but many people don’t realize the reality of these dangers. Texting and driving, which the Michigan Supreme Court mentioned in the tweet, is a highly publicized distracted driving activity, but isn’t the only one. Any activity which takes a driver’s attention from the road is considered distracted driving and could result in a distracted driving car crash. Logically, people know distracted driving is dangerous, but don’t realize that the dangers of distracted driving apply to them. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking can cause people to not be as careful while driving, and be the cause of a distracted driving car crash.

In one example of how dangerous distracted driving is, The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (MOHSP) recently released a video about Sam Howell, a resident of St. Charles, Michigan, who was an unfortunate victim of a distracted driving car accident back in 2005. In a follow up press release about the video, the MOHSP said that Howell had dropped his cell phone and was trying to pick it up when it rang, when he drove right off the road. Howell suffered severe injuries in his distracted driving car crash and  doctors estimated only a 3% chance of surviving at the time. Following the car accident, Howell was was in a coma for more than two months. Howell’s treating medical providers thought he would never wake up again, let alone be able to walk, talk, or eat, much to his parents’ dismay.

“This is not only his nightmare but our nightmare,” Jim Howell, Sam’s father, said when given the news about his son’s chances of survival in 2005. Maureen Howell, Sam’s mother, added, “Nothing on your phone is worth that.”

However, despite his low chance of surviving the distracted driving car crash, Sam woke up from his coma and began his road to recovery. Now, he can walk unassisted and  advocates for increased awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, by using his own distracted driving car accident as a cautionary tale. “I remember reaching for my cell phone, which had fallen on the passenger floor and was ringing. I grabbed it, sat up, and was airborne off the road,” he said. He encourages people to not do what he did, and to put cell phones away and out of sight, while driving.

Don't text and drive

Distracted driving is a topic that should be spoken more about, especially since according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, about 481,000 people use their cell phones while driving. That is why it’s quite progressive that The Michigan Supreme Court, whose youngest member is 49-years-old  has chosen to embrace social media like Twitter, to spread awareness about the topic. The Michigan Supreme Court didn’t just tweet about distracted driving during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but they used  images and short text to drive home the point. Sure, even dogs have their own Twitter accounts these days, but having the highest federal court in the United States weigh in on a topic, proves how serious and important distracted driving is.

Distracted driving is a dangerous activity that claimed 40,100 lives in 2017, according to The National Safety Council (NSC). Checking a text, Facebook notification, or talking to your friend about how excited you are about Avengers: Infinity War, are all important things to people living in 2018. But, they are things that should be done when not behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Distracted driving is 100% preventable! Any car accident injuries or car crash fatalities caused by a distracted driving accident are therefore also 100% preventable! 


More important and influential  institutions like The Michigan Supreme Court are joining social media in order to keep up with current topics and events. Hopefully, by adding their thoughts to the social media conversation, they will  help spread awareness on important subjects  like distracted driving and help save lives. If you or someone you know is a victim of a distracted driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our attorneys are highly experienced in helping victims of distracted driving car accidents identify and collect any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Eating And Driving Is Distracted Driving!

Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

You’re driving home from a long day at work and are starving from that light and unsatisfactory salad you had for lunch. The McDonald’s you just picked up is sitting on the chair beside you, tempting you with it’s tantalizing smell. You can just imagine those french fries, so salty and delicious, and your mouth waters. One fry wouldn’t really be an issue, would it? You reach for a fry, and realize that you can’t just eat the fry by its lonesome. You need that ketchup. So you reach into the bag, glancing between it and the road as you paw around for a packet of ketchup. After finding it, you carefully balance the fry in your hand, tear open the packet of ketchup, and slowly spread it along the french fry. You finally eat it, and your eyes close as you savor the salty treat, your taste buds dancing with delight. You open your eyes again, debating whether to grab another fry or not, when you notice that your car is heading straight into the ditch on the side of the road. You're about to get into a car accident. Oops!

Eating on the go is a common occurrence. People late to work in the morning, people who work late and pick up food on the way home, and people snacking on long drives and road trips, all eat while driving. However, eating while driving is a form of distracted driving that may lead to dangerous distracted driving car crashes.

Distracted driving is anything that distracts people from keeping their full attention on the road when driving. While most people associate distracted driving with texting or making a phone call while driving, eating is also a habit that causes people to take their eyes off the road, and therefore can cause distracted driving car accidents. Many people don’t comprehend how these distracted driving activities, which nearly everyone has done at least once in their lives, could be dangerous, since they overestimate their alertness and think they’ll be safe, “just this once.” It may seem silly, but even something as small as eating a single fry could cause a distracted driving car crash. 

Source: Giphy, FX’s It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

In fact, the Auto Alliance Driving Innovation’s public service campaign, which works to eliminate distracted driving, Decide To Drive, states that eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. After all, the modern world is full of food designed to eat while driving. Just take a look at Go-Gurt, a cup of yogurt repackaged in an easy to hold and slurp tube, or the entire marketing ploy behind KFC’s Go Cup being that it fits in the cup holder, making it perfect to eat fried chicken while driving. So, why isn’t eating and driving a more pressing issue when discussing distracted driving? According to Decide To Drive, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that eating and driving increases the likelihood of crashes by 80 percent. Additionally, 65 percent of near-miss crashes are caused by distracted drivers who are eating or drinking while driving.” And since 40,100 distracted driving deaths occurred in 2017, according to The National Safety Council (NSC), it’s safe to assume that a good number of these distracted driving fatalities were due to eating while driving. That is a large number of deaths for something that could have been prevented by paying a little more attention to the road. If waiting to get home to eat those McDonald's french fries is too taxing, people should consider parking and eating them in the McDonald’s parking lot!

This is why April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Hopefully, by bringing awareness to how dangerous distracted driving is, like eating and driving, fewer people will get into distracted driving car accidents in the future. 


Distracted driving, whether it is by eating food, texting, or blaring the radio, can be a dangerous activity and may result in a distracted driving car accident. Make a positive change for Distracted Driving Awareness Month by reconsidering eating that 5-layer Beef Burrito you just picked up from Taco Bell’s drive thru while driving. Instead, perhaps wait until your arrival home or even dine. Stay safe and avoid distracted driving. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a distracted driving car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal 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. 

Could HUBO Robot Save Lives?

Whether it’s winter or summer, every two years people all over the world tune in for the Olympics. This year’s Winter Olympics were held in PyeongChang, South Korea. An important and arguably one of the most popular parts of the Olympics, is the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony contains performances and events that officially start the beginning of the Olympics.

One special event within the opening ceremony, is the lighting of the torch. The Olympic torch relay that is completed in today’s modern Olympics honors the ancient games that started it all. The ancient games took place in Olympia, Greece and used the sun to light the torch, to ensure purity. A flame burned on the altar of the Greek Goddess Hestia, and such fires were also lit on the altars of Zeus and Hera, during the ancient games. During the modern day Olympics, the flames are lit for the entire duration of the Olympics and are extinguished at the end of the games at the closing ceremony.

This year’s Olympic torch lighting was done a little differently. HUBO the humanoid robot, created by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIST) and was included in the relay race and ran the final leg of the relay in the city of PyeongChang,South Korea. HUBO was developed by Professor Jun Ho Oh from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST University, and is best known for being the winner of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge in 2015.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge is a competition encouraging participants to develop semi-autonomous ground robots that can do complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments, which falls in line with DARPA’s mission statement, “Creating breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security.” In 2015, there were over 22 different robots created by robotics teams from all around the world, for the challenge. HUBO completed every challenge faster than any other robot in the DARPA competition. The challenges that the robots have to complete are tasks that can be used during any disaster situation. The tasks include:

DARPA Robotics Challenge Requirements

1. Drive a utility vehicle at the site.

2. Travel dismounted across rubble.

3. Remove debris blocking an entryway.

4. Open a door and enter a building.

5. Climb an industrial ladder and traverse an industrial walkway.

6. Use a tool to break through a concrete panel.

7. Locate and close a valve near a leaking pipe.

8. Connect a fire hose to a standpipe and turn on a valve.

KAIST university reported that the HUBO was mainly created for disaster rescue operations. While HUBO was created with ambitious goals, one more humble way it might be able to save lives is by helping car accident victims. Even if technology advances to only have autonomous cars on the road, there may always still be a risk of car accidents happening. In the present time, when 1.3 million car accidents happen per year, worldwide according to Safe International Road Travel, and over 1 million people are killed each year from car accidents, according to the NHTSA, HUBO may be able to help at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. One main problem with how we deal with car accidents today is the often times slow response time of overworked and understaffed first responders, especially in major cities like Detroit, which has a response time of about 52 minutes per accident, according to Bridge News.  

A robot like HUBO may be able to help create faster response times and in some situations, may provide safer and quicker help than human responders who may have to put their own lives at risk. HUBO can move debris and break through concrete walls, and may be able to adapt its skills to pry open a crushed vehicle, allowing people trapped in a potentially fatal situation under the vehicle's weight, to be helped. And HUBO may be able to cut metal faster than it takes a couple of firefighters to operate the jaws of life. So, not only can HUBO save lives quicker but it may make first responders’ jobs safer. First responders’ won’t have to move or cut open cars or large debris, so it lowers the risk of them getting injured while trying to help somebody who was involved in a car accident. 

Hopefully, HUBO will be fully operational and deployed in life saving situations, all over the world, very soon!


With technology advancing as quickly as it is, people should be aware of everything that technology has to offer. Robots like HUBO can have a huge impact on car accidents and help lessen the number of people injured or killed in car crashes. If you have been involved in a car accident, call a car accident attorney from The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.