It's National Traffic Incident Response Week!

Most of us know to some extent that we need to slow down when an emergency vehicle is approaching, but do you know exactly what the law says? The Federal Highway Administration has declared the week of November 13-19, 2017, to be National Traffic Incident Response Week. The goal of the week is to raise awareness regarding the proper response when sharing the road with first responders. This week aims to remind drivers that they need to slow down and pull over, as well as help drivers be more aware of what laws their state specifically has in regard to emergency vehicles on the road. 

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

According to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), traffic incidents are the number one cause of death for EMT/EMS responders, and one of the leading causes of death for police officers. Nearly 13% of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty are killed in traffic incidents. OHS also notes that traffic incident managers often report that drivers simply are just unaware of the laws, in their state, regarding what to do if they are involved in an automobile accident. OHS suggests the following steps drivers can take in order to make the roads safer for first responders.

How Drivers Can Minimize First Responder Dangers

  • If you can steer it, clear it: After a fender-bender or crash, if (and only if) your car is driveable and there are no injuries, move your car to the shoulder or a nearby safe place off the road. Many drivers think they should not move their car until the police arrive and they can make an accident report, but this is false and can put drivers, their cars, and other people at risk.

  • Slow down and move over: When you pass by an incident scene and/or see lights, vests, or reflectors, slow down and move over. This provides a protective buffer for you, for emergency responders, and for the motorists behind you. You can get a ticket if you don't slow down and move over.

  • Drive safely: As always, drive sober and without distractions such as cell phones. Use your seat belt and stay aware of your surroundings.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

In the state of Michigan, there is a law on the books specifically regarding emergency vehicles. The Emergency Vehicle Caution Law, also known as the Move Over Law, applies to police, fire, rescue, ambulance, and road service vehicles.

Michigan Move Over Law

On Roads With Two or More Lanes of Travel in the Same Direction

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated carefully move over into an open lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down and pass with caution, allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

On Roads With One Lane of Travel in Each Direction

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated carefully move over into an open adjacent lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down and pass with caution, allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

Drivers who violate the law face misdemeanor penalties. This can result in 4 points going on the driver’s license and/or fees and fines of up to $150. If violation of the law results in injury or death of a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response person, the driver could face 15 years in prison and/or a fine of $7500.

First responders are there to keep us safe, especially if we find ourselves involved in a motor vehicle accident. As drivers, we need to repay the favor by making sure that first responders are safe when they’re on our roads. Being aware of your state’s laws so you know exactly what you need to do is best for keeping first responders safe, as well as keeping you out of legal trouble. By keeping first responders safe, we're helping them keep us safe.


While first responders are there to keep us safe in the event of a car collisions, they can't prevent them from happening. If you have been involved in an automobile accident call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation  with an experienced accident attorney today. 

Safety Tips For Driving In Winter Weather

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It’s the time of year again when driving conditions tend to be at their worst. In Michigan especially, winter brings very snowy months that make driving difficult for everyone. In addition to the snow and the effect that it has on road conditions and on drivers, icy roads are also obstacles for drivers. Icy and snowy roads typically lead to more car accidents during this time of the year.

However, there are several ways to deal with the hazards of icy roads and to prevent winter car crashes. A good trick to help remember how to drive safely in winter driving conditions is to remember the 3 P’s of safe winter driving, which are provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The 3 P’s of Safe Winter Driving:

1. Prepare for the Trip

The Prepare part of the 3 P’s deals with how to prepare your vehicle for winter driving conditions.

  1. The first tip is to maintain your car, which includes, but is not limited to, checking your battery, tire tread, windshield wipers, keeping your windows clear, putting in no-freeze fluid, and checking your antifreeze.
  2. The second tip includes things that drivers should have on hand, such as flashlights, jumper cables, abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter, shovels, snow brushes, ice scrapers, blankets, and a cell phone. For long trips, include things like food, water, and medication.
  3. The third tip of the is knowing how to deal with situations like when your car is stopped or stalled. In such a case, do not get out of your car, don’t overexert your car, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine your dome light, and if you run your car, clear the exhaust pipe and run it only long enough to keep warm.
  4. The fourth tip is to plan your route, which involves checking the weather ahead of time, checking maps/directions, allowing plenty of time to get to your destination, and letting others know of your route and estimated arrival time.
  5. The final tip to Prepare for your trip is to practice safe weather driving. This means rehearsing maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot in daylight, steering into a skid, and finding out what your brakes will do (stomp on anti-lock brakes and pump on non-anti-lock brakes). Knowing how to use you brakes is especially important since stopping distances are longer on ice. Another safe winter driving practice is to not idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.

2. Protect Yourself

The next P of the 3 P’s is Protect Yourself. This means:

  1. Buckling up and using child safety seats properly.
  2. Never placing an infant seat in front of an airbag. 
  3. Seating children 12 and under in back seat where it is much safer.

3. Prevent Crashes on the Road

The final P is to Prevent Crashes. This includes:

  1. Slowing down and increasing distances between cars. 
  2. Keeping your eyes open for pedestrians.
  3. Avoiding fatigue by getting plenty of rest before driving.
  4. Never driving after partaking in drugs or alcohol.
  5. If you do plan to drink, designating a sober driver. 

Winter is a dangerous season for drivers, especially for those who maneuver Michigan roads. Hopefully by following these winter driving safety tips, some accidents may be prevented this winter season. 

Michigan Icy Road Car Crash Lawyer

While these winter driving safety tips may help prevent some car crashes, accidents may still happen. Winter driving can be very difficult and dangerous, and there is only so much one can do to try to stay safe. If you or anybody you know has been injured in accident due to icy roads or other weather conditions, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all kinds of accident cases, and will fight to get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.