Pedestrians Are At Higher Risk Of Fatalities

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

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

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

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

Pedestrian Walking Safety Tips

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  • Use sidewalks whenever available.

  • Obey traffic signals.

  • Never cross mid-block.

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

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

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

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

  • Never assume the vehicle driver can see you.

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

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

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

  • Allow for enough time to safely cross the street.

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


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

Pedestrians - Beware Of Detroit's Deadliest Areas!

Detroit is a city full of history and rich culture. Over the years, the Motor City has faced numerous trials and setbacks, but today there is a newfound excitement in Detroit. People are making their way back and investments are being made to revitalize the city. While Detroit is in the midst of a major comeback, some serious problems need to be addressed in order to continue the city’s upward development. One of the issues currently at the forefront is pedestrian safety.

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From 2010-1016, Detroit had the, “highest per-capita pedestrian death rate… in the nation for large cities,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The Michigan Law Firm, PC discussed this alarming statistic earlier this month. Of the 139 square miles that make up Detroit, some areas pose a greater threat to pedestrians than others. Specifically, the Detroit Free Press identified three areas that have historically been more dangerous for pedestrians, including Gratiot, the west side of the city near 7 mile, 6 mile, and Greenfield, and Downtown Detroit.

In the Gratiot area, 8 pedestrians lost their lives within the, “half-mile stretch of Gratiot Avenue between Greiner Street and East 7 Mile Road.” Out of the 8 victims, 3 were women and 5 were men. The youngest to die in a pedestrian car crash on Gratiot was 14 years old and the oldest was 82 years old. The 5 men killed were between 21 and 60 years of age.

On the west side of Detroit, a total of 13 pedestrian fatalities took place approximately around, “West 7 Mile Road, Ferguson Street, Florence Street, and Lauder Street.” Over half of the lives lost in this “hot spot” were women. The male and female pedestrian car crash fatality victims  were between the ages of 25 and 71.

Not surprisingly, Downtown Detroit has been dangerous for bicyclists in addition to pedestrians. In a period of 8 years, 7 pedestrian fatalities occurred within, “1-square-mile...in the heart of the city on Woodward just north of Campus Martius.” Once again there was a wide age range amongst the pedestrians killed, with the the oldest, and also the only female, pedestrian killed being 90 years old, and the youngest pedestrian killed being a 21 year old male.

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In order to understand and prevent future pedestrian car accidents, it’s essential to recognize the similarities that these pedestrian fatalities share. First, alcohol did not a play a role in any of the 28 pedestrian accident fatalities, which means that the very serious problem of drunk driving did not contribute to these Detroit pedestrian deaths. Additionally, 22 out of the 28 pedestrian deaths, or more than 75% of the pedestrian fatalities, took place during nighttime hours when the city was dark. The fact that so many pedestrian car crash deaths happened in the dark leads to the theory that pedestrian fatalities are being caused by low visibility in Detroit streets, and not due to driver negligence by drunk driving or drugged driving. These pedestrian car accidents may have actually been accidents, that the at fault drivers couldn’t prevent. Although Detroit has added 60,000 street lamps over the past few years, it appears that more lighting needs to be installed, particularly at these three deadly Detroit locations, to prevent pedestrian car accidents. Lastly, 18 out of the 28 pedestrian car accident fatalities occurred at a non-intersection location. This means that the existing crosswalks are not helping shield the high pedestrian death rate, and city officials must focus on implementing safer pedestrian infrastructure.

Many Detroiters walk or ride their bikes to get around the city on a daily basis. These pedestrians should be able to get to their destinations safely and conveniently, without having to take risks that could result in a fatal car accident. As Detroit comes back stronger than ever, the city’s residents and tourists need to feel safe. Lowering the pedestrian death rate is one step towards a safer and more prosperous Detroit.


While the pedestrian death rate in Detroit is particularly high, pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere and at anytime. Drivers should remain alert when behind the wheel and actively scan the road for pedestrians, as well as any traffic obstacles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands how difficult dealing with pedestrian car accident lawsuits can be without even factoring in the severity of recovering from pedestrian car accidents injuries. Our experienced accident attorneys handle serious injury cases throughout the State of Michigan and can help victims of pedestrian accidents recover any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Detroit's Dangerously High Pedestrian Death Rate

In Detroit, cars are not just a mode of transportation; cars go beyond a hobby, or general interest. Here, they are a way of life. Two of the big three automobile manufacturers have their headquarters in the Motor City, along with many major auto suppliers. Later this summer, thousands of classic and modern cars will be cruising the Woodward Dream Cruise. Simply put, Detroiters love cars!

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While motor vehicles are often the center of attention, it’s become clear that the city also needs to pay attention to pedestrians. According to the Detroit Free Press, in the US in 2016 there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities, 29 of which took place in the City of Detroit. This number may seem insignificant, yet Detroit received the, “highest per-capita pedestrian death rate - 34.5 per 100,000 residents - in the nation for large cities in 2010-2016.”

Pedestrian fatalities in Detroit differed in several ways from pedestrian fatalities that took place in other cities. Between 2009-2016, only 6% of Detroit pedestrians were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their deaths, which is 30% lower than the nationwide percentage. Also in Detroit, within the same time period, 80% of pedestrians were struck “after dark,” versus 72% across the US. Similarities do exist between Detroit and the rest of the country in terms of pedestrian fatalities, such as the gender of the individual who lost their life, and the location of the car crash. Males accounted for 73% of pedestrian deaths between 2009-2016, and male or female, the fatalities occurred 77% of the time at non-intersection locations. Nationwide, as well as in Detroit, pedestrians killed were, on average, 49 years old.

The statistics relating to hit and run pedestrian car crashes also are a cause for concern for Detroit. Nationwide, hit and run car crashes made up 18% of all car crashes between 2009-2016. In Detroit, hit and run car accidents were an alarming 46% of of all car accidents,  32% higher than the national average!

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In light of these shocking pedestrian car crash fatality statistics, action has been taken to help make the city safer for those traveling by foot. Recently, Woodward Avenue at Jefferson Avenue was closed and a pedestrian plaza was added. Lanes were removed from East Jefferson Ave. to Grosse Pointe Park, and in its place, “bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure” were added. To help prevent the prominent concern of pedestrian deaths taking place at night, 60,000 street lights were installed. Over the course of the next few years, Detroit will also be fixing approximately 125,000 run-down sidewalks.

Detroiters should note that city officials are mindful of all the pedestrian fatalities occurring in the area. Detroit’s Department of Public Works investigates pedestrian car crashes, and from their analysis, looks into what could prevent pedestrian car accidents from occuring. The Department’s staff also improves crosswalks by adding, “crosswalk signs and inspect[ing] pedestrian crossing signals for proper timing and display.”

The issue of pedestrian deaths is highly complex and has no simple answers. The main dilemma is that most Detroit roads were built with cars in mind, putting pedestrians at a disadvantage. Because of the existing infrastructure, individuals traveling by foot or bike are forced to take road navigation risks, and may attempt to cross a street where it is not safe to do so. The biker or walker may believe they can beat traffic, but the odds of beating a car are not in their favor. It’s clear that even more changes need to be implemented in the city, including at the very least, additional crosswalks and stop lights. When out and about in Detroit, pedestrians should be able to conveniently get where they need go, without having to fear for their lives.


When an automobile accident occurs between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the pedestrian is substantially more vulnerable than the driver. After all, there’s no comparison between one individual and a 4,000 pound car. Detroiters who commonly ride their bikes or walk around the city should locate and use designated crosswalks, as well as be on alert whenever they are in the path of any vehicle. The Michigan Law Firm, PC understands how devastating pedestrian car accidents can be. Our experienced attorneys are here to help car accident victims with their legal burdens so they can focus on taking care of themselves. For a free legal consultation, call us today at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Car Accident Severely Injures Broadway Actress And Kills Two Children

When accidents happen, people often explain them away by saying that, "bad things happens to everyone." This saying is true because everyone in the world is at risk for being involved in a car accident, including celebrities. Celebrities are often forgotten about when it comes to accidents and sometimes it can come as a shock to the public when they are injured. On average, around 3,287 people are killed each day from car related accidents and celebrities have the same chance of being one of those people that everyone else does. One celebrity that was recently involved in a car crash is Ruthie Ann Miles.

Ruthie Ann Miles is a Broadway actress who made her debut in the musical, “The King and I,” which won her a Tony award in 2015. Ruthie was walking across a crosswalk in Brooklyn, New York with one of her friends, Lauren Lew, and both of their children, when a woman lost control of her car and hit them. According to the The Washington Post, Miles’ four-year-old daughter and Lews' one-year-old son were killed in the car crash instantly. Both women and a 46-year-old male pedestrian, who was also hit, were hospitalized for their injuries. Miles was pregnant at the time of the car crash, but thankfully, her unborn baby is unharmed.

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The driver of the car was Dorothy Burns, a 44-year-old woman from Staten Island, New York. The Washington Post reported that the woman was sitting at an intersection in Brooklyn when her car began to move forward. According to nearby pedestrians, the car started moving slowly then sped up and struck the victims. A law enforcement official said that Burns was not drunk at the time and has not been charged. USA Today reported that Burns suffers from multiple sclerosis and had a seizure while stopped at a red light, which caused her to lose control of her car. Investigators looked at Burns’ medical records and said that if doctors have never prohibited her from driving, she may not face any charges.

After news broke that Burns suffers from seizures many people were angered that she was able to drive. Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “She should never have been allowed to have been driving a car after what we know of these other violations.” He also said that measures were going to be taken to prevent such car accidents from happening again. “People who get behind the wheel of a car need to understand that they have a weapon in their hands,” de Blasio stated. One thing that Mayor de Blasio is known for is promoting Vision Zero, a traffic safety campaign that is, “committed to helping communities reach their goal of Vision Zero - eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries -while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.”

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Vision Zero focuses on reducing traffic accidents in major cities like New York. They believe that making smaller changes in not only major cities, but smaller suburban areas, can have a huge effect on saving the lives of many people in car accidents. Some strategies that they use to implement traffic accident safety are, lowering speed limits, redesigning streets, implementing meaningful behavior change campaigns, and enhancing data-driven traffic enforcement. If these car accident reducing strategies can help large cities like New York, maybe they can help reduce car accidents in Detroit too. The residents of Metro Detroit are used to the non-stop construction anyway, so why not make a few changes with the roads that possibly prevent future car accidents! 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there are 4,092 pedestrian motor vehicle deaths and 59,000 pedestrian car crash injuries each year. Taking action and making small traffic safety changes, like those Vision Zero implements, can greatly reduce the number of people killed in car accidents each year. Another thing that people should be aware of is their personal health in relation to road safety.Conditions such as seizures, as well as simple issues like not have an up-to-date prescription for glasses, may impair driving. Drivers who are unaware of health issues that impair driving or choose to ignore them, may be putting the lives of innocent people on line, every time they drive. The way to prevent car accidents due to medical conditions is to go to regular checkup with healtcare professionals and to be 100% cleared to opearate a motor vehicle. 


Driving safety and road safety are important factors in preventing accidents, but  the person driving the car is just as important. By making sure that you are medically cleared to safely operate a motor vehicle, individuals  can prevent future car crashes from occurring and saves them from making a call to a car accident attorney. However, car crashes happen every day, for several other, non-medical reasons. If you or someone you know needs more information on how to handle a car accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM. Our experienced accident attorneys offer free, legal consultations.

Daylight Savings Time Linked To Car Accidents

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Depending on the time of year, changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time (DST) is viewed as either a blessing or a curse. During Autumn, it's wonderful to earn an extra hour of sleep when DST comes around, but when it come time to "Spring forward" is when problems arises. Research shows that it can take people a couple of weeks to adjust to the spring time change - which is essentially the same as subjecting everyone to jet lag. Losing that hour of sleep can lead to drowsy driving and may potentially cause a sleepy driving car accident if drivers fall asleep at the steering wheel. The lack of sleep can also hinder a driver's alertness on the road. These side effects help explain why 40% of pedestrians were killed in 2015, following the end of DST. 

It's also a misconception to think that just because we gain an hour of sleep in the Autumn, that this phase of Daylight Savings Time is without its drawbacks. One factor researchers believe to be behind the increase in traffic deaths during "fall back" time, is the lack of natural light that is available in the morning. Darker roads are more difficult to maneuver, and may increase the chances of a motor vehicle accident.  

“Even though it’s dark, you’re still behaving like it’s light,” says Lawrence University economist David Gerard, addressing sleepy driver behavior following the first weeks after DST.

How To Adjust To Daylight Savings Time

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Experts suggest that people should prepare a few days before Daylight Savings Time by getting in a few extra hours of sleep, especially for those who already only get around 3-4 hours of sleep every night.

"A lot of these accidents occur because we don't have residual sleep [reserves] to survive that insult," Richard P. Allen, a John Hopkins neurologist, said to Vox Media. "When we're running nearly empty on our sleep-wake status, it doesn't take much to push it into a negative area." 

With evidence that supports the link between DST and dangerous drowsy driving accidents on the road, it’s no wonder states such as Arizona and Hawaii have opted out of participating in the time change. Most of Africa and many areas in Asia have also refused to observe the time change. Daylight Savings Time might seem like a harmless hour out of our days, but taking steps to be more awake while driving are vital to help minimize health risks from abnormal sleeping patterns and the car accidents that follow. Since Autumn daylight savings is coming up in three days, on Sunday, November 5th, now might be the time for Michiganders to start catching a few extra zzz's to prepare!


Daylight Savings Time has come a long way from power saving initiatives during WWI, but it can still negatively affect people's health. The disruption to a person's biological rhythm can cause harm to themselves or to someone else in the event of a drowsy driving car accident. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a sleep-deprived driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Halloween Child Trick-or-Treat Road Safety

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It’s almost Halloween, and while zombies and skeletons may be fictional, the dangers that exist on Halloween night are very real. Therefore, both kids and adults need to be thinking about pedestrian safety on Halloween night. According to Safe Kids, on average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween compared to other days of the year. Dr. Rebecca Parker, chairwoman of the American College of Emergency Physicians' board of directors, told U.S. News and World Report that most of these child pedestrian car accidents occur between 4 PM and 10 PM, as kids anxious for candy start hitting the streets when the sun starts to set, making it harder for drivers to see. However, Dr. Leticia Manning, an injury researcher at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, added that these motor vehicle accidents are not always the driver’s fault. Children are often wearing masks that make it difficult for them to see, wearing costumes they could trip over, and are generally excited, making their movements more unpredictable.

According to the National Security Council, October ranks second for motor vehicle deaths per month. More so, pedestrian death or injuries of those ages 5 to 9 occur most commonly when the child darts or runs into the road. Dr. Sarah Denny, an emergency room physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, confirms this. She says that the majority of child pedestrian accidents do not occur in the crosswalk. Since the dangers of Halloween night shouldn't be downplayed, Safe Kids has some suggestions as to how to stay safe while having fun during trick-or-treating.

Halloween Road Safety Tips For Kids

  • Cross the streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

  • Look left, right, and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.

  • Put your electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.

  • Children under the age of 12, should not be alone at night without adult supervision.

  • Decorate your costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct your vision.

  • Carry glow sticks or flashlights to help you see and be seen by drivers.

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Trick-or-treating should be a fun night for both kids and adults, but it is important to be aware of the dangers that exist. Halloween scares such as poisonous candy or razor blades in apples are less common occurrences than pedestrian accidents. Parents educating their kids, as well as kids being proactive about smart costume choices and safe pedestrian habits, may help kids stay safe while enjoying trick-or-treating. While these tip can't guarantee that a pedestrian car accident won't happen, parents and kids should make sure they are doing everything in their power to help lower their risk of being involved in a car crash.


Pedestrian car accidents can occur on any night, any time of year. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. 

Go-kart And Motorcycle Involved In Drag Racing Accident

An accident in August 2017 in Detroit left one dead and one seriously injured. The accident was not a typical automobile collision however, as it involved a go-kart and a motorcycle. The drivers of the two vehicles were apparently drag racing (also known as street racing), along French Road on the Detroit's east side and according to the Detroit Free Press, were reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. Witnesses say the go-kart made a U-turn, ending up directly in the path of the motorcycle, which was what resulted in the automobile collision. The 21-year-old man driving the go-kart died and the 31-year-old man driving the motorcycle was seriously injured. Both drag racing and driving a go-kart on public streets are illegal in the State of Michigan.

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Go-karts are not “street legal” vehicles. They are mostly driven on private tracks and in large backyards. In order for go-karts to be deemed street legal, they need to undergo thousands of dollars worth of modifications. These modifications include adding headlights, turn signals, a windshield, tail lights, seat belts, a parking brake, rear view mirrors, license plates, a speedometer, an odometer, and a horn. More so, a go-kart is not allowed to reach speeds over 25 mph, which would be achieved through engine modification. It would also need auto insurance. Due to the time and money required to make these modifications, most go-karts are usually not street legal.

Like go-karts, drag racing on public streets is also illegal in the State of Michigan, but is a relatively common occurrence throughout Detroit. Michigan law defines drag racing as “the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other” or “for the purpose of setting a speed record.” It appears as though the motorcycle crash in Detroit was caused by the drivers of the go-kart and motorcycle racing to a finishing point.

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It's for a good reason that drag racing is not legal, as it can be unsafe. There are many safety issues that arise from drag racing. Not only are the participating drivers at risk or being involved in a motor vehicle accident because there are no official rules and regulations, or any sort of safety provisions, but pedestrians are also at risk since there are no bleachers, guard rails, or any sort of crowd protection from powerful speeding vehicles. An additional cause of concern is that widespread use of drugs and alcohol that are typically known to be found at illegal drag racing events.

Unlike go-karts and drag racing however, operating a motorcycle is legal in the state of Michigan, but it still comes with risks. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2015 there were 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents - a 10% increase from 2014. Also in 2015, motorcyclist deaths increased in 31 states. Currently, only 19 states plus the District of Columbia require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Michigan is not one of them. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently discussed how the state's motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2012. Motorcyclists groups supported the repeal of the law, calling it an individual rights issue, even though wearing a helmet has been repeatedly shown to keep motorcyclists safer. The GHSA is one of the groups who supports mandatory helmet laws, and has provided the following safety tips for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

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  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, even when not required by state law.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to make it easier to be seen by other drivers.
  • Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • When purchasing a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes. These have been shown to decrease fatal motorcycle crashes by preventing a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking, and assisting with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.

While following these tips does not guarantee motorcycle accidents won’t happen, they may help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Drag racing , unless it's on Roadkill Nights, and operating a go-kart on a public street, unless it's been modified and certified to be legal, however are big no-nos. These activities can be extremely dangerous and come with the risk of being involved in automobile crashes. Not only are the drivers of the vehicles put at risk, but so are other drivers, and pedestrian bystanders as well.


Drag racing is usually illegal and can have deadly consequences. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free personal injury or motor vehicle accident consultationLet our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovering. 

Mackinac Bridge Is Closing For Labor Day

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If you Labor Day plans included a trip to the Upper Peninsula, you might want to make a few adjustments to your plans before heading to Northern MIchigan. The Mackinac Bridge Authority decided to close the bridge this year between 6:30 am and 12 during the Annual Bridge Walk.  Officials are acting cautiously to ensure the event's safety.  The decision was made back in May of this year putting those looking forward to 60-year-old tradition in slight tailspin after looking forward to walking alongside the cars on the approximately 5 mile long bridge. Additional safety precautions at the event entail Michigan State Police (MSP), patrol squadrons, mechanics, and shuttle buses to quickly transport and protect those who are participating in the walk.

"There has not been any kind of specific threat against the bridge walk, this is just acting out of an access of caution trying to make it safe as possible," clarified the Communications Representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation, Dan Weingarten as reported by local news. “We ask everybody to be patient, pay attention to signs and obviously pay attention to law enforcement...They will be trying to keep people who are backed up parked on the shoulders of the road to give room for emergency vehicles."

With the Mackinac Bridge being closed, motorists who are traveling this Labor Day weekend should plan their travel times accordingly due to traffic congestion expected to  occur on US-2, US-23, US-31 and I-75. Thankfully the MSP and other traffic authorities will be out in full force willing and able to assist drivers or motorists can plan to delay their travel time or leave early.

2017 Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk

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Those who are planning to participate in the free Annual Bridge Walk should arrive in St. Ignace where they can be shuttled for $5 to the start of the walking route. Tickets for the shuttle buses can be purchased in Mackinaw City. The bridge authority assures that portable toilets, water and food stations will be placed along the route to relieve walkers. Shuttle buses and MSP squad cars will also be on the bridge as a counterweight to the thousand of walkers expected to be in attendance and to safely transport them in case of personal injury or emergency. The Mackinac Bridge Authority’s website provides additional information (http://www.mackinacbridge.org/).


Have you or loved one been injured in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident? Speak with an experienced accident attorney from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our injury attorneys specialize in auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, insurance claims and more. 

New Safety Barriers Hope To Minimize Storefront Crashes

At least 60 times per day, cars crash into storefronts, restaurants, and businesses, sending vehicles into windows and front doors at road speeds. In fact, the Storefront Safety Council says over 4,000 people are injured and 500 people are killed each year from storefront car crashes. While many stores have safety barriers in front of them to prevent vehicles from hitting buildings, the regulations on these barriers are virtually nonexistent. Additionally, TODAY reports that there are no federal requirements for stores to have protective barriers in front of their businesses. This makes it even easier for careless drivers to run down roadblocks or to bypass sidewalks, endangering pedestrians and store workers alike. 

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Luckily, new technology is being developed that hopes to minimize storefront crashes. Traditionally, safety barriers in parking lots and in front of stores look like short yellow poles, but are basically steels pipe filled with concrete. Tests at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute show these barriers being knocked down like a bowling pin when hit by a car traveling at 20 mph, the speed of most parking lots. 

Therefore, the latest design of storefront safety barriers use stainless steel in place of concrete. These improved car crash barriers last longer, don’t rust in extreme weather conditions, and require less maintenance and upkeep. When tested by the same car on the same track as the yellow concrete barriers, the stainless steel barriers completely stopped the vehicle, traveling at 20 mph. Even when tested at 30 mph, the stainless steel barrier barely flinched, not only preventing a car from hitting people inside a nearby store, but also keeping the vehicle from running over pedestrians walking near the barriers. 

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28% of storefront incidents are caused by operator error, with another 28% caused by pedal errors. Simple vehicle malfunctions often set drivers up for disaster, forcing them to lose control and crash into nearby stores. Speeding through the parking lot also may cause storefront crashes. Because these crashes can happen so easily, safety barriers are encouraged to help save lives. As new technologies develop, it is up to business owners to install preventative barriers to keep employees and customers on their feet.

Speeding and careless driving may lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. Storefront crashes are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an automobile accident, but happen more often than people think. It is important to pay attention at all times when driving, even if only driving in parking lots, and to slow down and watch out for pedestrians. People involved in storefront crashes are never expecting to be in danger while shopping for groceries or waiting for a dentist appointment. Modern safety barriers can help prevent car crashes from happening and may protect innocent bystanders from being injured or killed in a storefront car accident.  


Speeding and careless driving frequently contribute to storefront car crashes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a automobile accident caused by a speeding driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. We fight for victims of speeding car crashes.

Honolulu Becomes The First City to Ban Distracted Walking

Every driver has experienced that moment of fear when proceeding through an intersection or sidewalk crosswalk, and seeing a pedestrian walking toward the road looking while down at their phone. You do not know whether the pedestrian understands where they are relative to the road and will stop accordingly, or if they will proceed to walk through because they are too distracted by their phone. “Distracted walking” is dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians, and cellphones are far and beyond the primary cause of it. According to a study published by the University of Maryland, 11,000 injuries phone-related injuries have occurred as the result of distraction, between 2000 and 2011. Honolulu, Hawaii has sought to become the first US city to pass legislation in effort to eradicate this problem.

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According to Reuters, effective October 25, 2017, Honolulu has banned pedestrians from looking at their phone while crossing the street. If a police officer catches a pedestrian walking while distracted, they can be fined anywhere from $15 to $99 depending on how long they were looking down at their phone. Understandably, emergency calls are exempt from the ban.

This distracted pedestrian act has set out to address the fact that distracted driving is not only the problem, but that distracted walking also poses many dangers as well. Kirk Caldwell, Mayor of Honolulu, addressed the reason for the law by telling reporters, “we hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any city in the country.” 

While Honolulu is the first American city to begin addressing this distracted pedestrian issue, they are not alone alone outside the United States. Large cities “across the pond” such as London, England and Augsburg, Germany have begun experimenting on how to curb distracted walking in their own right. London has begun wrapping pads around lampposts to cushion the impact in the event that a distracted pedestrian walks directly into one. As the Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously informed readers, Augsburg has installed traffic signals in the ground, so that they are visible to pedestrians whose are looking downward while using their phone.

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While most can agree that Honolulu's attempt to protect pedestrians from being involved in pedestrian car accidents is a good idea, there are adversaries to this distracted walking bill. Honolulu resident Ben Robinson, claims that the bill infringes on personal freedom and encompasses government overreach. Robinson wanted to see the law repealed by telling the city council through written testimony, saying he wants the government to "scrap this intrusive bill, provide more education to citizens about responsible electronics usage, and allow law enforcement to focus on larger issues.”

Whether one agrees or disagrees with a law banning pedestrians from crossing the street while looking at their phones, it is undeniable that distracted walking presents many dangers to pedestrians walking along busy roads. Anyone walking down Woodward, Avenue in Michigan can tell you how often they've almost been hit by a car! Only time will tell however, if other large cities, including Detroit, Michigan, decide to follow Honolulu and pass distracted walking bans of their own.

In the meantime, look up from your phone when crossing the street! Whatever text you are sending or article you are reading can wait. Pedestrian safety is more important.


Pedestrians who cross busy without paying attention to traffic because they are consumed by their phones, are a danger to themselves and motorists. Pedestrians must be careful when crossing the street, and they must understand that whatever may be on their phone is not as important as their safety and can surely wait. Have you been in an accident involving distracted behavior? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Birmingham Makes The Move To Smart Parking Meters

The City of Birmingham, Michigan is joining Ann Arbor, Detroit, and other nearby Michigan cities in the trend of modern parking technology. The city's outdated coin-only parking meters have been replaced with smart meters that offer the option to pay for parking with a credit card. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are all accepted by the new meters.

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The City of Birmingham will actually be absorbing the processing fees associated with using credit cards to pay for parking. Visitors will also have the option to pay via Parkmobile, an app that allows for people to pay for parking on the go. Payments appear both on the meters and on mobile devices, offering a convenient option for people running late or without spare change to pay to park legally.

Vehicle detection sensors also allow parking patrons to use phones, computers, and in-vehicle apps to locate parking nearby Birmingham destinations, such as shopping, dining, and recreational activities.

With other downtown areas around Metro Detroit leading the way, Birmingham is transitioning from stress and wasted time to easy and convenient options for finding a vehicle parking spot. When drivers cannot find a parking spot, they may linger in lots looking for open spots or block traffic on streets - actions that may possibly lead to an automobile accident. The new smart parking meter technology will help minimize confusion and risks for drivers, and will provide yet another reason to visit Birmingham, Michigan.


Easily accessible and easy to use parking in popular areas around town is important for visitors and residents alike to have an enjoyable experience in downtown Birmingham. As always, it is important to follow safety signs and watch for other moving vehicles in order to help prevent a parking accident. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a motor vehicle crash in Birmingham, Michigan, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Pokemon Go: Virtual Reality Game's Recent Real Life Accidents

As many people know, in today's tech-savvy world, keeping a cell phone in your car is dangerous, and it is even more dangerous to text or use an app on your smartphone while driving. Many apps require a person's attention on their phone screen for more than just a quick glance, which is more than enough time to cause a car collision. This time last year, the Pokémon Go app was just beginning to take users by storm, with people everywhere constantly discussing the game and traveling around town to "catch" the Pokémon. The game projects characters on the screen amid the player's actual surroundings, combining the virtual with reality. One year later, the game continues to develop new features and bring people together, with some even attending in-person live events to play the game. The popularity of the app has created yet another form of distracted driving, and has led to several motor vehicle accidents in Michigan and around the country.

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In one example, a man crashed into a cop car in Baltimore, Maryland while playing Pokémon Go, last July. USA TODAY reported that the Pokémon Go enthusiast slammed into a parked Baltimore police car while playing the game on his phone. In body-camera video released by the Baltimore Police Department, several officers are seen standing near the police car as a Toyota Rav 4 slams into the police cruiser and continues driving. In the video, an officer runs after the vehicle, which stops near the end of the block, and the driver gets out of his car. The officer asks if everyone is ok, and the driver, whose face is blurred in the clip, shows the police officers his cellphone. “That’s what I get for playing this dumb--- game,” the man says to the officers. A spokesperson for the police department mentioned that the incident wasn't even the first one that week!

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last summer, CBS News said that teen Autumn Deiseroth was hit by a car in an incident related to Pokémon Go. Deiseroth saud she did everything right while playing the game near her home, including looking both ways before crossing streets, but she was hit by a car anyway, after the game lured her across a busy highway. "She was not walking and playing the game," her mother, Tracy Nolan, told a CBS affiliate. "She was coming home to tell her mother she found Pokémon. I'm blaming the game itself because it's dragging kids across major highways. Kids don't need to be going across highways."

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Here in Michigan, Pokémon Go is being blamed for a suspected drunk driver crashing into a parked car in Commerce Township, while his eyes were glued to his smartphone. According to the Detroit Free Press, a 28-year-old Walled Lake man fled in his wrecked car but was arrested after deputies followed a trail of vehicle debris from the crash to the suspect's home. The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that deputies determined that the man had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and transported him to Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital for a blood draw via a search warrant. He was also treated for injuries sustained in the crash. The suspect told police he had been in the area searching for Pokémon on his phone, while driving, when he struck the parked vehicle. The driver was arrested following his treatment and was lodged in the Oakland County Jail pending charges.

Pokémon Go has even gone so far as to lead to fatal vehicle-pedestrian crashes. On October 14, 2016, 24-year-old Cody Soucie of Roseville, Michigan hit Ryan Mannes, 14, with his motorcycle while Mannes played Pokémon Go with two of his friends. Soucie had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14, which is almost twice the legal limit. Mannes had walked into the street to catch a Pokémon, as described in the Detroit Free Press, and was hit by Soucie upon returning to the sidewalk. Mannes was pronounced dead at the scene with catastrophic injuries. Soucie was charged with a felony crime that could lead to, up to 15 years in jail. 

Distracted walking, including looking down at cell phones, is an alarming new trend that poses a significant safety threat, in the form of inattentional blindness, to pedestrians and motorists alike. The National Safety Council emphasizes that pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings. Of course, no one plans to be hit by a car while playing Pokémon Go. However, what is unknown to many people is that unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Apps like Pokémon Go and virtual reality games are fun to play and are experiencing a surge in popularity, but users are advised to always be safe while playing, and to definitely never use them while driving, so as to help prevent a severe injury or car crash fatality. 

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Additionally, there are several ways to avoid distracted driving accidents and drunk driving car crashes. Apps have recently been developed that actually work to minimize phone usage while in a vehicle. Car sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available to take people home so that people under the influence don't have to risk their life or the lives of those on the road by driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving and distracted driving are never okay, even if the goal is just to catch Pokémon. As games for smartphones multiply, safety and awareness must also increase, in order to avoid fatal car crashes.


Pokémon Go was created to bring the game to life and to get people to be more active and spent more time outdoors. While these are admirable goals from Niantic, the creater of Pokemon Go, it is important to be safe and vigilant while playing the game, and to never play while driving, as Niantic themselves warn. It is also important to be aware of one's surroundings at all times, because you never know when a vehicle headed your way, if your head is down and absorbed in a game. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Elon Musk Announces Approval of Hyperloop Connecting NY to DC

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Elon Musk is certainly not afraid of the spotlight. The business mogul has wowed the nation in the past by taking on ambitious projects such as launching the first recycled rocket, planning to colonize Mars, and attempting to design the safest vehicle that also happens to be electric and affordable to the common citizen. 

As reported by Forbes, the serial entrepreneur has raised eyebrows once again by taking to Twitter last week, to announce that he had received verbal government approval to build a hyperloop below ground, that would connect New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. In the tweet, Musk wrote that the hyperloop will deliver cars between New York and Washington, D.C. in 29 minutes.

The hyperloop is planned to be built by The Boring Company, a Los Angeles based infrastructure and tunneling company, founded by none other than Musk himself. Musk started the company back in 2016 after he began juggling with the idea of building tunnels for travel. The concept, as of now, entails elevators, which look like parking spaces located on the side of roads, that are actually platforms that can carry a vehicle below ground, to the hyperloop rail. These platforms would then deliver the car and its passengers at very high speeds of around 150 mph through the tunnel. In another tweet Musk wrote that each city would have about a dozen platforms built alongside commercial roads.

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The sub-ground hyper rail concept originally stems from Musk’s earlier 2012 vision, of an above ground tube train that he believed would be the future of travel. Musk initially envisioned above ground tubes delivering individuals housed in pods, at speeds close to 700 mph. Hyperloop One, a company also based in Los Angeles, adopted Musk's old idea and has been working to make his vision a reality. The company is looking to commercialize the hyperloop system and allow individuals to travel at the super-speeds for a fraction of the cost.

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Musk’s current vision meanwhile, is focused on below ground travel, transporting people in their own vehicles through underground tunnels, at very high speeds. Musk explains that one of the main reasons this large project is necessary, is to alleviate traffic congestion in large cities. In response to a tweet asking if he is considering adding underground hyperloops in other cities as well, Musk confirms that he is evaluating loops connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a loop for Texas.

There are still more questions about the project than answers. Musk did not specify who gave the verbal approval, however, he did say official approval will be given soon. It has also not been specified how the project will be funded either, which is a quite a looming question given the high cost of tunneling. For example, the Second Avenue Subway built along the East Side of Manhattan cost $4.5 billion to construct just three more stops.

It can't be ignored however, that an underground hyperloop would be an extraordinary innovation in the world of travel. Traffic congestion is an everyday issue that causes delays, and poses potential road rage car crash and pedestrian accident risks. This project would revolutionize how people travel by offering a much faster means of transportation while also greatly reducing traffic in large cities. There are still many questions about the project that Musk will hopefully answer, or tweet about, in the near future. 


Only time will tell if Elon Musk is successful in constructing an underground hyperloop. The underground hyper rail would allow for exceptionally faster transportation between cities, while alleviating traffic congestion. In the meantime however, traffic congestion is still a major problem that can cause stress for drivers and may even lead to road rage car accidents. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a reckless driver or a road rage driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. 

New Traffic Signal Helps Save Pedestrian Lives

One New York City suburb has gone without a single pedestrian-motor vehicle accident in the past year. Leonia, New Jersey has implemented a new traffic signal for one of the area's busiest crossroads. The intersection between Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue has introduced an all-red phase traffic signal, stopping traffic in all directions for 26 seconds every other cycle. 

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The intersection is often congested with vehicles trying to take a different route across the Hudson River, other than the crowded George Washington Bridge. With all four directions temporarily turned red, pedestrians can safely cross the busy intersection and even cross diagonally if desired.

During the two years before the introduction of the all-red signal phase, 7 pedestrians were hit by cars at the intersection. One New Jersey woman was dragged more than 70 feet along the road, leading to her death.  

Mayor Judah Zeigler told USA TODAY, “If we had kept going down the course we were going down, it was really a matter of when, not if, another pedestrian would be killed.”  

Senior citizens, who take longer to cross the road, and students benefit the most from the all red-signal, according to Chief Thomas Rowe of the Leonia Police Department. Many students walk to a nearby elementary school that is less than a block away from the intersection. School foot traffic coincides with rush hour, further clogging the roads and endangering pedestrians. 

Rowe said, “The benefits have been exactly what we were hoping for, and there’s absolutely no reason for us to go back to the way it used to be. I can’t allow our pedestrians to be put in danger.” 

While some motorists have complained about traffic being further delayed by the all-red signal phase, it is clear that pedestrian safety is the number one priority for the city of Leonia. 

Throughout the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says on average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes in traffic crashes. Considering this staggering statistic, it is no surprise that towns such as Leonia are taking steps to improve pedestrian safety. In addition, both pedestrians and drivers can take steps to keep roads safer. People on foot should use sidewalks to cross streets whenever possible, be visible with bright or reflective clothing, and never assume that automobile drivers see them. Motor vehicle operators on the other hand, should always watch for pedestrians, slow down, and be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk, and use extra caution in hard-to-see conditions, like at night or in bad weather. 

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Accidents happen; that's reality. However, efforts taken by cities like Leonia to make roads safer for pedestrians may help prevent serious injuries or fatalities from car crashes. Everyone has been a pedestrian at some point in their lives. If all it takes to keep people on their feet is stopping at a red traffic light for 26 seconds longer, more cities need to take note in order to reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions. 


Chickens aren't the only ones trying to cross the road. Pedestrians walking on busy roads are constantly at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle, even when all they want is to get to the other side. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian motor vehicle collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Birmingham, Michigan's Recent City Updates

The City of Birmingham, Michigan is effecting safety improvements, fixing roads, and making parking easier for everyone who spends time in this beautiful city. Read further to check out the latest local news developments.

Internet Purchase Exchange Zone

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The Birmingham Police Department has set up an internet purchase exchange location for buyers and sellers using websites such as Craigslist to buy and sell items. The zone is in the parking lot on the south side of City Hall, located at 151 Martin Street, with a sign posted in the designated area. 

Though residents are encouraged to make exchanges during daylight hours, the exchange zone is well-lit if it is necessary to meet after dark. The lot is also under video surveillance at all times. The internet purchase exchange location was established to minimize potential fraud and robberies that can be associated with these types of transactions. 

After-Hours Drop Box

A drop box behind City Hall is currently accepting parking tickets, absentee ballots, property tax paperwork, water bills, and other city documents, for those looking to take care of business after hours or during holidays. The green box is located in the parking lot on the south side of the building.

Local Construction Projects

Three local streets are being reconstructed this summer.

  • Oak Street, from Glenhurst Drive to Chesterfield Avenue. This street is the student drop-off area for drivers of children attending Quarton Elementary School. The street will be narrowed to allow sufficient space for the construction of a separate two-lane drop-off area. The work is scheduled to be finished before school starts in the fall. 
  • Poppleton Avenue, from Knox Avenue to Maple Road. This road is the entrance to the Kroger shopping center parking lot, so it will be kept open while under construction. The work will be done in phases to allow continued access to businesses. Residents living north of this construction area will be encouraged to use a different entrance into the subdivision for the five weeks the construction is expected to take place. 
  • Lawndale Ave, from Oakland Avenue to Woodward Avenue. This one-way section of road will be reconstructed to add extra green space to the traffic island in between Lawndale Avenue and Woodward Avenue, making the road 4 feet narrower than it currently is.
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Other local streets will be resurfaced with new asphalt during September and October. Those streets are:

  • Ashford Lane-South off of Quarton Road.
  • Millrace Court-South off of Lakeside Drive.
  • Hidden Ravines Drive, Trail, and Court-West off of Southfield Road. 

In addition to road construction projects, several sidewalk concrete repair projects are currently underway throughout Birmingham. All sidewalk repairs in the area north of Maple Road, between the Rouge River and Adams Road, are scheduled to be fixed, along with repairs on the northeast corner of the Central Business District.  

Traffic Control Technology at Parking Structures

The City of Birmingham installed new traffic control equipment earlier this year to make parking more reliable at all of the City's parking structures. Drivers must use a credit/debit card or IN card (a card that can be loaded with different amounts of money) to pay for parking. The system does not accept cash or require tickets, helping to prevent a backup at exits where drivers that stop to look for their tickets may hold up traffic. 

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IN cards can be purchased at the SP+ Parking Office at the Chester Street Parking Structure or at the Treasurer's Office in City Hall. They cost $10, and can then be loaded with $25, $50, $100, or $200. IN cards can also be purchased with a zero-dollar balance, for drivers parking under two hours. The parking office at 180 Chester can reload the card if the balance is running low. 

Other new technology that has recently been installed at local parking structures is a parking widget on the City website. Visitors can check the number of available spaces at each parking structure by visiting www.bhamgov.org or by using the mobile-enabled feature on their smart phones to click on the green and white parking logo at the top right corner of the screen. Users are also able to review maps of the parking location and get directions to them. 

Additional improvements coming soon include new signs outside each parking structure that will display in real time  the number of spaces still available. Drivers do not even have to be in Birmingham to access parking information with the latest technology for the parking structures. 

With so much going on around Birmingham, it is important to stay safe and be aware of one’s surroundings, to help prevent accidents from happening. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC cares about the local community, and helps keep residents informed so injuries don’t occur. 


Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Staying informed about improvements and construction in the community may prevent injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in a Birmingham, Michigan automobile accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Detroit's Street Lighting Overhaul

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In Detroit, Michigan more than 50 light poles became damaged and were in need of replacement every month due to vehicle collisions. This year alone, two fatal speeding car crashes on Detroit’s westside resulted in death and have respectively caused a damaged utility pole and a split pole. Car vs. pole collisions are one of the leading reasons why the Public Lighting Authority (PLA) worked diligently to replace the streetlights in Detroit. In fact, the streetlight project was one they had been working on since they were formed in 2013, following the Auto Industry Crisis during which the city fell on hard times causing many streetlights to be neglected and longer operating. In addition, during this economic downfall, an estimated 40% of the 80,000 streetlights within the city were scrapped for their metal.

In December 2016, Dr. Lorna Thomas told The Detroit Free Press that, "This is a symbolic project. It stands for the resurgence of Detroit," Thomas said. "They said it couldn't be done."

The symbolic lighting project has replaced over 65,000 streetlights since 2014 with LED light bulbs that save on energy while emitting a brighter light. The PLA also took it upon themselves to upgrade 85%-90% of the lighting systems and wiring to deter vandalism. Since the old lights using copper based wiring, scrappers would strip the light poles of the wiring to sell the copper linings for money. The PLA also hoped to put a stop to theft by changing the wiring to hang overhead instead of in the ground under the light poles.  

Another reason that citizens of Detroit have been pleased by these much needed repairs is because they didn't have to pay for them upfront. The repairs and upgrades were paid for in the form of bonds provided by Citicorp, a New York based banking corporation that agreed to have the money paid back over a 30-year-period, through Detroit’s utility tax.

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The PLA was proud to announce that the lighting project had been completed ahead of time and under budget, at the end of 2016. Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can benefit from better lightning on Detroit roads as a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) attributed 40% of motor vehicle accidents to be the result of intersections that are poorly lit at night. The USDOT says those accidents can be reduced by 35% if streetlights were properly installed at intersections. So, the completion of the project could not come at a better time as the summer weather causes more cars to be on the road late at night. Also, the new and better lighting keeps users of Detroit's new bike share program MoGo, safer if people want to ride bicycles after dark. 

Detroit residents are urged to call 844LIGHT313, if a light in their area needs to be serviced. With Detroit undergoing a revitalization, it is up to the residents to help make sure the city keeps the momentum by making sure streets are lit well enough to potentially prevent crime and car accidents.


The PLA's efforts in redesigning the streetlights could help provide Detroit intersections with much needed lighting to help prevent accidents. In addition to this lifesaver, new streetlights may even deter criminal activity. If you or someone you know have been involved in an auto accident, call the Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our firm is highly experienced in dealing with motor vehicle accidents and will help you identify any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan law.

Pedestrian Deaths Increase Due To Wearing Headphones

In January 2017, Christopher Laurence Duncan was struck by an Amtrak train in Lima Township, Michigan and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Michigan State Police believe that Duncan was walking along the train tracks with his headphones on and did not hear the train approaching. The conductor onboard the train claims that he sounded his horn at Duncan and resorted to using the emergency stop brakes but was unable to stop in time to avoid the train crash. Despite the high speed and loud sounds of the train, which was going 76 mph towards him, Duncan remained blissfully unaware of the commotion because he was handicapped by the sounds blasting from his headphones instead.

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Train vs Pedestrian Accidents Are On The Rise

Unfortunate and probably preventable deaths like Duncan’s have shown to be on the rise according to a study by LiveScience. The study gathered information from 116 vehicle accidents in the U.S. between 2004 to 2011 involving a pedestrian wearing headphones. The results highlighted that most of the civilians who were wearing headphones were under the age of 30. and that most of the vehicles involved in those accidents were actually trains. It should also be noted that more than 66% of the victims were also male.

The lead author of the study and ER doctor at University of Maryland Hospital for Children, Dr. Richard Lichenstein did divulge however that based on the data collected for the study, that it was hard to determine if the victims were crossing the tracks or had fallen onto the tracks. The data however did show that about a third of the vehicle drivers sounded the horn to alert the pedestrian before the impeding motor vehicle crash. 

In a statement, Dr. Lichenstein said, "Everybody is aware of the risk of cell phones and texting in automobiles, but I see more and more teens distracted with the latest devices and headphones in their ears. Teenagers may not be as experienced or as conscious of their surroundings, and they're just zoning in on their music."

As a result, nearly 70% of the 116 accidents reviewed in the study resulted in death. Researchers state that the pedestrians wearing the headphones are distracted and experiencing sensory deprivation which can lead to ‘inattentional blindness’. This means that the distracted person's mental attention has been reduced, which in turn causes them to be involved in accidents as they are not aware of any impeding dangerous situations around them. 

Ways To Mitigate 'Inattentional Blindness'

The best way to avoid an accident like the one Duncan was in, is by completely disconnecting one's self from electronic devices that cause some kind of sensory deprivation such as headphones, eye wear like virtual reality glasses, and other devices that draw a large amount of attention away from other senses. If such devices must be used, it is important to try limit the amount of distraction by turning down the brightness or volume of the device, especially when in public.  It is also important to watch the social cues of others in the vicinity to infer if danger is imminent. 

Inattentional blindness is a serious mental handicap that many people can be unaware that they are experiencing. It is human nature to believe that we can multitask and take in our surrounds at the same time without error. However likely that maybe for some people, such behaviors are usually unsafe. Like pedestrians, motorists who talk or text on the phone while driving are also engaging in this dangerous multitasking behavior and are placing others at risk.

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Dr. Lichenstein's study is one of many showing the increasing hazardous situations pedestrians are placing themselves in by becoming preoccupied with their wireless devices. Headphones cause users to zone out one's surrounding which in turn can lead to them not reacting in time to avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Have you or loved one been injured in a car or train accident as a pedestrian? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. When you are fighting for your rights, having an experienced and knowledgeable law firm in your corner is an advantage you need. 

Clinton Township Hall Road Reconstruction

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If any motorists have ventured down Hall road (M-59) recently, they should have noticed that the area is under major construction. That's because Michigan’s Clinton Township Board of Trustees voted to upgrade M-59 back on December 7, 2016. 

These upgrades include adding an extra lane to help ease traffic congestion, new roads paved with asphalt, easily visible traffic signs, and replacing traffic lights with safer versions that are designed to decrease swaying.

The Cost Of Clinton Township Safety

Local 4 disclosed that the estimated cost of the total reconstruction project, which will take place over a year and a half, is $60 million. Despite the high cost, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon claims that the upgrades are necessary in order for Clinton Township to be up to par with Sterling Heights, Shelby Township and Macomb Townships' new upgrades. Also, Cannon confirmed with the county's Finance Department to confirm that the cost of this massive reconstruction wouldn't actually put a strain on the county's budget.

Cannon also agrees with Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn that these upgrades will alleviate safety concerns on Hall Road, in regards to the perils of walking or biking across M-59, due to the current status of the broken down crosswalks. In fact, just in the months of January through August 2016, the Accident Data Center (ADC) recorded Macomb Township having 7 accidents, 3 of which involved pedestrians. That is more than enough justification for Clinton Township to repair their crosswalks.

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What Has Been Done So Far?

The reconstruction of Hall Road officially started back in March, 2017 and so far Phase 1 of the project is underway. Phase 1 entails repaving the street in asphalt, adding the modern mast arm traffic signals, improved drainage, replacing traffic signs, upgrading the sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and planting some new greenery. Once this is all completed, Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in March 2018. 

While the replacement of unsafe traffic lights and the repair of broken down roads leads to the future safety of the citizens of Clinton Township, Michigan, the construction itself may cause problems in the current time. Accidents in construction zones are unfortunately very common. Whether it's an improperly labelled construction site or debris from tearing up concrete that may lead to a pedestrian fall, or angry drivers experiencing road rage from closed roads possibly causing automobile crashes, construction sites can be unsafe. Therefore, it is important for drivers and pedestrians to be cautious and attentive when they see construction cones and signs, in order to avoid serious construction injuries.


With many cyclist, pedestrian, and motor vehicle accidents accidents occurring on M-59, it's wonderful that Clinton Township is updating Hall Road's safety. Although the construction will be costly, it is worth spending the money to save innocent pedestrians and bicyclists from being involved in automobile accidents. However, while the upgrades are taking place, travelers on Hall Road should take extra precaution to avoid becoming injured by the construction. If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision at a construction site, call the Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. We fight for our victims rights to receive compensation as they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call 844.MI.FIRM today for a free consultation.

Detroit Ranked #1 in Pedestrian Fatality Accidents

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Citizens of Detroit, Michigan have many gripes about the city including construction, decay, and of course traffic. While, the city itself is going though some improvements, citizens still have every right to be upset about traffic however, as the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) just issued a report showing that Detroit has the highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population. In fact, the NHTSA calculates that in 2015 alone, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes - that’s the highest it’s been since 1996.

Alcohol Kills Pedestrians

The NHTSA contributes that most of the pedestrian accidents are caused by alcohol consumption. To be exact, 48% of the accidents involved either the pedestrian or the driver consuming alcohol before the crash occurred. Also to be noted is that fact that most of the accidents occurred during the winter months (December, January, and February) and predominantly at night time. 

NHTSA Safety Precautions 

Safety Precautions For Pedestrians:

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  • Pedestrians should use crosswalks when they are available and walk in the direction against traffic. 
  • Be cautious! Electronic devices such as cell phones and music devices play into 'inattention blindness’ in which wearing headphones can make the wearer tune out of their surroundings. Also, pedestrians should keep in mind to not wear any headgear that may rest too low on their face or cover the eyes.
  • Drivers won't always see pedestrians due to distractions, blind spots, sun glare, or poorly lit areas. So, it should go without saying that wearing reflective gear or bright clothing to improve visibility is also advisable. 
  • Most importantly, avoid using drugs and alcohol before going out. As the NHTSA study shows, drugs and alcohol play a major role in pedestrian deaths.

Safety Precautions For Drivers:

  • Abide by state set speed limits.
  • Keep in mind that stopped cars could possibly be stopping to allow for pedestrians to cross the road, especially at crosswalks. 
  • Be alert! Pedestrians won’t always walk or be visible in places that motorists usually expect them to be. 
  • Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both will hinder coordination and judgement when driving. 

Safety Reminder

With summer fast approaching, citizens of Detroit should remember that both motorists and pedestrians play a part in sharing the road and keeping it safe for everyone. By following the safety precautions listed above, the people of Detroit can work together to make Detroit safer and to bring down Detroit's traffic fatiality ranking. 


Police can only do so much in catching and preventing drivers or pedestrians from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Loved ones must also do their due diligence in making sure friends and family arrive at their destination unharmed and alive. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pedestrian accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. Our firm will fight to help you identify and receive any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan Law. Call us today, at 844-4MI-FIRM. 

Ann Arbor's Traffic Enforcement Campaign

Ann Arbor Car Crash Lawyer

Two years ago, Ann Arbor, Michigan was the target of a traffic enforcement campaign intended to get drivers to stop and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. To enforce the campaign, officers were stationed at 36 crosswalks. Within six months, Ann Arbor police made over 1,300 stops, issued 480 citation,s and 903 warnings for speeding and other violations. This has led to an 11% drop in traffic stops within Ann Arbor. 

Of course, the campaign has received complaints but, since Ann Arbor pedestrian car accidents have decreased, the city council is looking forward to implementing the same campaign at Western Michigan University (WMU). The council has assigned $150,000 to WMU in order to increase driver yielding rates at crosswalks, more importantly, mid-block pedestrian crossings. The money is budgeted to pay the policing staff for overtime, work assignments, data preparation, field reviews, project managers and improvement to infrastructure such as signs and pavement markings. The city also intends to find and work with community partners like the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition to address issues such as pedestrian safety. 

Since Ann Arbor's sidewalk ordinances are different from the rest of Michigan, the police are trying to make sure people are informed. This creates a bit of a challenge when some of the drivers who aren’t from Ann Arbor. 

Ann Arbor Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyer

Ann Arbor Police Officer Jamie Adkins, took the time to educate citizens about mid-block pedestrian crossings and what you should do when approaching them by saying, "[These are] marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks that have curb cuts. There are some nuances to it in terms of if they're coming into your path versus moving away from your path, but the crux of it is that Ann Arbor requires motorists to stop for pedestrians who are waiting to cross at the crosswalk.”

"The original program's success has been found to be sustainable through follow-up research four years later,” wrote city traffic engineer, Cynthia Redinger, in her memo explaining the study.

The study has also gained recognition in Florida through Ron Van Houten, a psychology professor at WMU, who is looking to implement the study for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers nationwide can look forward to seeing pedestrian crosswalk ordinances being enforced for public safety through traffic citations. With the nation's growing concern of accidents caused in pedestrian crossing zones, it was only a matter of time before states took notice and started to correct the problem. 


Ann Arbor's traffic enforcement campaign has brought to light how supplementing enforcement and education can greatly improve pedestrian and motorist safety. Studies have proven, that in changing drivers attitudes when approaching and yielding at crosswalks, it can, in turn, improve traffic flow and keep accidents from occurring in pedestrian crosswalks. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a driver neglecting to adhere to crosswalk ordinances, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC.  Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.