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.

Millennials Showing New Interest in SUVs

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC recently introduced readers to the Chrysler Portal, a concept car from Chrysler Fiat that was billed as a millennial dream car. It included selfie taking capabilities, shared playlists, LED accent lighting, and facial recognition software. Chrysler created the car in an attempt to combat the lack of interest from millennials in the automotive industry. 

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Well fortunately or unfortunately, the car selfies will have to wait. Car manufacturers such as Chrysler should be relieved by new data released by Autotrader and published in the Detroit Free Press which suggests that millennials are showing a newfound interest in SUVs. Data taken from an Autotrader survey showed that 40% of millennials say their dream car is an SUV. This growing interest from millennials aligns with an emphasis from car manufacturers on family-carrying vehicles. According to Ford US sales analyst Erich Merkle, who spoke to the Free Press, sales of SUVs are up across the board - large SUVs are up 12%, midsize SUVs are up 9%, and compact SUVs are up 4%. On top of that, consumers become very loyal to SUVs after their first purchase. Buyers cite the biggest selling points of SUVs to be the cargo space, higher seating position, ease of getting in and out, and extra seating. For instance, Ford's best selling car with millennials is the Escape, which can seat seven. After all, you can't have #squadgoals if the entire squad can't fit in the car!

While the features of the Chrysler Portal may be trendy for millennials, they might not be the safest. Millennials like to multitask, but keeping an eye on the road while trying to take the perfect selfie may prove to be difficult and certainly unsafe. Run-of-the-mill SUVs, on the other hand, have been consistently improving their safety features. Of the cars U.S. News and World Report consider to be the 10 safest SUVs, many come standard with safety features such as rear view cameras, automatic emergency breaking, and rear cross traffic alerts. Since millennials are a generation highly interested in technology, it's likely that they'll be willing to spend the extra money on optional safety features as well. These can include lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning - all of which make for a safer vehicle. 

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For years, the buying habits and lifestyles of millennials suggested that they wouldn’t be buying SUVs to the same degree as their baby boomer parents. Baby boomers moved out to the suburbs and started having families in their early 20s. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to live in urban areas and have shown less of a desire for marriage and children. As a result, millennials tend to use ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft as means of transportation, rather than purchasing a vehicle. Car manufacturers were right to be concerned by this lack of interest, as there are 80 million millennials in America, making them the largest generational group in the country. When it comes to the auto industry, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, millennials purchased only about 4 million cars and trucks in 2015, and are expected to have made up only 30% of new car sales in 2016. Millennials have enormous buying power, and if they weren't using that power to buy SUVs, it could be a huge loss for automakers.

There are a few factors that likely explain millennials' new desire for SUVs. One is that their lifestyles are starting to look more like those of baby boomers, no matter how much they try and deny that they're like their parents. While there is no exact definition of a millennial, the agreed upon age range is generally people born between 1980 and 2000. Since millennials are getting married and having children at older ages than previous generations did, this means they are just now reaching the time in their life when they need a bigger car to transport a family. As such, they are becoming more interested in the extra seating and cargo space that SUVs have to offer. Data from Ford shows that SUVs are most commonly purchased by people between the ages of 35 and 44, and millennials are just starting to hit that age range.

Another explanation for millennials' new interest in SUVs is the economy. Since the Great Recession has ended, it’s likely that millennials are just now starting to reach a point in their life when they have the resources to make a large purchase, such as an SUV and a house in the suburbs. 

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While millennial lifestyles are looking more like the life styles of baby boomers, according to Autoguide however, their actual car purchasing habits are still quite different. Millennials spend more time doing their own research before walking into a dealership, and the vast majority of that research is online. Millennials look up car ratings before going to the dealer just like they look up Yelp reviews before ordering takeout.

Millennials are clearly doing their research when it comes to car buying. This newfound interest in SUVs is great news for the automotive industry, who will welcome purchases of bigger cars and safety upgrades by millennials. It's also encouraging that millennials are just as interested in safety features as they are with selfies and custom playlists. However, no amount of research or high tech safety equipment can currently assure that accidents won’t happen. Whether driving an SUV or any other type of car, it’s important to be alert and to follow all traffic laws to minimize the risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Posting that car selfie would be pointless if you crashed the car that took it, right? 


Accidents can happen regardless of the type of car being driven and whatever advanced safety features the vehicle may have. If you have been involved in automobile accident call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle collision lawsuits including those involving SUVs. 

Accident Shows The Dangers of DIY Car Repair

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A 65-year old Michigan man died after being pinned by an SUV on September 10, 2017. Dennis Peters, of Mayfield Township, Michigan, was struck by a car he was attempting to repair according to the Detroit Free Press. Peters was attempting to fix the brakes on a friend’s car. Someone moved the car, but the brakes were not functioning properly, so the kept going and hit Peters, pinning him against the garage. Mr. Peters' death is being investigated as an accident.

This story may sound somewhat familiar to readers of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog. Last summer, we wrote about the death of actor Anton Yelchin. Yelchin was also killed after being pinned by his own SUV. Even though Yelchin placed his Jeep Cherokee in park and exited the vehicle, the car started rolling down the steep driveway it was parked in and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar. This accident, however, was caused due to a faulty gear shift problem which was under recall from Chrysler Fiat.

Thankfully, deaths due to faulty brakes are relatively uncommon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey in 2015, in which they looked at the critical causes of car accidents. It was discovered that out of the approximately 2,200,000 accidents that took place between 2005 and 2007, 44,000 were due to an issue with the vehicle. Of this 44,000, faulty brakes attributed to 10,000 accidents. While this number may seem relatively small, it is certainly not the same as 0 deaths.

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Fixing faulty brakes is a job that people often try to undertake themselves, rather than taking the car to a professional mechanic. Many think fixing malfunctioning brakes is one of the easier repair jobs on a car, but it is more difficult than people realize, and it is critical to get it right. When not done properly, the consequences can be deadly, as unfortunately seen in Mayfield Township. Fixing brakes doesn’t just involve repairing the brake pads, but also the calipers, rotors, wheel bearings, and brake fluid. Not properly repairing any one of these items can lead to a car malfunctioning, which could potentially lead to a car crash.

According to Auto Notebook, there are a few reasons why drivers decide to undertake car repair projects on their own, rather than going to a mechanic. Saving money is the most commonly cited reason. On top of that, video tutorials, detailed instructions, make and model information, and high quality pictures can now all be found online, making drivers much more confident in their abilities to fix their own car.

However despite popular belief, at home car repairs are not always going to be cheaper, especially in the long run. It's understandable that buying a $10 can of do-it-yourself (DIY) crack filler to fix a cracked windshield sounds a lot better than paying someone to fix it for $75, but when the DIY fix doesn’t work and the window shatters, it can cost $500 to replace it. More so, engines and transmissions are the most complicated parts of a car, and when the average Joe tries and fails to fix these parts himself, it can cost up to $7,000 each to replace them. On top of the monetary cost, any job that involves jacking up a car and crawling underneath, such as replacing shock absorbers, can be extremely dangerous, and is best left to a professional. From an expensive ER bill for a crushed hand, to causing a car crash on the highway due to a bad brake repair job, the risks of DIY car maintenance greatly outweigh any potential benefit. 

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Fixing your car yourself may sound very appealing - you can potentially save money, save time, and claim bragging rights to your friends and family about how smoothly you got your car running. However, without the proper training or experience, fixing your own car has the potential to be deadly or at the very least, costly. Changing a tire on the side of the road is one thing, trying to untangle the maze of wires in your very expensive transmission is quite another. Therefore, taking your car to a professional mechanic is the easiest and safest way to ensure that your car is maintained properly and safely. 


Accidents can still happen, regardless of how well taken care of your car is. If you have been involved in a automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of car accident law suits, including those caused by recall defects or faulty car parts.

And The Winner For Most Googled Car In Michigan Is...

A recent analysis of the cars frequently Googled in every state discovered that the Lincoln MKC Compact SUV is the number one vehicle Googled in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. This may come as a surprise to some people, who may have expected a classic Ford or GM model to take the top spot.

Other states had less shocking number ones, such as California’s search for the Tesla 3 and New England’s desire to look up the Volvo XC90. The Buick Cascada, though it only sold 3,445 throughout the country, won over the states of Missouri and Indiana. In addition, the Buick Enclave SUV is No. 1 for North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Iowa, and Kentucky. These findings solidify Buick’s Midwest takeover, at least according to Google. Interestingly enough, a car that Hyundai no longer produces was the leader in two states; the Equus sedan was most searched in Maryland and Virginia. 

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The results of the analysis, done by auto care company Gold Eagle and marketing specialist Digital Third Coast, emphasize the shift in consumer buying patterns from cars to trucks, as a truck or SUV topped the list in 34 states. Still however, the Ford F-150 did not lead a single state, despite its status as America’s best selling vehicle, for longer than Google searches probably existed. Its larger relative, the Ford F-350, led Alaska and Montana, possibly suggesting that car consumers truly do believe bigger is better. 

Some people may have doubts about the link between financial success and number of web searches. They have good reason to; Honda, for example, one of the most distinguished automakers, sold 1.6 million vehicles in the US last year, but failed to gain the largest number of searches in any state. 

When buying a car, people like to stay informed about the newest models and safest features. Word of mouth is always a good way to hear about the most popular cars or the worst parts of driving this or that. But, you also can’t go wrong with good ol' Google. Most importantly, knowledge of one’s vehicle and driver safety are the ultimate steps for motor vehicle operators and nearby pedestrians to take in order to help avoid a becoming involved in a car crash. 

If an online search engine can help keep motorists in the loop, it doesn't matter which car model is number one, as long as driver safety is the main priority.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation firm that handles all types of accidents. Whether we're handling a car, truck, bicycle, bus, pedestrian, or horse accident, we work hard to ensure that our client receives any and all benefits they may be entitled to, under Michigan law. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a motor vehicle crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Lincoln Park, MI - Motorcycle vs. SUV Crash

Motorcycles and SUVs do not mix well. That’s what 33 year old Lincoln Park, MI resident Danny McGraw learned after witnessing and being involved in a motorcycle versus car accident. McGraw was travelling eastbound on London Avenue near Dix Highway and I-75 at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015, when he saw the first devastating crash. A woman in a Mercury Mountaineer rammed into a man on a motorcycle as she was turning on the road. The motorcyclist was travelling north bound towards the SUV driver when she took a left turn and struck him head on, causing the motorcycle to flip and the man to hit the curb.

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To make matters worse, the woman kept driving and collided with McGraw’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. Attempting to be a good Samaritan, McGraw stopped his car and opened his door in an effort to go help the fallen motorcyclist when the woman in the Mountaineer drove by bumping his open door, causing it to slam shut. Still, McGraw exited his vehicle and made his way to the injured motorcyclist. McGraw said, “I didn’t know what to do so I just held his head and waited for an ambulance. He said he has five kids and his wife was just going to get them from school.”

The man on the motorcycle is said to be in his 20’s or 30’s and McGraw claims that the motorcyclist may have a broken ankle and severe road rash and several other trauma wounds. He was treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital. The woman who hit him was treated at the scene of the accident. McGraw himself was uninjured. Lincoln Park police have hired an accident reconstructionist to help with their investigation.

Even though motorcyclists may follow all traffic laws and drive as safely as possible, there is always the risk of a serious accident as the other driver’s actions cannot always be accounted for or anticipated. The truth is that motorcycle crashes cause more injuries than car crashes as people can easily be thrown on their motorcycles and are physically more open to impacts as they are not protects all around by metal.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle or car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with the ins and out of motorcycle accidents. Our accident lawyers can make sure your medical bills are paid, we can deal with your insurance company, and we can ensure you receive any benefits or compensation for pain and suffering that you may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Source:   The News-Herald