A DUI Could Cost You A Pot Of Gold This St. Patrick's Day!

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Time to break out the “Kiss me I'm Irish” t-shirts, green beer, and your great-grandma Brigid’s secret corned beef recipe! Whether you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s day by drinking copious amounts of Guinness and shots of Jameson during a pub crawl or by taking the family down to Corktown, everyone should plan how to get home safely, before they start to party.

St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the St. Patrick's Day holiday period from 2012 to 2016 saw the loss of 269 lives due to drunk driving crashes. “In 2016 alone, 60 people, 39% of all crash fatalities, were killed in drunk driving crashes over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.” Also, on March 18, 2016, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the NHTSA reported that 69% of crash fatalities nationwide involved a drunk driver.

It’s clear that St. Patrick’s Day is turning into a holiday where most people tend to celebrate who can drink the most and care less about the cultural and religious aspects of it all. These people should take safety precautions before they take part in this year’s festivities. And they don’t need to rely on the luck of the Irish to stay safe, because the NHTSA offers partygoers several tips on how to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Safety Tips

NHTSA encourages everyone to take the following safety precautions:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.

  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.

  • Don't ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

  • Always buckle up. It's your best defense against drunk drivers.

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If you’re hosting a party:

  • Make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.

  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food.

  • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a ride home.

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

Every year, The Michigan State Police (MSP) warn drivers that extra police will be on patrol, looking for impaired and aggressive drivers. Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the MSP participated in an international traffic safety initiative known as Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for “Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts.” Michigan State Police director Kriste Kibbey Etue stated, “the department encourages safe driving and won’t tolerate drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The initiative was put in place for police to team up to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from dangerous driving behaviors during holiday festivities.

So, drunk drivers may have a better chance at finding a four-leaf clover than they do getting away with drunk driving this St. Patrick’s Day! But in the interest of the safety of everyone on the road, and so that no one’s fun gets spoiled, St. Patrick’s Day celebrators should plan their safe passage home before they start to drink.


Since St. Patrick’s Day is one of the drunkest holidays, drunk driving car crashes are very likely to occur. Drunk driving car crashes are completely preventable but unfortunately, they still happen. The car crash lawyers at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help people handle the legal aftermath of drunk driving car crashes so that victims can focus on healing from their accident injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

A Play by Play To A Safe Super Bowl Party

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

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

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

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

How To Avoid Super Bowl Drunk Driving

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

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

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

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

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


9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

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

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

9 Bad Winter Habits That Could Ruin Your Car

1. Forgetting to Change the Windshield Wipers

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

2. Warming the Car for Too Long

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

3. Continuing to Use Summer Tires When Winter Hits

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

4. Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

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

5. Failing to Protect the Dashboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Speeding in Snowy Conditions 

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

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


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

Winter Driving Vehicle Safety Check List

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

Source: Giphy, Dodgeball

Before You Go:

Get Your Car Serviced

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

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

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

Check for Recalls

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

Know Your Car

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

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

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

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

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

Stock Your Vehicle

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

  • Snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.

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

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

  • Blankets for protection from the cold.

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

Plan Your Travel and Route

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

  • Check the weather, road conditions, and traffic.

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

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

Go Over Your Vehicle Safety Checklist

Battery

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

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

  • Have the charging system and belts inspected.

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

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

Lights

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

Cooling System

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

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

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

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

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

Windshield

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

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

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

Wipers and Defrosters

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

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

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

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

Floor Mats

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

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

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

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

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

Tires

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michigan Snow Car Crash Lawyer

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


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

Bus Safety Tips For Parents And Children

Getting on a bus means going on an adventure. Sure, buses take students to school and adults to work, but they can also take people on fun adventures like field trips to The Detroit Zoo or to the Tigers game! However, many people are wary of bus transportation at the moment because, within the last week, several horrific bus accidents have been reported in the news.

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One devastating bus accident revolved around a Canadian hockey team on their way to a playoff game. The travel bus containing 29 passengers collided with a tractor-trailer, killing 15 of the passengers aboard, CNN reported.

A second crash within the same week as the Canadian hockey team bus crash, revolved around a charter bus accident that took place in New York. The charter bus was taller than the overpass it was attempting to driver under, which lead to  the whole roof of the bus being sliced off. Dozens of students have been injured, some severely, in the New York charter bus accident, as reported by USA Today.  

The New York Times  reported another school bus crash on Monday, April 9, 2018 which involved 23 school children from ages 4-12, and 4 adults. This third bus accident took place in India and there is no known exact cause for the bus crash, as investigators have just begun their research into the crash.

These horrific bus crashes prove that bus accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and for any reason. Since 2 of the 3 bus crashes were school bus accidents, The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog wants to focus on the importance of school bus safety. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides the following school bus safety tips for parents and students to keep their school commutes safe:

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY TIPS

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  • Get to the school bus stop five minutes early, so you won't have to run across the road to catch the bus.

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic. Line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway to wait for the bus.

  • Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.

  • Never push when getting on or off of the school bus.

  • Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you.

  • Be aware - Cross with Care! Wait until the school bus has stopped all traffic before stepping out onto the road.

  • When the school bus is moving, always stay in your seat. Never put your head, arms or hands out of the window.

  • Talk quietly; do not distract your school bus driver.

  • If your school bus crosses railroad tracks, be calm and quiet so that your driver can listen for a train. Always obey your school bus driver's instructions, so that he or she can make safe decisions.

  • Never play with the emergency exits. Backpacks, band instruments, or sports equipment may not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.

  • When getting off of the school bus, make sure that all drawstrings and other loose objects are secure so that they don't get caught on the handrail or the door.

  • Never cross the street behind the school bus.

  • If you leave something on the bus or drop something outside of the bus, never go back for it. The driver may not see you and begin moving the bus.

  • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger.

Following these school bus safety tips may help students get to and from school safely, but as we learned this week, not all bus accidents can be fully prevented. It’s always important to take safety precautions when operating or riding in any type of motor vehicle. The Michigan Law Firm, PC sends our deepest condolences to all those involved in the above-mentioned bus crashes, and well wishes to any bus accident survivors.


If you or anyone you know have been in a bus crash, or any type of motor vehicle accident, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.

The Leading Factors For Brain Injuries In Children And Teens

Source:  Flickr

Source: Flickr

With the weather getting warmer, children will be spending more time outside, enjoying some of their favorite sports like football, soccer, and basketball. Kids love sports! It teaches them teamwork and planning strategies, and helps build friendships. And as much as kids like sports, teenagers love learning to drive and aim to receive independence from their parents via a driver’s license. This summer teens will be putting their pedals to the metal and test driving their new skills. So, since the spring and summer are so much fun for children of all ages, everyone should also be wary of the dangers that blows to the head in tackle sports and car crashes can have on children. Children from the ages of 0 to 19 have a greater risk for brain injuries than any other age, according to The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

According to Forbes, “[Of the}More than 55,000 teenage drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in auto accidents during 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered acute head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries.”

Since playing sports and getting into car accidents are leading factors for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children, parents should keep an eye on their children's behavior in case of head injury. The BIAA gives the following brain injury symptoms that parents should look out for that could impair a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional being.

Symptoms of Child Brain Injuries

PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENTS EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS
speech short term memory deficits mood swings
vision impaired concentration denial
hearing slowness of thinking self-centeredness
headaches limited attention span anxiety
motor coordination impairments of perception depression
spasticity of muscles communication skills lowered self-esteem
paresis or paralysis planning sexual dysfunction
seizure disorders writing restlessness
balance reading lack of motivation
fatigue judgment difficulty controlling emotions

Brain injuries can affect a child in multiple ways, as shown in the above brain injury symptoms chart. Collectively, these TBI symptoms can affect a child’s school work, social life, and general way of life. And since the recent news about the NFL concussion scandals, TBIs have become household dinner table talk. All of the negative TBI press has caused parents to become more involved in their children’s physical activities and become reluctant to let their children play sports or learn how to drive. While it’s disheartening to kids to have their parents deny their enrollment in football camp, these parents may be making the right choice. After all, “Each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes. A staggering 564,000 children are seen in hospital emergency departments for brain injury and released,” the BIAA reports. And according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), “Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents.”

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Brain injuries happen, and they are an injury that nobody expects could happen to them. But for children with brain injuries, it’s even worse. The BIAA reports that, “The brain of a child is continuing to develop. The assumption used to be a child with a brain injury would recover better than an adult because there was more “plasticity” in a younger brain, but recent research has shown that this is not the case. A brain injury actually has a more devastating impact on a child than an injury of the same severity on a mature adult.”  This is why brain trauma is a topic that needs to be discussed more often and more openly by the public. The BIAA leads the charge in continuing the conversation on brain trauma during the month of March, which is Brain Injury Awareness month. While brain injury experts are studying how to heal traumatic brain injuries, it may be a while until a surefire treatment is created. Until then, since we can't bubble wrap children and forbid them to leave the house, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  provides the following tips to help prevent brain injury accidents from occurring. 

How to Prevent Brain Injuries In Children

1. Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age).

2. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

3. Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:

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  • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;

  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;

  • Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;

  • Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;

  • Riding a horse; or

  • Skiing or snowboarding.

5. Making living areas safer for seniors, by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;

  • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;

  • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;

  • Improving lighting throughout the home; and

  • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.

6. Making living areas safer for children, by:

  • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and

  • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

  • Making sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

While the CDC's 5th tip may be for senior citizens, some of this advice may also be applicable to children. Plenty of children have fallen while running up and down the stairs without using handrails and many have tripped over a rug and hit their head. Vigorous play with toys used to entice children to take baths have also led to slip and fall accidents in the bath tub. 

The fact of the matter is that children always face the risk of traumatic brain injuries because most children are physically active. By monitoring a child or teenager's physical, cognitive, and emotional behaviors following a head injury, parents can help their children immediately receive any medical attention they may need.


Summer fun like playing sports or taking road trips may lead to brain injury accidents. After all, sports and motor vehicle accidents are some of the leading factors for brain injuries in children and teens. If you or anyone you is suffering from a traumatic brain injury or any car accident injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM today. Our brain injury lawyers are available for a free legal consultation. 

My Oh My! That Seat Belt Looks Good On You

There are thousands of unique accessories in the fashion world, from purses to jewelry to hats to belts; the list goes on and on. Over the past few decades, fashion has started to become more economically friendly, with old products and materials being remade into something totally different. One unusual item being used for fashion is typically found in your car: seat belts! The secure straps were initially developed to save lives in automobile accidents, but today are being used for much more. 

Source:  HARVEYS

Source: HARVEYS

Nils Bohlin, a Swedish engineer, invented the modern-day seat belt in 1959. Previously, there were only two-point seat belts, and the only people who used them were race car drivers. Bohlin was hired by Volvo to be the company’s first chief safety engineer. After Bohlin’s revolutionary invention, Volvo made the new seat belts available to other manufacturers to help increase safety in the industry. By 1968, all American vehicles were required to have the modern day seat belts. Volvo estimates that over one million lives have been saved by the seat belt from the time of its invention to the time of Bohlin’s death in September 2002. In just the United States alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that seat belts save over 11,000 lives in car crashes per year. 

At some point, however, seat belts evolved from only being safety devices to protect people in the event of a car accident. Today, seat belts are used as fashion accessories, an economically friendly way to change up an outfit. HARVEYS, a California-based company, makes handbags and lifestyle goods out of old car seat belts. It all started when Dana Harvey was restoring a classic car and used the leftover seat belts to make a bag for his wife, Melanie. Today, HARVEYS makes numerous purses, bags, and backpacks in endless colors and designs, using seat belts in a fun and creative way. The company’s products even extend to dog leashes, passport holders, and lawn chairs! In a statement HARVEYS said, employees “get to experience the full life cycle of a product, and that has a big effect on how (they) design...it inspires you to make quality stuff that can last a lifetime.” The repurposing of seat belts doesn’t sound very far off from the original goals of creating a safer seat belt.

Source:  Buckle-Down

Source: Buckle-Down

Another business, Buckle-Down, turns seat belts into belts and buckles that hold up pants. Custom designs allow customers to choose what they want their belt to look like, and they offer everything from Disney cartoons to sports teams to car company logos. Buckle-Down also partners with retailers such as Hot Topic, Bed Bath and Beyond, and the Disney theme parks to bring recycled seat belt belts to more people.

There is always the possibility that someone will fall in love with a seat belt fashion accessory, and as a result, use their seat belt more or help spread awareness to others about the importance of strapping in while riding in a motor vehicle. In fact, whether they are connected or not, along with the popularity of up-cycled seat belt products, seat belt usage in the US has increased steadily from 70.7% in 2000 to 90.1% in 2016. Still, there are many more lives that could be saved in a motor vehicle accident through the use of a seat belt. 48% of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts, which is alarming considering that this safety product is not a new development. During an automobile crash, buckling up helps keep passengers safe and secure inside their vehicles. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog has previously discussed the NHTSA's safety tips on how to wear a seat belt properly, so as to help prevent an injury or fatality in the event of a car crash. 

Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer

Nils Bohlin likely never imagined his first seat belt becoming more than a safety precaution after its development. Smooth and sleek, seat belts offer a trendy and unique look to fashionistas looking to update their outfits. Seat belt products also help the environment by reusing old belts to make something brand new. While seat belts are continuing to be transformed today, it is important to remember to “Click It or Ticket” when riding in a motor vehicle, as your life may depend on it. 


Seat belt fashion accessories are available on the market, bringing a more attractive side to safety. However, in line with their original purpose, seat belts are an important safety measure that save lives during a motor vehicle crash. Anyone riding in a car or driving a vehicle should always wear their seat belts, because no one looks good flattened on the side of the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car collision, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Kalamazoo Bike Accident Could Change Michigan Law

A 2016 bicycle accident in Kalamazoo, Michigan that sent shockwaves through the community is still having an impact over a year later. On June 7, 2016, 5 bicyclists were killed by a speeding driver, and on September 27, 2017, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously on a group of bills designed to change state laws in order to protect cyclists. According to Mlive, survivors of the crash Paul Gobble and Jennifer Johnson say that they have observed “animosity towards bicyclists using the roads” and that “it's time to make Michigan safer." The proposed bills aim to do just that.

The Kalamazoo crash was the worst in Michigan’s history, killing 5 and seriously injuring 4 others. A social cycling group called The Chain Gang had departed out on a ride to Plainwell, Michigan and back. About half an hour into the ride, a speeding, blue Chevy pickup truck came flying down Westnedge Ave, driven by Charles Pickett Jr., and collided with the group from behind. Tony Nelson, 73; Larry Paulik, 74; Debra Bradley, 53; Melissa Fevig Hughes, 42; and Suzanne Sippel, 56, were all pronounced dead at the scene. Sheila Jeske, 54, and Paul Runnels, 66, survived along with Gobble, 48, and Johnson, 42. The survivors say they are still dealing with the physical and psychological effects of the crash.

Detroit Bicycle Car Crash Lawyer

Sen. Margaret O'Brien, R-Portage and Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, introduced a package of bills aimed at protecting cyclists on the road. The bills now heads to the Senate floor. Currently, Michigan is one of only seven states to not have laws requiring cars to pass cyclists safely. The proposed bills are as follows.

Proposed Bicyclist Road Safety Bills

  • Senate Bills 123 and 170 require cars to observe a five-foot passing zone for bicycles.

  • Senate Bill 124, sponsored by O'Brien, requires driver training courses to include at least one hour of education on the laws pertaining to bicycles, motorcycles, and other vulnerable roadway users.  

  • Senate Bill 330, sponsored by O'Brien, allows prosecutors to count a driver whose license had expired or suspended in another state as having a suspended or revoked license when they are charged with operation of a vehicle causing death while holding a suspended or revoked license or registration.

  • Senate Bills 580 and 581, sponsored by Knezek, expand the prohibition on texting while driving to include the use of a computer, tablet, camera, or other internet-based communication device, and update sentencing guidelines.

Mlive reported that Pickett was charged with 5 counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, 5 counts of second degree murder, and 4 counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury. Also, According to a police report, officers found marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, rum, vodka, beer and wine in Pickett's pickup truck after the crash." Nearly a year and a half after the crash, Pickett’s trial still has yet to occur. It was originally scheduled for April 24, 2017, and then rescheduled for September 19. 

Detroit Bike Car Accident Lawyer

In that time, Pickett was denied application for leave to appeal his second degree murder charges. Pickett’s attorney, argued that evidence used to charge his client with second degree murder was insufficient. His lawyer says that an interview between his client and a detective that took place in a hospital directly following the crash violated Pickett’s constitutional rights, and therefore could not be used as evidence. His lawyer also argued his client should be charged with reckless driving causing death, but not second degree murder. The court denied the application, “for failure to persuade the Court of the need for immediate appellate review." Pickett plans on pleading insanity to the charges.

This past June, on the one year anniversary of the accident, a mass was held to honor the victims. The Chain Gang also held their first annual Finish the Ride Memorial Ride, a 27-mile bike ride to remember the victims and honor the survivors of the tragedy, following the same route the riders were planning on doing the day of the crash.

Bike accidents are unfortunately common in the United States, with many receiving little to no media attention. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicyclists made up 2% of all traffic related deaths and 2% of all crash related injuries in 2014. In 2015 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 1,000 cyclists deaths, and over 467,000 bicyclists were injured. The NHTSA also found that bicyclists deaths were more likely to occur between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM, and in urban areas. This is likely due to decreased visibility when the sun goes down, and congested city streets. Bicyclists who are killed are usually males between the ages of 20 and 24. The NHTSA notes that, “a large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other." The NHTSA also provides the following tips for motorists and cyclists to safely share the road.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed. This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.

  • In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.

  • Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.

  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions, and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.

  • Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

Detroit Bicycle Accident Lawyer
  • Check your law to make sure sidewalk riding is legal.

  • Watch for pedestrians.

  • Pass pedestrians with care by first announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or use a bell.

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. This way, if the sidewalk ends, you are already riding with the flow of traffic. If crossing a street, motorists will look left, right, left for traffic. When you are to the driver’s left, the driver is more likely to see you.

  • Slow and look for traffic (left-right-left and behind) when crossing a street from a sidewalk; be prepared to stop and follow the pedestrian signals.

  • Slow down and look for cars backing out of driveways or turning.

Drivers and bicyclists learning to share the road with each other is key to reducing the number of cyclist injuries and fatalities due to car accidents. While those on bikes are the ones most likely to be injured or killed, both parties need to be aware of and watch out for each other. While bicycle car accidents can’t be avoided altogether, drivers and bicyclists can work together to ensure travel safety. Whether it be by following tips from organizations like the NHTSA, or through bills like the ones Senators O’Brien and Knezek are hoping to pass, bicyclists need more protections on the road so accidents like the one in Kalamazoo don’t become the norm.


While drivers and cyclists can both work to ensure that those traveling on bikes are safer, bicycle car accidents still happen. What's worse is that bicyclists are more likely to be injured and to suffer more serious injuries than those in the motor vehicle, when involved in a bicycle car accident. If you or a loved have been the victim of an automobile collision, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our highly experienced attorneys handle the legal matters while you focus on recovering from your injuries.   

Halloween Child Trick-or-Treat Road Safety

Michigan Halloween Car Crash Lawyer

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. 

It's National Child Passenger Safety Week!

Child injury and death from car collisions are unfortunately all too common, but the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is part of a campaign to help raise awareness as to how parents can help reduce the risk of injury or death to their kids while traveling in the car. The week of September 17th through the 23rd is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and aims to shed light on the importance of using proper restraints for kids when traveling in a vehicle. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, automobile accidents are the leading cause of unintentional deaths for children ages 1-13. The National Security Council reports that in 2015 alone, 1,346 children under the age of 15 were killed in motor vehicle accidents, which is an average of more than 3 kids per day. While these statistics are scary, luckily, there are ways parents can help to reduce the likelihood of their child being injured or killed in a car crash. The simplest way to avoid child car accident injuries is by using the proper restraints. In 2012 alone, the lives of 284 kids, ages 5 and under, were saved due to restraint use, according to Safe Kids. Using car seats, seat belts, and booster seats can reduce the risk of injury or death by up to 50%. Safe Kids also gives the following tips on to how to keep young passengers safe while traveling.

Michigan Child Car Crash Lawyer

Child Car Seat Safety Tips

  • The back seat is the best. It is the safest place to ride for all children under the age of 13. Not all cars allow for a car seat in every place that has a seat belt. Check your car owner manual to see where you can put a car seat.
  • Be wary of toys in the car. Choose toys that are soft and will not hurt your child in a crash. Secure any loose objects in the car.
  • Wear your seat belt. We know that when adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up, too.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car, even for a minute.

Safe Kids recommends that children need to be riding in some sort of restrained device until the age of 13. According to the OHSP, children who are under the height of 4 feet and 9 inches cannot fit comfortably in a seat belt, making them more likely to tuck it behind their back or under their arm, thereby reducing its effectiveness. Seat belts are designed to fit across the hips and shoulders, which are the strongest part of the body. Booster seats lift up smaller children to allow the seat belt to fit properly. According to the OHSP, less than half of children aged 4-7 in the state of Michigan are using booster seats. As kids get older, the use of restraints goes down, even though booster seats are cheaper and easier to use than car seats. Older children are at risk too, as kids over the age of 14 are more likely to not use a seat belt at all. 

Kid Car Crash Lawyer

Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan branch of the OHSP, says that the goal is not to scare parents, but to make them aware of the risks that come with not restraining child passengers properly. They also want to provide encouragement by reinforcing how useful car seats and booster seats are when it comes to reducing the number of child injuries and deaths from car accidents. Prince also said that the timing of the campaign is intentional. With school starting, kids are being driven back and forth not only to school, but to sports practices and other activities. The OHSP wants to make sure that parents are ensuring their kids are safe during travel times.

While no parent can guarantee that their child won’t be involved in an automobile accident, they can guarantee that their child is properly restrained. For younger children, it's as simple as making sure they are using car seats and booster seats until they are big enough for seat belts to fit properly. For older children, it's important for parents to set a good example and make sure they are wearing their seat belt so that even when they are not travelling with you, teenagers will remember to wear one. In making child car safety a priority, parents are responsibly helping keep their children as safe as possible in the event of a motor vehicle accident.


Using the proper restraints can reduce the risk of death or injury to children, in the event of a car accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of automobile accident cases, especially those involving children. Our car accident lawyers understand that while car crashes can be confusing enough for adults, they can especially take a toll on children. 

School Bus Traffic Safety Laws for Drivers

As students across Michigan return to classes for the new school year, drivers are sure to notice an increased number of school buses on the road. School buses are an excellent mode of transportation for students. In fact, riding a bus is safer than walking or driving a family vehicle. More so, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are 70x more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus as opposed to traveling in a car. The reason for this level of safety may be due to how school buses are designed. First, the bright yellow color of a school bus makes it highly visible. Then, the equipped flashing lights, cross-view mirrors, and stop-sign arms, not to mention protective seating inside the bus, also help to keep students safe.

Michigan School Bus Accident Lawyer

In addition to these design elements, there are traffic laws put in place that also keep school buses safe on the road. However, the traffic laws that drivers must follow when driving near a school bus can be a source of confusion, and not following these laws properly may lead to a school bus crash on the road or a pedestrian car crash at a student crossing. According to the NHSTA, more school-age pedestrians are killed during the hour before or after school than any other time of day, largely due to drivers not stopping when they are near school buses. Data published by the NHSTA shows that 1,353 people were killed in accidents involving school buses between 2003 and 2014. Of those who died, 71% were not on the school bus but were were traveling in other vehicles, such as sedans and SUVs.

School bus traffic laws can be confusing, but the Michigan State Police has offers the following recommendations to help drivers avoid becoming involved in school bus car crashes.

School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers

  1. Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing.

  2. Stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

  3. Slow down in or near school and residential areas.

  4. Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area.

  5. Watch for children between parked cars and other objects.

  6. School buses are like traffic signals:
    • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop.
    • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop.
    • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution.

School Bus Safety Tips for Students

  1. Always stay in sight of the bus driver.
  2. Don't hurry off the bus; check traffic first.
  3. Don't go back to the bus after exiting.

As the NHSTA notes, the greatest risk does not come from riding the bus, but from approaching or leaving one. While following these tips cannot guarantee bus accidents won't happen, they may help keep both students and drivers safe by reducing the number of injuries and deaths from school bus accidents. 


Stopping for school buses is the law, but this law is not always followed. Not stopping for school buses may result in injury or death for those who are on the school bus, those who are traveling in other vehicles, and even pedestrians. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a school bus crash or any type of bus accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Our firm is experienced in handling personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases.
 

Drowsy Driving Is Just As Dangerous As Drunk Driving

Sleepy Driving Car Accident Attorney Michigan

Reports have shown that driving on 5 hours of sleep or less is equivalent to driving while intoxicated. The report, according to USA Today, states that drivers who skip a few hours of sleep at night nearly double their chances of crashing. This is an alarming fact when you take into consideration that about 1/3 of American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep every night, the recommended amount for adults aged 18-60, based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Probability of Drowsy Driving Car Crashes

Below is the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident occurring depending on how much sleep a driver gets. 

  • 6 hours of sleep = 1.3 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 5 - 6 hours of sleep = 1.9 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 4 - 5 hours of sleep = 4.3 times higher chance of a car crash.
  • 4 hours of sleep or less = 11.5 times higher chance of a car crash.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving accounts for 83,000 crashes per year. In 2014, 846 fatalities resulted from a car crash related to sleepy driving. It should be noted that research on the number of drowsy drivers on the road has proved challenging, possibly even causing an underestimate of the prevalence of the issue. Regardless, lack of sleep causes impaired judgment, a slower reaction time, and/or paying less attention to the road. Combining these factors with operating a motor vehicle, just screams a disaster waiting to happen. 

Symptoms of Drowsy Driving:

Car Accident Lawyer Michigan
  • Frequent yawning or blinking.
  • Drifting in and out of the lane.
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the freeway.
  • Missing an exit.
  • Not remembering the last few miles traveled.

The National Sleep Foundation noted that police officers are not trained to identify “drowsiness” and despite just about every state addressing sleepiness or fatigue in crash reports, fatigue testing has been limited and without major developments. The foundation also believes that drowsy driving could play a role in other car crashes and are simply misreported as drunk driving or distracted driving accidents. The following safety tips provided by the National Sleep Foundation maybe able to help prevent a drowsy driving motor vehicle accident from occurring.

Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

  • Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Get a good night's sleep before long road trips, as being sleep deprived could endanger everyone in the car.
  • Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol increases sleepiness and impairment for drivers.
  • If you take medications that list drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation or get a ride from someone else, if possible. If you drive, avoid peak sleepiness time periods (12 AM - 6 AM and late afternoon).
  • Stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, and pull over for a short nap in a safe place if needed. 
Michigan Drowsy Driving Auto Accident Attorney

At the end of the day, having the alert senses needed to drive safely is yet another reason to get enough sleep each night. It is important to remember these safety tips and to monitor one's own behavior for drowsiness, before getting behind a steering wheel. At the very least, who doesn't want an excuse to put on some footie pajamas and snuggle under the covers for a well-rested night?


Motorists should take note of when they are feeling fatigued, and make the right decisions in order to prevent severe injuries or even fatalitities from a car crash. Finding a safe spot to pull out of the way of traffic and removing one's keys from the ignition to take a quick nap is one of way options to make a road trip safer. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drowsy driving accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Overheated Car? Here's A Few Tips.

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

It’s rush hour, the freeway is packed, it's 90 degrees outside and the air conditioning is at full blast in the car. While most drivers are busy complaining about the stop and go traffic, they may not notice their car's temperature gauge edging past the middle line and slowly creeping toward ‘H’. Then the ‘check engine light’ comes on and the driver realizes they didn’t check their fluids last weekend like they were supposed to. Just as this comes to mind, the vehicle begins to lag and stutter and soon smoke plumes began to rise from underneath the hood of the car. Now they are stuck on the side of the road.

How Do Cars Overheat?

There are actually quite a few things that can lead a car to overheat. Luckily however, many of the ways cars overheat are often times fixable and even avoidable. As mentioned above, one way a car can overheat, is if not enough engine coolant is put into the vehicle, causing the remaining fluid to congeal and no longer circulate between the radiator and the engine. When the coolant is unable to circulate, it causes the engine to work harder and burn out. The engine congealed coolant can also form a blockage and prevent the radiator from fairly distributing the heat from the engine. Other possible factors that can cause a blockage are, a build up of inside or outside fluids, the thermostat’s flap refusing to open and close, and even an unknown or forgotten object getting lodged in the cooling system.

A car engine's cooling system is a very temperamental thing that should be kept an eye on, in order to sport potential leaks that can allow air to get inside the system and form a bubble, which in turn causes coolant fluid to be blocked from reaching where it needs to go.

Another leading cause of cars overheating, is a failed water pump. The cooling system inside a car relies on water to keep the vehicle at a reasonable temperature, and without it can lead a car to overheat within minutes.

Overheated Car Tips

With the dog days of summer in full effect, now is the time to brush up on what to do when a vehicle is overheated. Thankfully, AAMCO, an American transmission repair company, has a few tips on how drivers can prevent their car from overheating and what to do in case it does.

Source: GIPHY, Fox Broadcasting Company's  The X-Files

Source: GIPHY, Fox Broadcasting Company's The X-Files

  • “If the air conditioning is on, turn it off and roll down the windows.” Then, turn the car's heat on instead and roll down the windows to reroute some of the heat from the engine.
  • If the car's temperature continues to rise, it’s best to turn on the hazard lights and maneuver the vehicle to a safe area. If the driver feels that the area they are in is not safe, AAMCO assures that a stop and go method until arriving at a safe destination is reasonable, as long as the driver waits long enough for the car to cool a bit before driving onward.
  • Once a driver is in a well lit and safe space, they should take note of any possible smoke rising from the hood of the car and see if the hood feels extremely hot to the touch. This will help them determine if it is safe to open up the hood of the car and proceed to analyze if the engine or the radiator is the issue. However, touching anything is a big no-no until everything has cooled down.
  • It should go without saying that an overheating car should be immediately fixed by a state licensed mechanic in order to prevent possible car fires and accidents. A driver could become anxious and distracted while driving and trying to handle the fact that their car is overheating, causing other drivers to panic or react rashly.
  • It usually takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour for the engine and radiator to cool, after which, the driver can safely proceed to check the engine's coolant to see where the fluid level exactly is. If the coolant seems dangerously low or none seem to be inside, a 50/50 mixture of water and engine coolant is the best way to go.
Overheated Engine Car Accident Lawyer
  • If the engine coolant level seems fine, the next place to look is the hoses. The hoses could have possibly been severed or have a leak. Look around for any puddles of fluid on the ground, and if that help find the leak, listen to see if any fluids are draining from the car.
  • “Restart the car and check the temperature gauges on the dash.” Then, eyeball the temperature gauge to see if it still reads in the red. If not, proceed forward, but if it still reads that the car is hot, turn it off and wait a while for the vehicle to cool. After a while, if the car is still overheating, there are one of two possible explanations-either the temperature gauge is broken or the vehicle needs to be serviced.

Though these tips don't guarantee that inexperienced people will be able to fix an overheating car by themselves, without the help of a licensed professional, they may be good temporary suggestions that drivers can consider while waiting for a professional to come to their aid. At the very least, drives who are concerned that their car is overheated or sense that their motor vehicle is acting up while on the road, should immediately pull over, in order to avoid a car collision, and then call for help. The last thing drivers want is their car to stop in the middle of the highway or an intersection, bringing on the risk of becoming involved in a car accident.


An overheating car is not something to take lightly. Drivers should make sure to service their vehicles regularly, and especially when the 'check engine' light comes on, to prevent future wear and tear on car parts that can hinder a motor vehicle's performance. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney today.  

Driving Road Rage Killing In Ada, Michigan

Road rage is once again to blame for claiming another victim in Ada, Michigan. In October 2016, ex-boxer Christian Hilman, 19, was driving his dirt bike home in front of General Motors retiree William McFarlan, 64, when McFarlan began honking his horn and flashing his lights at Hilman. Finally, Hilman had enough of McFarlan driving behind him and turned into a church parking lot where McFarlan decided to follow him. It is said the two engaged in a heated argument before McFarlan placed his hands on Hilman's neck and the two began to fight. Eyewitnesses say that the fight resulted in “McFarlan collapsing by his pickup truck and Hilman continuing to kick him.” After police were called, Hilman was arrested and McFarlan was rushed to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, including fractured ribs and a fractured skull. Unfortunately, nearly five weeks after the assault, McFarlan passed away due to the severity of his injuries.

Medical malpractice

At first, Hilman would have only faced 10 years in prison with an assault charge, but now in light of McFarlan’s death, Hilman has been charged with murder in the second degree and is facing up to 100 years in prison. “I think just because someone gets angry in a road rage incident, it doesn’t justify assaulting and killing a man,'' said Blair Lachman, Kent County Assistant Prosecutor. However, Michael Bartish, a defense attorney, argues that, “Whatever happened, Mr. McFarlan [followed] Christian into that parking lot...There is no reason for that vehicle to have followed him into that parking lot unless the intent was for a fight.’’ Bartish feels that, Hilman a voluntary manslaughter charge would be more appropriate thatn a second degree murder charge, since the crime occurred in the heat of passion.

Tips To Handle Road Rage

Unfortunately, road rage is starting to become a common behavior on American roadways, due to the increase in the number of motorists on the road, an uptick in aggressive driving maneuvers, and personal factors affecting individual motorists. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC does not condone road rage or aggressive driving behaviors. Neither does DMV.org, who provided the following tips for those drivers who find themselves in driving situations in which they become angry at another driver or another driver engages in aggressive driving behavior towards them.

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  • Maintain your space. This tip does not only refer to keeping enough brake space between cars, but for drivers to do what they need to in order to distance themselves from stressful drivign situations and to remain calm behind the wheel. Playing calming music, a funny podcast, or simply planning ahead for their commute, can prevent drivers from becoming angry.

  • Avoid making eye contact. If the angry driver cannot make eye contact, they will hopefully fume for a moment and continue on their way.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel. Keeping hands busy at 10-and-2 and refraining from making obscene gestures can keep motorists from fanning the flames of anger from other drivers.

  • Show remorse. If a wrong was committed, be the bigger person and correct it by mouthing sorry, waving to the other driver to acknowledge the wrong, or moving out of their way so they can pass.

  • If all else fails - call the police. There may come a time when none of the above tips will help avoid an aggressive driving accident, and the agitated driver may proceed to commit bodily harm to a fellow motorist. In this case, if possible, drivers who find themselves in this situation should pull over and call the police.

Drivers who find themselves engaging in aggressive driving behaviors and have tried bullying someone off the road should remember that acting on violent urges, like what happened between Hilman and McFarlan, can lead to serious consequences. If police catch a driver in the act they could be fined, possibly face prison or jail time, not mention, the aggressive drive will will have to live with a severe assault or a road rage fatality on their conscience.


The altercation between McFarlan and Hilman should serve as a cautionary tale to those who feel they need to teach an aggressive driver a lesson. It is best that the proper authorities handle any road rage incidents, in order to prevent escalating a potential aggressive driving situation. Have you or a loved one been a victim of a road rage car accident? Contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. We know going through the legal process can be scary, but our firm is here to help victims of car accidents every step of the way. 

August Is National Water Quality Month

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Since August is the month that usually wraps up the summer, it is filled with last minute family trips to go enjoy the Great Lakes and streams that make Michigan so pleasant. It is for this reason, that sustaining water quality is so important. In fact, since the implementation of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (amended in 1977), and since an agreement was also signed in 1972 between the United States and Canada to protect and restore our Great Lakes, the water quality of the Great Lakes has improved. Another Michigan water quality problem that has not improved however, is the Flint Water Crisis. 

Flint Water Crisis

Citizens of Flint, Michigan have been without proper drinking water since 2014. According to The Detroit News, tests taken last year in August of 2016 showed that lead contaminants have been reduced to almost federal standards, however, there are still locations with very high lead levels. Karen Weaver, Mayor of Flint, believes that it will take two more years for Flint’s water to be drinkable. From July to the end of 2016, 90% of Flint lead levels have been around 12 parts per billion (ppb); the federal action level is 15 parts per billion.

Michael C. McDaniel, retired Brigadier General, stated that he wishes to see Flint residents use water filters until lead levels consistently test below 10 ppb. To reach the lower lead levels, over 20,000 pipelines must be replaced. McDaniel says the total cost for pipeline replacement will be $100 million. Mayor Weaver stated that replacing the pipes could take 3 years, that is, if they have enough funds. Over the three year period, the city has enough money to fund pipe replacements for 2017, about half the money for replacements in 2018, but not enough money for 2019.

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As of March 2017, Flint has replaced around 800 pipes, but plans to accelerate pipe replacement and have around 18,000 replaced by the end of 2019, if it can receive the amount of funds necessary. Leading up to March, Congress funded Flint a total of around $253 million, and this number only continues to grow. So thankfully, the likelihood that Flint will receive enough funds to replace 18,000 pipelines seems positive.

Tips For Sustaining Clean Water

Flint is showing positive strides in its improvement of the city’s water quality, but there are still obstacles to clear. Hopefully the city will be able to obtain the funds they need and execute the replacement of pipelines faster than they have thus far, through 2017. The overarching issue however, is that no city, or more importantly, individual should be deprived of clean water. Also, improving water quality is only half the battle. Sustaining clean water and protecting it from pollution can sometimes prove even more difficult. In honor of National Water Quality Month, below are some tips provided by Natural Choice that homeowners can use to help sustain clean water in their community:

  • Do not flush non-degradable products down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process. Also, do not flush medications down the toilet because they can prove harmful to the water supply.
  • Avoid using pesticides and other fertilizers on your yard, as they can pollute ground water. Instead, use natural fertilizers such as bone meal or peat.
  • Avoid using antibacterial soap because these soaps are known to have pesticides that can damage marine life.
  • The only thing that should go down storm drains is water because the drains flush out into waterways.
  • Make sure to clean up after your pets because their waste can fall into storm drains.
  • Stay up to date with your local water quality report and see how you can improve the water quality within your community.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation law firm. We handle all varieties of personal injury cases including automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical provider cases, dog bites, and slip and falls. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney today.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Epilepsy

No one can predict the outcome of a motor vehicle accident. In fatal vehicle collisions, it takes just seconds for a shiny new car to become a pile of metal, rubber, and plastic. Not only are automobiles ruined in traffic crashes, but the passengers inside may be seriously injured, if not dead. That's why safety precautions must be taken to help protect passengers in the instance that they are involved in motor vehicle collisions. One such precaution is always wearing a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seat restraints have saved 344,448 lives since 1975. Unfortunately, however, seat belts can't do it all, as they can't prevent head bumps and even cause whiplash injuries themselves. This is dangerous because what people may not know is that a momentary head bump or skull scrape in car crashes, may lead to a much more serious type of head injury and other brain related conditions, such as epilepsy. 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI), as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is "a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury." They can occur to anyone, from young children to older adults. TBIs can be mild, like " a brief change in mental status or consciousness, or severe, like, "an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury." Symptoms of a TBI include problems with thinking and memory, balance and sensations, language like talking, and emotions, such as depression, anxiety, and aggression. While not every head injury results in a TBI, people who sustain head injuries in automobile crashes are more likely to sustain TBIs due to the heavy force with which a head gets struck in a car collision. 


The Link Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a type of brain disease that causes re-occurring seizures. Epilepsy may have a variety of causes, all depending on conditions that affect a person's brain. Some examples are a stroke or a brain tumor. TBIs can also trigger epilepsy in people, either right after an injury happens or months and even years later. Researchers have found that the more severe a TBI is, the greater chance there is that the person may develop epilepsy. 

Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are two types of seizures caused by a TBI. PTS are seizures occurring in the first week after a TBI, while PTE is defined by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as one or more unprovoked seizures that occur at least one week after a TBI. In PTE cases, 86% of patients experiencing one seizure at least one week after a TBI, experienced a second seizure within two years. This means that most of the time, epilepsy takes a while to be discovered. Just when people think they are in the clear from a severe motor vehicle accident, their traumatic brain injury comes back as a different monster.

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Epilepsy is difficult to pinpoint because seizures are different for different people. Some fall, cry out, or shake, while others become confused, twitch, or believe they see, taste, or smell something unusual. The lack of a definite, clear-cut diagnosis makes handling TBIs even more of a headache. Though it may seem difficult to comprehend until one witnesses it, people that learn to recognize the symptoms of a seizure may be able to offer assistance or contact a medical provider if needed. The sudden movement of body parts, unresponsiveness, lip-smacking or chewing, fumbling movements, and not being able to speak or understand others are all common symptoms of a seizure. Bystanders can assist someone having a seizure by making sure they don't fall and turning their head to the side so anything in the mouth, including saliva, does not block their throat. Check for a heartbeat and for regular breathing, starting CPR if there are no vital signs or calling 911 to alert medical professionals.

MRIs and other neuroimaging tests are recommended following the first post-traumatic seizure, as these tests can help look for brain abnormalities that might suggest a case of PTE. Preventative medicines may be prescribed by a doctor for seizures, and clinical observations by the Epilepsy Foundation further support using drugs early on after an injury, to help suppress the development of PTE. Though it is unlikely that current medicine will completely eliminate epilepsy, it can help control or stop seizures for a majority of people. 


How To Avoid Car Crash Brain Injuries

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In 2013, the leading causes of TBI-related deaths were falls for people 65 and older, and motor-vehicle crashes for people age 5-24. In an effort to reduce the number of motor vehicle accident traumatic brain injuries, safety precautions can be taken that may minimize the risk for traumatic brain injuries. Driving and riding safely is the number one step people can take towards safety. This includes wearing seat belts, using helmets on motorcycles and bicycles, turning on airbags, and seating children in passenger seats designed for them. People may also want to be mindful of where they are walking, so they may be less likely to be involved in a pedestrian car crash.

No matter what people do to increase their safety while on the road and on streets, head injuries can still occur from during car collision. Medical research and technological advancements are working to ease the pain and suffering from traumatic brain injuries, but the reality is that some people may experience epilepsy or seizures years after what they once thought to be just a simple bump to the head. TBIs are yet another consequence of car accidents, and though they cannot be completely prevented, recognizing the symptoms and responding with proper care may help car accident victims' health in the long run.


Head injuries, like those that can be caused by motor vehicle collisions, have numerous negative side effects. It is important to learn to recognize the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, so as to help protect yourself and others. If you or someone you know has sustained a head injury or any other injury in a car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Stay Safe At The Summer Drive-In Theater

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Summer is in full swing, and with kids everywhere out of school, parents are looking for ways to keep their children busy. While the pool, park, and zoo are excellent options for a fun day out, many Michigan families are spending summer evenings at the drive-in movie theater. A drive-in typically takes place in a large parking lot, where vehicles can pay to park and watch movies on theater-size big screens, as they sit comfortably in their cars and listen to the sound on the radio. Some drive-ins even have concession stands where people can buy snacks and drinks. The drive-in movie theater is an entertaining way for parents to use their cars for something other than driving, while making the kids happy, too.

The drive-in movie theater is not a new concept. In fact, they weren’t even called drive-ins originally, but a “park-in” because of the parking lot movie theater setting. In the summer of 1933, motorists parked their cars on the grounds of Park-In Theaters in Camden, New Jersey, the site of the first ever drive-in movie theater. As the idea caught on, more drive-ins popped up all across the country. According to HISTORY.com, one of the largest drive-ins featured parking space for 2,500 cars, a kid’s playground, and a full service restaurant, spread out across 28 acres. If only extravagant drive-ins like that existed today, parents would never have to worry about their children being bored!

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Today, however, there are less than 350 drive-in theater locations across the country. Luckily for Michigan residents, the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA) says our state is home to 8 different theaters with 18 total movie screens. Metro Detroit is home to two drive-ins: the USA Hockey Arena Summer Drive-In located just off M-14 in Plymouth, and the Ford Drive-In in Dearborn. Movies begin at dusk, and films change weekly, showing everything from Disney cartoons to the latest action blockbuster. 

However, just because vehicles are parked at the drive-in, does not mean they aren’t still dangerous. Children often run around and play in the parking lots at a drive-in as they wait for the movie to start, putting them at risk for a severe injury or fatality from a moving vehicle nearby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) recommends summer motor vehicle safety tips, including tips for kids.

Motorist and Child Safety Tips for Drive-In Theaters

  1. When backing out of a parking space at the drive-in, walk around your vehicle first to look for children running and playing. Children playing are often oblivious to cars around them.
  2. When using a backup camera, it is important to remember that kids might be out of view, but may still be in the path of a vehicle. Additionally, all vehicles have blind spots that increase in size as the height and size of the car increases.
  3. There are lots of people and vehicles moving around upon entrance and exit to the drive-in, so drivers must pay attention to their surroundings and parents must watch out for their children so as to prevent a motor vehicle from backing or running into a pedestrian.

Summer drive-ins transform everyday vehicles from modes of transportation to a relaxing place to kick back and catch the latest movie. The rare and old-school format of drive-ins make them fun for families of all ages. Still, warm weather calls for summer safety tips, and safety at the drive-in is just as important as on the roads. Anytime a motor vehicle is involved is an opportunity to practice automobile accident prevention safety, and the drive-in movie theater is no exception. 


Summer is a great time to enjoy the warm weather at a local drive-in movie theater. Children playing at the drive-in should watch for moving vehicles and drivers must be aware of their surroundings, in order to prevent an injury or fatality from a car crash. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Sterling Heights, Buff Whelan Chevrolet Dealership Fire

Buff Whelan Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, Michigan decided to reopen their doors three days ago, on July 19, 2017, despite the fact that one of their service buildings caught fire the night before. The fire spread, burning up the body shop and more than 20 vehicles. The Van Dyke Ave. car dealership has been a large part of the community for at least 20 years and many of their customers and neighbors were in shock to see the building in flames. The blaze was so massive that fire and police departments from surrounding communities worked together to close down 18 Mile Road and reroute drivers and onlookers away from the area. People as far as 5 miles away claimed to have seen the smoke caused by the fire. 

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How The Buff Whelan Fire Started

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it is believed that the cleaning crew accidentally started the fire around 7:30 PM on July 18, after a floor buffer came in contact with some flammable floor cleaning solution. Some sources have even speculated that the floor chemical solution spread to wiring, causing an electrical fire. Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin says from there, the fire spread quickly and set the vehicles and body shop on fire. This unfortunate incident is now being ranked as the largest fire in Sterling Heights history.

Tom Bechtel, the Sales Manager at Buff Whelan said he saw the smoke from his house but, didn’t realize the smoke was coming from his workplace. “The flames were unbelievable and the smoke — I can’t believe a service facility would burn like that...Unbelievable.” said Bechtel.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Whelan have expressed their gratitude to the fire departments that helped save their business and to the public for their support and concern and issued a statement saying that it is, “business as usual” and that they still have the inventory and accommodations to service their clients through their website and in person, while repairs are being made. 

A Few Fire Safety Tips

Structure and mercantile property fires, like the one at Buff Whelan Chevrolet, account for 41% of civilian deaths and 31% of civilian injuries. These fires are more common than people realize and many companies don't specifically train employees on what to do in case of fire, other than to call 911. Or even if companies do train their employees on fire safety, many people tend to fall asleep during the lecture or are unable to recall the long ago training when it comes to an actual fire or fire drill. For those people, here are a few fire safety tips to brush up on, supplied by BullEx, an expert fire safety company.

Source: GIPHY, TruTV's South Beach Towing

  • Declutter - Paper, candy wrappers, spare clothing, and even those old and forgotten Halloween decorations left in the bottom drawer can be potential fuel for a fire to spread. Keeping work spaces clean can help keep small flames from becoming massive. 
  • Update Technology - Make sure any machinery, even cleaning machinery, is up to date in repairs. No need for loose wiring or a motor going haywire and causing a fire, as is suspected in the Buff Whelan Chevrolet fire. 
  • Read Safety Labels - Always be careful when mixing, using, and storing chemicals. Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet that is oftentimes located on the the back label or lower right corner of the item to determine its flammability. 
  • Electrical Maintenance - Any faulty or electrical hazards should immediately be reported. BullEx warns that any electrical maintenance or repair should only be handled by a licensed professional. 
  • Don't Smoke! - Those “Do Not Smoke” signs are placed there for a reason! Those out on a smoke break should only use smoking designated areas, not because people are picking on smokers, but for safety reasons such as potential fire hazards nearby or setting off fire alarms and sprinklers. 
  • Security - No matter how big or small the workplace is, suspicious items, people, and areas should be reported to prevent potential arsonists from setting a life threatening fire. 
  • Fire Extinguishers - Businesses should supply employees or a designated employee(s) with instructions on how to work a fire extinguisher, just in case of a fire. Employees should also know where all emergency fire exits are located in their workplace and should always keep possible escape routes clear. These fire safety measures could be essential to saving lives and avoiding fire injuries.

Of course, fires can occur for a many number of reasons. By following these fire safety tips however, employees may be able to avoid some fires caused by human error. Thankfully, aside from the 20 or so cars, no humans were injured in the Buff Whelan Chevrolet fire. It does warm the heart however, to see how the Sterling Heights and other Metro Detroit communities came to the aid of a local business during such a crisis.


Fires don't just happen in buildings. Cars fires also occur when automobiles are involved in motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our highly experienced staff is always available to speak to victims of car accidents. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free and fair legal consultation. 

Tips On Driving During Heavy Winds and Storms

A couple of months ago, in February 2017, a semi-truck driving on a highway got caught in high winds and toppled over, landing on top of an unoccupied police cruiser. Fox News reported that the truck driver drove the semi after ignoring a high wind advisory banning commercial vehicles from that particular area of the highway, close to nearby Elk Mountain. Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant Kelly Finn said that wind speeds were close to 70 m.p.h. at the time of the accident.  

While Michigan isn't currently experiencing such a magnitude of winds, forecasts expect thunderstorms for the rest of the week. This week's thunderstorms could deter Michiganders from driving to the beach or relaxing out on the porch. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC would therefore like to take the time to remind Michigan motorists how they can safely drive in severe weather conditions, including high winds and heavy rain. 

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Safety Tips for Driving In High Winds and Storms

In bouts of extreme weather, the first safety precaution drivers can take is to remain in a specific location, such as home, and avoid driving in dangerous situations completely. 

If venturing out into the bad weather is unavoidable, the Defensive Drivers Team suggests that drivers check local weather reports and take note of any high winds, blizzard, flooding, or other extreme weather advisories that have been issued in the areas they plan to drive in.

When driving in a storm, motorists should remember to pay close attention to the road. Drivers may better focus on the road by turning down the radio, silencing or ignoring cell phones, and properly securing any pets in the vehicle so they don't cause a disturbance. Minimizing these distractions keeps drivers alert for instances in which storm debris or trees may be blown into the driver's path. Drivers should also remember to keep their headlights on since storms typically darken the sky. 

In addition, drivers should give large vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractors, RVs, and buses more space, as these vehicles may be more difficult to control in extreme weather. No one can anticipate sudden gusts of wind, so driving slower than normal and making lots of extra space for other motorists on the road may help ensure motorist safety. Drivers should also take safer, local routes and avoid speedy highways, rocky terrain, and routes through infrastructure such as tunnels and overpasses, which can potentially be damaged during storms. 

As for driving in windy weather, head and tail winds, or winds coming from the front and back of a vehicle, are not too difficult to deal with. A slight adjustment in speed or acceleration may allow the driver to compensate for these winds. On the other hand, side winds are the ones that create the most trouble for drivers. If strong enough, these winds can blow a vehicle off course. In the event that a driver finds themselves caught in a side wind, they should remember to not panic or move the car too abruptly if they feel the vehicle being pushed in the other direction, and instead move smoothly and gently to stay on the road. 

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Tips For Driving In Heavy Rain

High winds and storms also bring precipitation. Heavy rainfall or a large snow melt may cause puddles to form, many with depths too hard to judge from behind the steering wheel. RAC, a British automotive service company, warns, "If it’s clearly too deep for your car, find another way to your destination." Drivers might find themselves in a harrowing position if driving through a puddle that is particularly deep and may cause their car to float. Water can also cause a vehicle to stall or breakdown. It is important to ignore the urge to try and crank the vehicle back to life in order to avoid further damaging the engine. Instead, drivers should wait for a professional to arrive and attend to the vehicle. This might even serve as an alarm for other drivers to follow safety tips to possibly avoid a serious car accident. 

With the looming threat of thunderstorms in Michigan this week, drivers and passengers are encouraged to follow these extreme weather safety tips to stay safe and help prevent an accident like the one which occurred in Wyoming. It is difficult to predict what the sky will do next, but motorists should practice driving safely in extreme weather, in order to reach their destinations before the next lightning bolt hits. 


All motorists could benefit from paying attention to the road and heeding wind and storm advisories this summer. If you or a loved one have ever been in a car accident, caused by extreme weather conditions, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced attorney, today.

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.