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

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

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

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

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

Don't text and drive

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

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


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

Don't Groom And Drive!

With only 24 hours in a day and a majority of those hours being spent on work or sleep, there isn’t much time left to spend on yourself, doing leisurely activities, running a few errands, and checking a few things off your to-do list. Grooming is a good example of a time consuming personal care task that people are finding they don’t have time for. So, to squeeze into morning routines while also taking advantage of rush hour, many people are grooming themselves while driving!

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Applying a little lipstick or making a few fixes to your hair couldn’t possibly be a bad idea, right? Well, it is in fact a bad thing! Grooming while driving is part of a bigger issue known as distracted driving. 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured because of distracted driving in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When people hear of distracted driving, they automatically think about texting and driving. While cell phone usage majorly contributes to distracted driving, it’s not the only factor. Applying makeup while driving is something that a lot of people do often. According to a recent study, around 1 out of 5 of female motorists have admitted to putting on makeup while driving, and nearly 500,000 car crashes are caused by women putting on makeup! 

Looking away from the road while driving for even a few seconds is enough time for a car accident to happen. Whether it’s putting on makeup or fixing your hair, distracted driving is 100% preventable! The Auto Alliance’s DecidetoDrive.org gives a few tips to help drivers prevent themselves from engaging in distracted driving.

Tips To Help Drivers Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Plan ahead. Poor planning is often the catalyst for driving and grooming incidents. Rather than placing your life and the lives of others at risk, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to perform grooming routines before you leave the house.

  • Keep grooming items out of reach. If you take grooming items with you, make sure they are well out of reach. For example, instead of leaving brushes or makeup on the passenger seat, secure them in the trunk or in the back seat so you won’t be tempted to use them when you are operating the vehicle.

  • Pull over, if necessary. If you can’t wait to take care of a grooming need while you are traveling, pull over to the side of the road. The few extra minutes it will add to your commute are a small price to pay for highway safety.

  • The most important tip to avoid grooming while driving? Keep your eyes on the wheel and hands on the road at all times.

  • For additional tips, we encourage you to take a look at Decide to Drive’s “Wreck-less Checklist”—a handy guide with advice about how to avoid a range of distracted driving behaviors.

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In a recent study, the NHTSA examined all of the activities that people engage in while driving and 8% of people admitted to grooming while driving. It’s important to note that women applying makeup aren’t the only groomers who are distractedly driving. Men and women have both been known to shave while driving and even brush their teeth! Grooming while driving sounds silly but is understandable because everyone wants to look good, especially when they’re about to meet other people! What is not understandable however, is continuing to groom while driving after realizing how many distracted driving car accidents have occurred due to this. Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, hopefully people will now take the time to gargle mouthwash and comb their hair at home, in a parked car, or on the side of the road, instead of while operating a motor vehicle!


Distracted driving is 100% preventable and 100% likely to get distracted drivers into legal trouble if their distracted driving behavior causes a car accident. Legal trouble aside, distracted driving car accidents can also lead to serious injuries and even death. Not only does distracted driving risk the life of the distracted driver but also everyone else on the road. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a distracted driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with a car accident attorney.

Distracted Driving Kills! Don't Text And Drive!

In 2018, not a day goes by that we don’t use technology. With the cars we drive, the phones we use, the watches on our wrist, technology seems to be in the air we breathe! Add on using the newest filters on Snapchat and Instagram, to sending text messages or answering phone calls, and technology can become extremely dangerous for drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 660,000 people are using their cell phones while driving, daily! And, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report from 2015 found that, “there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.”

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That is why readers should know that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! It’s important for drivers everywhere to be reminded about the serious dangers that distracted driving poses, because, the kicker is that all distracted driving car accidents and distracted driving accident fatalities are completely preventable! The National Safety Council (NSC) warns us that, “Each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.”

Cell phones are the number one suspect that comes to mind when thinking of distracted driving car accidents. In particular texting and driving is a big cause of distracted driving car accidents. In 2015, a survey of Michigan drivers found that 41% of young adults between the ages of 20-30 have admitted to texting and driving on a regular basis! 26% even admitted to texting and driving on a daily basis! Coincidentally, the State of Michigan reported that, “There were 7,516 crashes in Michigan during 2015 involving distracted driving, resulting in 28 fatalities and 3,472 injuries. Cell phones were involved in 753 crashes, with three fatalities and 377 injuries."  

No matter the distracting device however, whether it be cell phones, headphones, or smartwatches, any electronic device can impair driving. It might not seem like a big deal to see if you received a text message or a news update when your phone pings, after all, you’re just seeing what type of notification it is and don’t plan to read the text or the news blurb. However, engaging in such a seemingly harmless distraction while driving can lead to a car crash. In fact, the NHTSA says that looking down at a phone for five seconds driving at 55mph is like driving the length of a football field, blindfolded!

Unfortunately distracted driving isn’t just caused by using electronic devices. Changing the radio station because Nickelback is playing, driving with one hand on the wheel and one hand carrying a Big Mac to your mouth, or quickly reaching over to pick up Elmo after your kid dropped him, can all be distracted driving actions that can lead to serious car accidents. While these types of distracted driving habits have always existed, distracted driving has evolved in the age of social media. It’s not just about calling or texting someone while driving, but about applying the cutest camera filter for a behind-the-wheel selfie, or even checking Twitter to see what’s trending, or going on Facebook to see how many likes a post has gotten. 

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The number of distracted driving car accidents and distracted driving fatalities are scary enough to make people want to throw their phone out of a car window, but that’s not practical. Our society can no longer function without the easy communication and quick internet access cell phones provide us. Many people even see cell phones as an extension of their body, like another limb even. Therefore, it’s unreasonable to tell people to leave their phones at home when they plan to drive. Rather than facing that horrifying ultimatum, the public should be made aware of less drastic ways to prevent distracted driving. For example, some tech companies have invented apps, and even programs in their operating systems to prevent distracted driving car accidents. As previously reported by The Michigan Law Firm, PC, apps like Groove, and phone lock out programs like Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, help prevent distracted driving car accidents.

Some organizations like AT&T have launched sponsorships like the It Can Wait pledge, to end distracted driving. With over 24 million pledges to stop distracted driving, It Can Wait has become one of the most popular anti-distracted driving organizations. It Can Wait has even created a virtual reality simulator that allows users to experience the dangers of texting and driving and shows how using a cell phone while driving truly impacts ones vision. It Can Wait also wants their users to take the pledge today, to stand up to distracted driving, and to become an activist who says ‘No’ to using a distracting device like a cell phone, to prevent car accidents, and to save lives. The organization, as previously reported by The Michigan Law Firm, also launched their DriveMode application that helps minimize cell phone distractions while driving. 


Distracted driving car crashes happen daily due to texting and driving, eating and driving, taking pictures and driving, and from engaging in any activity that causes drivers to not pay 100% attention to the road. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our experienced accident attorneys offer free consultations to victims of car accidents.

Are Americans The Worst Drivers In The World?

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

The United States is known for its enthusiastic love of American football, for popularizing the juicy hamburger, and for its all American privilege of freedom for all. What the US can't proudly brag about however are its citizens' bad driving habits, commonly characterized by cell phone usage and the consumption of snacks and drinks while behind the wheel. The frequency of car accidents on US roads is constantly in the news. In fact, ABC News reported that there were over 41,000 deaths on American roads in 2015 alone. As tragic as this statistic is and as commonplace a stereotype about bad American driving is, surprisingly, American drivers are only in the middle of the pack when it comes to road safety.

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Perhaps it's due to different driver’s license requirements and road organization from country to country, that many other countries come out on the better side of traffic fatality statistics than the US. This may especially be because distracted driving is not as common in these countries as it is in the United States. Germany in particular comes out on top as a safer driving country than the US despite the fact that their road speeds regularly reach 140 mph on the autobahns. Distracted driving is a danger that millions of Americans participate in daily, that may lead to severe injuries or traffic fatalities. However, because German drivers tend to obey road rules more than Americans, and are less likely to be distracted by activities that take their eyes off the road when they are traveling at such high speeds, they are generally safer drivers. 

Another reason Germany has more safe drivers may be due to the training Germans receive prior to becoming certified to drive. In Germany, there is a more difficult path to earning a driver’s license, involving a tougher written test, and required road tests in four different types of driving environments before allowing people to get a driver’s license, at age 18. On the other hand, each US state has their own age requirements for receiving a license, typically allowing teens to becoming licensed at age 16, following driver’s education classes and a basic road test. On top of stricter German license requirements, new drivers in Germany are essentially on probation for two years and in the event that they receive a traffic infraction, are booted back to driving classes.

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Even stricter than Germany, Japan carefully polices written and road tests, only allowing drivers to skip their road test if they take a $2,500 driving course. The country is so specific on their driving requirements that, coupled with excellent public transit systems, many people avoid driving altogether. Then there is Iceland, which requires driving in snow and ice to be a part of the road test. Some US States, including Michigan, could benefit from adding this type of practice to their road tests for optimal winter driving safety!

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Great Britain also appears to have safer drivers than in the US, possibly because the country has fewer freeways going through city centers than American cities do. This means that there are fewer high speed auto collisions as a whole. Heavy congestion in British cities also doesn’t allow many people behind the wheel in Great Britain to be able to get up to the speeds typically needed for fatal collisions. Andrew Howard, head of road safety for Great Britain says, “Our plummet in road deaths in recent years has been particularly in urban areas. You now can’t get up the speed to have them."

The famous British 'stiff upper lip' has also been attributed as a reason that car accidents are not as prevalent in Great Britain, as British drivers maintain their emotions and don't exhibit aggressive driving behavior, which in the US usually leads to road rage car accidents. An American expatriate living in London for the past 11 years explained, “You still have very much more courtesy and abiding by the rules in England. Someone will go zipping by at 100 [mph] , but they’ll do it in the appropriate lane."

While many countries have better safe driving records than America, there are still others that have worse car crash statistics. Unlike the other European countries mentioned in this article, Portuguese streets are almost twice as deadly as American roads. Turkey's driving conditions were described in a US State Department 'driver safety briefing' as, “pedestrians seemingly completely oblivious to oncoming traffic … vehicles backing up (in reverse) on exit ramps and on main highways … [and] oncoming drivers who play inscrutable light games, flashing and flashing whether you have your ‘brights’ [high beams] on or not.” 

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Perhaps worse than bad driving skills are the bad behaviors of Russian drivers who often bribe the police to get out of traffic tickets and driving under the influence of alcohol, and to drive unlicensed vehicles. Sergius Morenc, an ABCNEWS correspondent in Moscow, said, "there are, of course, standards and rules to be followed, but nobody follows them...If somebody breaks down, say, in the fast lane, he will take his spare wheel out or start working on the engine where he stopped." 
Finally, the United States still has safer roads than South Korea, the worst country to drive in, because highways are desperately in need of repair due to constant car accidents which occur when roads are congested.

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So, the truth comes out: Americans are not really the worst drivers in the world. But, stereotypes are hard to shake, which is maybe why many Europeans still wonder if Americans are the worst drivers. Nevertheless, the US could do with less distracted driving driving car accidents. Americans should stop participating in lengthy group chats, stop finessing their Pandora playlists, or eating a three course meal while in the driver’s seat. Speedy driving also needs to be reduced in order to have safer American roads and to reduce the number of fatal speeding car collisions. Overall, driving policies are criteria that vary no matter where one is in the world, but it is the need to travel between destinations that unites all people to rally for vehicle safety.


Driving is a universal action. Humans also universally display tendencies of speeding, distracted driving, and other actions that may lead to dangerous motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident and call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We offer free consultations for victims of motor vehicle collisions. Contact us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

New Apple Technology Seeks to Break Bad Driving Habits

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Do-do-do! Your iPhone goes off from the car's cup holder signaling a text message. You pick it up to read it while simultaneously switching to the far left lane on the freeway and speeding up. It’s your best friend. The text says that he needs to call you right now to talk about last night's episode of The Walking Dead. You turn down the radio and dial his number as you grab a fry out of your McDonald's bag and stuff it into your mouth. With both hands off the wheel, you accidentally serve into the lane to your right. The car behind you and the car to your right honk! You abruptly drop your phone and use both hands to get back in your lane. Now you hear your phone ringing but it's lodged in the space between your seat and the center console. You sigh and try to fish it out while driving singlehandedly.

Sound familiar?

This is what it is like to drive distracted - something many of us have done but hate to admit. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that, daily there are about 660,000 drivers who use their cell phones while driving. The constant need to multi-task and the busy work life of hundreds of thousands of Americans endanger the safety of everyone on the road.

Therefore, as technology continues to develop, companies are being challenged to develop products that are not only new and improved, but that keep individuals safe while driving. Many cars already have wireless programs that allow drivers to talk on their phone or respond verbally to text messages without having to take their eyes of the road or their hands off the wheel. However, cell phones are still easy to check and within reach of the steering wheel, making cell phone usage while driving a lethal combination.

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Apple’s latest software, iOS 11, has been created with these distracted drivers in mind. Its newest feature, called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD), is designed to prevent people from checking their phones while driving a car. Engadget tried out the new software and explained that the program uses Bluetooth or WiFi doppler effect to determine how fast a phone's user is moving. If an iPhone user is moving at high speeds, like those achieved while riding in a car, a blank screen will appear if the user tries to use the phone, in order to shield drivers from the constant flow of notifications and alerts. There is however an option to disable DNDWD when the program prompts users to say whether or not they are the drivers, thereby allowing passengers in moving cars to freely use their mobile devices.

The feature also has the capability to auto-reply to text messages, telling your phone contacts that you are driving and will view their messages when you reach your destination. There is even an option to customize certain contacts, allowing them to text back “urgent” to have their text message come through even if Do Not Disturb While Driving is on. Obviously, this feature is only intended to be used in case of emergency. While no software can prevent complete distraction, iOS 11 is Apple’s way of making iPhones safer for drivers. These efforts may dramatically decrease distracted driving.

Source: GIPHY, FX's  Louie

Source: GIPHY, FX's Louie

One demographic that can definitely benefit from DNDWD is teenagers. Teens are the largest age group reported to have engaged in distracted driving behavior when involved in fatal car crashes. Young people also make up the majority of smartphone users in the United States. With DNDWD, Apple has discovered an easy way to save the lives of many of its teenage iPhone users, even marketing the idea of safe driving as “cool.”

Teens aside, distracted driving is not something for adults to take lightly either. Distracted driving may lead to serious injuries and death from car collisions in any age group. Alarmingly, 3,477 people were killed by distracted driving accidents in 2015 alone. Parents need to lead by example for their children, who may make the excuse that “Mom does it,” to use their phone while driving. In some states, it is against the law to text, talk on the phone, or participate in other distractions while driving. Yet time and time again, adult drivers pick up their cell phone while also driving on the road. Citizens of Michigan are especially guilty of this action since cellphone usage while driving is not illegal in Michigan. By utilizing Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, drivers of all ages, Michiganders included, have even less of an excuse to drive distracted and are encouraged to choose to be safe rather than sorry.

Aside from any emergency situations, most motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving are completely avoidable. The next time you drive, consider the serious and deadly consequences of driving while distracted. Pick your radio station before leaving the driveway, save the snacks for the dinner table, do your makeup and shave in a bathroom mirror, and keep your pet securely fastened away from the driver. Most importantly and most easily, keep your phone in the back seat, in a purse or bag, or just simply turn it off. If a phone must be kept on, use programs designed for your safety, such as DNDWD, to help break the bad habit of checking every text, game notification or Instagram post, while driving. Explaining to the ER doctor that you wrapped your car around a tree because you needed an update on the Tigers game is not fun.

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com

Source: GIPHY, SmallBizTechnology.com


Distracted driving is a constant threat to drivers and passengers. Cell phones are a common form of distraction, taking driver's eyes, hands, and ears off the road, possibly leading to a car crash. If you or someone you know has been been the victim of a motor vehicle collision caused by distracted driving, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our firm offers free consultations for those who need assistance in navigating their legal options while recovering from their car accident injuries.

A Majority of Americans Practice Risky Driving Habits

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Risky driving behaviors are on the rise as drivers find more ways to multitask while they are behind the wheel. A study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) revealed that almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Risky driving habits can include texting or calling while driving, dealing with children in the backseat, playing with the controls, and eating. According to a Washington’s Top News survey, more than 40% of drivers admitted to reading text messages or emails while behind the wheel, and over a third acknowledged that they responded to those messages.

The survey uncovered some other worrisome data as well. Over half of the drivers surveyed reported going more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit within the past month, and almost half had sped in a residential neighborhood, something that is especially dangerous due to low speed limit postings. Another shocking piece of data emerged about impaired driving as well, showing that 13% of drivers reported driving an automobile when their blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit within the past year, and around 9% admitted to doing this more than once in the past year.

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The survey results don't come as a huge shock to anyone, mainly because we are all guilty of some form of distracted driving. However, these results should still serve as a harsh reminder of the consequences that can come with driving without having undivided attention on the road. It is important to remember that texting and driving (including other services such as emailing, Snapchatting, etc.) is illegal, and taking calls while driving can also be dangerous. New studies have shown that even hands-free capabilities do not dramatically increase the safety of a driver. 

It is also illegal for drivers to drive with a BAC over .08%, and it is never wise to drive after consuming any alcohol. There are many other ways for people to get home besides driving themselves, so there is never a good excuse for getting behind the wheel. Speeding while driving is one of the leading causes of death in car accidents and distracted drivers may not only injure themselves but those around them-this could include children if driving in a residential area. By adhering to all safety regulations and laws of the road, drivers can reduce their chances of being involved in an accident.


Distracted driving can lead to serious injury or even death. Answering a call or taking a driving selfie is not worth your life. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of car crashes including those caused by distracted driving. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Playing Pokemon Go While Driving May Cause Accidents

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Pokémon Go has come under fire recently due to several accidents that have been caused by people who are playing the game. For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a location based augmented reality game for mobile devices. The game, which is available on both Android and iOS devices, works by using the GPS in a user’s phone to determine that user’s location. Based on the user’s location, the game then causes Pokémon appear around the player's character which the player can try to catch. In the past, people who played other Pokémon games were able to catch Pokémon only within the game, on the devices screen, but Pokémon Go lets users try to “catch ‘em all” in real life, which has been appealing to millions of users.

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For those who don’t know what Pokémon is, it started off originally as a video game for the Game Boy device. The name Pokémon is believed to translate roughly to Pocket Monsters. Basically, Pokémon are virtual creatures that the player, or "Pokémon Trainer" attempts to catch by throwing a "pokeball" at it. Once caught, the Pokémon then belongs to the Trainer who caught it.

The reason Trainers want to catch Pokémon is so that they can train them to become more powerful, with the intent of battling other Trainers. Originally, there were two main goals or premises of the game. One was to travel around the virtual Pokémon world to defeat all eight Gym Leaders, who were very skilled Trainers. After defeating the Gym Leaders, Trainers would face off against the four best Pokémon Trainers in the game, known as the Elite Four. Once the Elite Four were defeated, there were no real goals left to achieve, except to complete the Pokédex, by catching one of every single Pokémon in the game.This was the second main goal of the game. 

Pokémon Go takes the same basic premise as the original video games, except it allows players to feel like they are actually catching these Pokémon in real life, because they only appear based on the player's location and surroundings. The application also allows players to take pictures to show the Pokémon actually appearing in their surroundings. 

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While this game has been enjoyed by millions of people since it's release, it has also been causing dangerous car accidents. Since Pokémon only appear the GPS location is moving in real life, and certain Pokémon only appear in certain locations, some users are playing Pokémon Go while driving. This dangerous distracted driving has led to many accidents due to users not paying attention to the road. These accidents have ranged from single-car accidents, to multiple-car accidents, to pedestrian acciddents, and have caused a lot of people to be upset with Niantic, the company that created Pokémon Go.

In response to the complaints, Niantic has tried to put out measures in to prevent users playing Pokémon Go while driving, such as displaying an alert message whenever a user opens the app, which says “Do not play Pokémon Go while driving.” More recently, Niantic also has created a pop up message which appears when the application believes a player is going to fast, and which blocks the user from playing unless they agree that they are a passenger in the vehicle.

In addition to the safety reasons for not playing Pokémon Go while driving, Click On Detroit reports that drivers playing Pokémon Go could also face jail time and fines if caught catching and driving. Michigan has laws against reckless driving. Motorists are likely to be pulled over by law enforcement if they are a threat to themselves or others on the road.


Using Pokémon while driving is very dangerous and may result in motor vehicle collisions. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm. Whether you were hit by a driver playing Pokemon Go or any type of distracted driver, our attorneys can help you. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

German City Installs In-Ground Crosswalk Signals For Texters

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Civic leaders in Augsburg, Germany are taking a stand against those who text-while-walking on sidewalks, in an effort to prevent pedestrians from walking into the street while there is oncoming traffic. To decrease the alarming number of accidents caused by pedestrians not looking up at traffic signals at intersections, crosswalk signals were installed into the sidewalks themselves. 

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Thanks to this new system,“Petexrians” or “smombies” are able to walk safely while texting, and would still have a chance to stop themselves before they walk out into a busy street. The new signals are a part of a pilot program which is being tested in areas where young people are a large part of the population. 

In 2015, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report which showed an increase in pedestrian deaths in 40 years. To no one’s surprise, cell phones were the biggest culprit for the increase. Less than 1% of pedestrian deaths were caused by cell phones in 2004, but this number rose to 4% by 2010. And, since 2005, the amount of pedestrians injured while using their cell phone has doubled. In 2013, a pedestrian was dying every two hours in the United States. 

In an interview with N-TV, Augsburg spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen said that safety measures such as traffic signals for both vehicles and pedestrians need to adapt to this era. “[The Signals] create a whole new level of attention,” Lermen said. 

While the United States has not adopted in-ground crosswalk signals, they may not be far off. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone and that number will only continue to rise. With the increase in phones, there is sure to be an increase in pedestrian collisions at crosswalks.

It is never a good idea to walk and text for a long period of time. It can become especially dangerous when a pedestrian has their head down for an extended period of time, when walking around busy sidewalks and streets. 

Nobody wants to end up like Bonnie Miller, a Benton Harbor resident, who was enjoying a nice stroll on Lake Michigan with her husband and son. She received a text message, read it, and began to reply. Miller told ABC News that she typed three words, tripped because she wasn't paying attention to where she was walking, and then fell into Lake Michigan. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but she was surely embarrassed. 


Drivers should always keep a look out when going through intersections for pedestrians entering the crosswalk whether they are supposed to be there or not. Pedestrians should always remember to make sure cars are coming to complete stops before going through a crosswalk. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an accident involving a pedestrian, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are knowledgeable on all rights belonging to pedestrians and will represent you to make sure you get the necessary help. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Snapchat's "Speed Filter" Allegedly Causing Accidents on the Road?

Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Snapchat, the increasingly popular picture phone app, is now at the center of attention for those looking for causes of distracted driving. Many are pointing to the app’s “speed filter” feature which allows drivers to track how fast they are going, tag it on a photo, and share it with their friends. Because pictures and videos disappear in 10 seconds or less, drivers allegedly become more distracted from the road and place more focus on the picture before it’s gone. According to the United States Department of Transportation, distracted driving activities such as sending or receiving pictures can take your eyes off of the road for about 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that is similar to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. 

In April, Georgia resident Wentworth Maynard sued Snapchat and a young driver for a car crash that left him with serious brain injuries. The lawsuit alleges that a young driver was driving at speeds over 100 mph because she was using the filter. While distracted, the driver crashed into the Mitsubishi that Maynard was driving. He suffered major brain trauma as a result. The accident took place in Clayton County, and the minimum driver’s insurance is $25,000, an amount which will likely not be enough to cover Maynard’s medical costs. 

Following the suit, Snapchat released the following statement: 

“No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including the ‘Do NOT Snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.” 

Drivers should remember that no text or picture is important enough to take their eyes off the road while driving. If it's an urgent matter, drivers should pull over to the side of the road. Taking this cautious step will not only help reduce the chances of you getting injured in a car accident, but it can also help save the lives of other drivers on the road. 


If you or someone you know has been in an accident caused by distracted driving, feel free to call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling these types of accidents, and will get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Hands Free Technology in Cars Makes Driving Safer

Could driving while using your smartphone make the roads safer? Well, we are about to soon find out, as automotive companies are partnering up with Android and iOS operating systems, allowing consumers to start seeing some added technology to their driving experience. As people become more connected, so will the things around them, especially as a part of the "auto industry's strategy and new product development," says Project Manager Andrew Brenner from Google's Android Auto.

In January, in Detroit, Michigan, Brenner spoke at the Automotive News World Congress and said, "Consumers are finally starting to shop for cars with the expectation that the vehicles operate with the technology, design and pace of innovation that they are used to with their mobile phones."

 

Texting and Driving Car Accident

Digital technology is vastly changing the driving experience from “connecting” to being “connected.” Consumers, under the strain of trying to use their phones in the safest way possible while driving and being under the radar from law enforcement, can now gain better piece of mind that their mobile device will have full functionally on their dash.

Android Auto, for example, which launched back in 2015, already offers user many apps including Pandora, iHeartRadio and Skype. The platform, which has 60 partners as of January, 2016, and has plans of increasing by 20 more according to Benner, was designed “with safety in mind.” With future plans of adding Google Maps with voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance, on-demand Google Play Music, and voice calling in addition to messaging abilities, Android Auto could potentially provide users with a better and safer driving experience.

"Anything we can do to reduce distraction for people in their cars-whether they have an Android or iPhone-I think is a huge benefit," says Brenner.

Like its competitor, Apple Carplay offers similar apps although with a slightly different interface. iPhone users can also expect to gain more connectivity and options in their motor vehicles in the years to come.

With more hands free access, lawmakers may have to adjusts the rules for driving while using a cellular device.

But the bigger debate may not be which platform is better for drivers, but whether this new technology will have an effect on smartphone related automobile accidents. The National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that stands on advocating safety for over 100 years, seems to think so. Back in 2012, the organization published a study titled “Understanding the Distracted Brain: Why Driving While Using Hands-Free Cell Phones is Risky Behavior,” indicating that cognitive use is a form of “distracted driving,” pointing at hands-free phones as the risky behavior. It’s no secret distracted driving incidents inflate lawsuits, injuries, and deaths. Subsequently, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and the automotive industry should get ready as cognitive distraction may become a hot topic in the coming future.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of car crashes. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.