Get A Date, Not A DUI, This Valentine's Day

Being handcuffed and placed into the backseat of a police car for drunk driving can kill the romance of a Valentine’s Day date in a second.

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Picking out the most attractive outfit, spraying the most fragrant perfume, and finding the perfect dozen red roses are, of course, important parts of preparing for the perfect Valentine’s Day date. But the plan that matters most is how to get home safely after drinking a bottle of bubbly or a few Valentine-themed cocktails.

In 2014, a BACtrack report found that, “14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.” Of these holidays, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd drunkest holiday! What is even more astonishing is that, “the day after Valentine’s Day had a high of 0.092% BAC.” So, while some people are venturing out to Meijer for 50% off Valentine’s Day candies like heart-shaped Reese’s cups and chocolate covered strawberries, others may be hitting the road after a few glasses of red wine left over from the night before.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 10,847 deaths caused by drunk driving, and, “in every State, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017.” With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday this year, many individuals may want to drive home after their night of celebrating so they can wake up early and drive to work the next morning. These potential drunk drivers should know that not only are they putting themselves and others at risk of drunk driving car crashes, but they may also be endangering their driving record. The Michigan State Police (MSP) found that “annually, tens of thousands of drivers are arrested in Michigan for alcohol-related offenses.”

The MSP has a few suggestions on how to avoid drunk driving car crashes. People enjoying Valentine's Day festivities can adapt these tips to their plans to stay safe this tomorrow. After all, the police station drunk tank isn’t the ideal venue for a intimate date and you don’t want to blow your date budget on bail money!

How To Avoid A Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol. An Uber driver, particularly an Uber Black driver, is technically a chauffeur right? And chauffeurs instantly make a date feel classier and allow couples to converse in the back seat instead of having to focus on the road.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus. Aren’t midnight strolls in the moonlight the height of romanticism? So, picking a restaurant near the house will give couples the chance to pick out constellations on the walk home after dining and drinking.

  • Stay overnight. Similar to bringing over a sleeping bag to a friend’s house to crash after a rager, one way to safely drink without limitations on Valentine’s Day, is by staying the night at a hotel. Some upscale hotels even have 5-star restaurants located inside, so the only drunk traveling to worry about is walking to the nearest elevator. Take the Shinola Hotel in Downtown Detroit for example. Inside the hotel is the San Morello restaurant, but if you don’t want Italian, there are dozens of other dining options in walking distance!

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Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving on Valentine’s Day, is to just not drink! Isn’t the sugar high from the candy hearts, smarties necklaces, and the decadent dessert from dinner enough to keep people hyper?! Drunk driving car crashes can occur just as quickly as it takes Cupid to shoot an arrow. So, stop and smell the roses (bouquet) on Valentine’s Day by having a drink or two, but don’t let drunk driving become a thorn in your side!


Choosing a piece of chocolate from a newly opened, heart-shaped box of Russell Stover’s chocolate may be a difficult task, but choosing a law firm to represent a drunk driving accident victim can be very easy. The Michigan Law Firm, PC helps those who have been injured in car crashes identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us a 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation.

National Safety Month 2018

The start of June marks the beginning of National Safety Month. Each year, the National Safety Council (NSC) takes a month to emphasize the importance of safe practices in the home, on the roads, in the workplace, and within the community as a whole. Many people don't realize how dangerous some very commonplace practices can be. Simple things like looking at who liked your latest Instagram post when you are driving, not wearing a helmet while riding a bike around the neighborhood, or skipping out on safety glasses when working with heavy machinery, can lead to serious accidents and injuries. It just takes one poor safety decision to dramatically change, or even end a life.

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Since, National Safety Month is a month long, each week concentrates on a different safety topic. The first week of National Safety Month focuses on emergency preparedness, to remind people that emergencies can happen anywhere and at anytime. It is important to be prepared for any emergency situation, from an active shooter to a tornado to a heart attack. For example, according to the NSC, approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests occur each year, but only 45% of United States employees are trained in first aid. According to EMS Safety Services, a, “corporation that provides instructor training and support internationally,” 70% of heart attack deaths occur before the victim reaches hospital. Learning first aid can help keep the victim alive until medical professionals are able to treat the patient.

Week 2 of National Safety Month focuses on wellness. Many of our day to day practices, such as lack of physical activity or not getting enough sleep, can put strain on our bodies. Therefore, the NSC reminds people to take a step back from their busy lives and care for their bodies by making healthy choices. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating an apple instead of potato chips, taking time throughout the workday to stand up and stretch, and getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night are all healthy choices that lead people to being more alert and help avoid accidents.

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The third week of National Safety Month alerts people to the dangers of slips and fall accidents, and how to prevent them. The NSC states that over 9 million preventable slip and fall injuries occurred in 2016. That is more slip and fall accidents than the entire population of New Jersey! In the workplace, approximately 800 slip and fall deaths occur, many of which can be prevented by following the correct safety procedures at all times, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 700 of these workplace accident fatalities occurred when someone fell from a higher level to a lower level. Patrick Kapust, the director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Program, revealed at a presentation of the Top 10 OSHA violations, that improper fall protection is the most commonly cited safety violation, with 6,887 violations in 2017 alone! This is a shocking statistic considering that slip and fall injuries are the easiest to prevent, by doing simple things such as cleaning up spills and taking precautions when climbing ladders.

Finally, Week 4 of National Safety Month focuses on safe driving practices. Out of the 4,000 workplace fatalities each year, 2,000 are caused by car accidents. Distracted driving is a leading cause of these car accidents. As a result, some companies, such as Cargill and Union Pacific, have created policies banning people from talking on the phone while driving to prevent distracted driving car accidents. However, it is the driver’s responsibility to follow these safety rules and precautions. That’s why National Safety Month takes a week to remind everyone why they should put their phones and other distractions away and focus on the road, and practice safe diving each and every day.

The NSC created National Safety Month in order to decrease the number of preventable deaths that occur each year. Ignoring simple safety precautions may seem like no big deal but it can create an unsafe environment for not only the rule breakers themselves, but for everyone around them. In order to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and deaths, people should take heed of the NSC’s safety instructions. After all, the best way to save lives is to prevent them from being in danger in the first place.


Workplace accidents and injuries are much more common than people realize. It is easy to brush off seemingly inconsequential safety practices, when we are not aware of the dangers of poor safety. To combat workplace injuries, distracted driving car accident fatalities, and other accidents due to unsafe practices, the NSC spends the month of June reminding everyone of the importance of safety at work, at home, and everywhere in between. If you or a loved one have experienced a workplace injury due to unsafe working conditions, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our attorneys fight for the rights of Michigan’s injured workers.

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.

Michigan Woman Dies After Being Struck By Vehicle In Parking Lot

A Michigan woman has passed away after being hit by a car in a grocery store parking lot outside of Muskegon, Michigan. According to the Detroit Free Press, Betty Jean Wolovek, 82, was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of E&A Grocery on East Apple Avenue in Egelston Township, Michigan. The accident occurred on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017, at around 10:30 AM. She was taken to Mercy Health, where she died from her injuries.

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The car accident is still under investigation. Currently, Muskegon police have not released any details about the driver or if any criminal charges have been filed. According to Wolovek’s son, she was hit by a female driver who remained on scene until the police arrived. He believes the driver was backing up when she hit his mother.  

Parking lot accidents are unfortunately common in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an average of 50,000 accidents occur each year in parking lots and garages. Parking lot accidents result in about 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries each year. And since traffic deaths on highways and surface roads have been rising in recent years, it’s likely that the number of parking lot accident deaths may rise too.

A survey done by the NSC in 2016 found that 66% of drivers admit to making phone calls while driving in parking lots, and 56% admit to texting. Drivers also admitted to programming their GPS, sending or receiving emails, taking photos or watching videos, using a smartphone, surfing the internet, and video chatting, all while driving in parking lots.

Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the NSC, said that, "Parking lots are intense driving environments that require both drivers and pedestrians to pay close attention...It is discouraging that so many drivers are willing to add distractions to that mix. When you're in a parking lot, you need to be hyper-vigilant to the risks surrounding you – just because speeds are lower doesn't mean you are safe." To help prevent car crashes, the NSC provides the following tips for drivers while in parking lots.

Parking Lot Driving Safety Tips

  1. Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across lots.
  2. Drive slowly and use directional signals.
  3. Anticipate the actions of other drivers.
  4. Obey stop signs and no-parking signs.
  5. When backing out, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians.
  6. Watch for small children and parents with baby strollers.
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It’s not just drivers who need to remain vigilant and free from distractions while in parking lots, however. From 2001 to 2011, more than 11,000 pedestrians were seriously injured because they were distracted by phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that like traffic deaths, pedestrian accident deaths are also on the rise. Pedestrian deaths jumped 9% from 2014 to 2015, and are at the highest number they’ve been since 1996. When walking through a parking lot, pedestrians need to put the phone down, and be aware of vehicles that could start backing up at any moment.

Drivers and pedestrians must work together to car accidents in parking lots. Pedestrians need to stay away from their phones and any other distractions while walking to and from their cars, and be on the lookout for cars with their brake lights on, or any other signal that a car may be about to move. Drivers should program their GPS, send emails, make phone calls, and do whatever else they need to do while their car is in park and not moving - not while driving. When backing out of a parking space, drivers should check and double check for pedestrians, shopping carts, and any other hazards that may be their way. Parking lots may not seem as dangerous as highways, but distracted driving accidents can happen anywhere, and drivers should always know how to be safe avoid car accidents.


Parking lot accidents may not receive as much attention as high-speed car crashes on the freeway, but the truth is that car collisions can happen anywhere. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Spring Pothole Dangers

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With yesterday's rain, the snow in Michigan has finally melted! While most Michiganders are rejoicing and excitedly anticipating Spring, they shouldn’t stop worrying just yet. As the temperatures rise, so do the chances of hitting potholes. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) warns that, “Potholes are created when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan's seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, creating a gap in the pavement. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens leading to a pothole."

Potholes are as Pure Michigan® as Vernor's® ginger ale! While many understand the usual dangers of potholes, most people just grin and bear it, and drive over potholes. However, potholes are unpredictable and there are still more unexpected dangers lurking in those holes on the road than people realize. Running over a pothole could have many different outcomes. Everyone knows that driving over a pothole can cause a flat tire. Even kicking up debris from the broken asphalt can damage the body of the car or break automotive glass. It’s also well known that swerving to avoid a pothole can potentially lead to being involved in a car accident, if the driver over-corrects into the next lane or into oncoming traffic. 

However, one other danger of potholes that even many veterans of Michigan’s roads may not know is that debris can be swept up by vehicles and released with enough force to land on the cars behind them. Concrete or asphalt can plummet onto innocent drivers who haven’t even touched the pothole! This happened to a woman who was driving westbound on I-696, on January 31, 2018, when a piece of concrete crashed through her windshield as she was heading to work, Fox News reported. Luckily, the woman was uninjured, as the piece of concrete sat in her passenger seat, and she was able to pull over at the next exit. This was the second time in January that concrete had hit a windshield on the expressway.

Not as lucky was another woman who also driving westbound on I-696 last May, according to Fox News, when a piece of concrete smashed through her windshield, hitting her directly in the head. The head injury caused a car crash because the woman lost consciousness and thereby control of her car and hit the vehicle next to her.

Both of these car accidents did not occur underneath an underpass-a more likely location for such accidents, as concrete tends to fall down and hit cars driving underneath. Both motor vehicle accidents occurred because cars in front of these ladies’ cars swept up debris and tossed it back on to them with tremendous enough force to go straight through their windshields. 

According to The Detroit News, MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross confirmed that these debris car accidents were due to potholes when she said, “The roads are crumbling and chances are any concrete came from there.” 

With so many pothole-corrupted, crumbling roads in Michigan, flying asphalt breaking windshields isn’t the only vehicle damage to worry about. Firestone Tires reports that there are many other types of pothole vehicle damages, such as:

Vehicle Damage Caused By Potholes 

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  • Tire puncture, damage or wear.
  • Wheel rim damage.
  • Premature wear on shocks and struts.
  • Suspension damage, including broken components.
  • Steering system misalignment.
  • Exhaust system damage.
  • Engine damage.

All of these types of vehicle damage due to potholes, not only put drivers in danger of being involved in a car crash, but also in danger of emptying out wallets. Vehicle repair is expensive enough that Michiganders would have to be prepared to hand over money saved for Tigers Opening Day tickets, to an auto body shop! If catching the game on TV sounds disappointing however, drivers may able to save money on potential pothole related car repairs by following tips given by Michigan.gov, on how drivers can avoid potholes, or what to do if you have no choice but to drive over a pothole. 

How To Drive Over Potholes With Minimal Car Damage

  1. Potholes aren't always obvious enough to spot in the daylight and they're even harder to spot in the dark. Make sure your headlights are working and your windshield is clear.
  2. Be extra cautious around puddles - they could be potholes filled with water. Since water is a critical component to forming potholes, that puddle may be at work creating one as you drive through it.
  3. Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel as potholes can cause your vehicle to change direction suddenly. Don't swerve into an occupied lane. No one wants pothole damage to escalate to an auto collision causing further damage or injury. 
  4. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires fare worse when they tangle with a pothole. Tires showing excessive wear or bulges in the sidewalls won't hold up as well to potholes either. 
  5. If you see a pothole ahead and can't safely steer to avoid it, it's best to slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole. This helps to reduce the speed at impact as well as give your suspension the full range of travel to absorb the impact. If you can't avoid the pothole, straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through. Hitting a pothole at an angle can transfer the energy of impact in ways more likely to damage your vehicle. 
  6. Have your vehicle's suspension and steering components checked out by a qualified mechanic. Steering that is in good condition and responsive can help you avoid hitting potholes. Remember that shocks, struts and springs in good shape help cushion the blow. 

Trying to avoiding a pothole can sometimes be impossible and extremely dangerous. While these tips may help prevent most pothole car accidents, no number of precautions can guarantee that road damage related car crashes won’t occur. As Lieutenant Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police stated in relation to one particular pothole debris car accident, “When something happens that fast, there’s nothing to do.” 


Potholes can lead to expensive vehicle damage, dangerous car accidents, and even serious car crash injuries. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor accident due to potholes or unsafe road conditions, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM today, for a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney.

Valentine's Day Drunk Driving Dangers

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Today is one of the most romantic days of the year - Valentine’s Day! In case you didn’t remember, it’s not too late to buy that box of chocolate or grab a bouquet of flowers. For those who did remember, I’m sure many loved ones are in for a wonderful and romantic dinner. Some restaurants even offer special menus that pair special Valentine’s dishes with the perfect corresponding alcohol to enhance the romantic dining experience. Whether dining at the most popular restaurant in town with a three month waiting list or proclaiming love over chicken wonton tacos at Applebees, most lovebirds will be toasting their love with alcohol! To many people, Valentine’s Day isn’t being celebrated properly if there isn’t a champagne toast, a fancy cocktail, or a chocolate stout beer involved. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd highest drinking holiday in America!

That’s right, Screener says that the amount of alcohol consumed on Valentine’s Day is only topped by how much Americans drink on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve. And in fourth and fifth place on that list are the 4th of July and Halloween. Screener obtained this information from BACtrack, which is a company that makes breathalyzers to test a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). BACtrack performed a study in which they gathered over 100,000 anonymous BAC test results from users of BACtrack Mobile, their award winning smartphone breathalyzer. This information was compiled into the BACtrack Consumption Report, which is regularly updated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 28 people die daily because of drinking and driving. And that is just any other day. However, as shown by the BACtrack Consumption Report, national alcohol consumption is at its peak over the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with eggnog on Christmas or a candy corn jello shot on Halloween, but it’s when driving is added to holiday drinking that there is an issue.

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 300 people over the past 5 years died in drunk driving automobile accidents between Christmas and New Year’s alone. Combine this knowledge of holiday drunk driving fatalities with information from a 2017 OpenTable survey which found that 71% of people plan to dine out for Valentine’s Day, and it is reasonable to assume that there will be a marked increase in drunk driving auto accidents today. Many couples will be going out to dinner and enjoying a glass or two of wine with their steak or heart-shaped pizza, only to drive home under the influence of alcohol and risk becoming involved in a drunk driving auto accident. It’s important to note that, according to West Virginia University, even one drink may decrease attention span, limit reflexes, and overall hinder a person’s ability to safely drive.

No one wants their special night ruined because of a drunk driving automobile accident. By not drinking and driving this Valentine’s Day, you can be sure that you are not causing a drunk driving car accident. Just because you’re not drinking and driving though, doesn’t mean that others aren't. Considering how many more people are on the road than usual on Valentine’s Day, and how many of those people have possibly consumed alcohol, it only makes sense that the number of drunk driving car crashes will increase today.

TABC Certification has several suggestions on how to avoid being involved in a drunk driving automobile accident this Valentine’s Day:

How To Avoid Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving Car Accidents

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  • Hire a private car for the evening - Not only is this safer, but it also shows how much you appreciate your partner when you hire a chauffeur for the evening so you can enjoy drinking without guilt.

  • Stay at a hotel - If you want to avoid driving altogether, consider staying at a hotel with a well-reviewed restaurant. That way, you can drink as much as you want before heading up to your room.

  • Create a unique night in - Consider staying at home for Valentine’s Day. Send any kids to a babysitter and create your special night in your own home.

  • Choose your own Valentine’s Day - Valentine’s Day is a busy day for restaurants. Consider celebrating Valentine’s Day on a different day to avoid overcrowded restaurants and overpriced taxi prices.

  • Abstain from alcohol - Enjoy the night without alcohol. This is easier if both abstain from alcohol for the night.

Another tip, especially for those who want to stick to a budget, is to use the chauffeur services of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Even public transportation is a good way to avoid drunk driving, especially if your special night involves more than one activity.


Drinking and driving is never safe. Valentine’s Day should be a time to enjoy with your partner and not your drunk driving accident attorney. Stay safe with your significant other on the road this Valentine’s Day by not drinking and driving. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Oakland County Deputy In Critical Condition After Being Hit By Car

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David Hack is an Oakland County Sheriff Deputy. On January 4, 2018, around 7:00 AM, according to the Detroit Free Press, Hack was policing an accident that had occurred in front of Rochester Adams High School, in Rochester Hill, Michigan. Deputy Hack was standing in front of his car when he was struck by a Ford Taurus driven by a 24-year-old college student who was on her way to Oakland University. David Hack was taken to Crittenton Hospital in Rochester Hills by the Rochester Fire Department.

According to Click On Detroit, since the car accident, David has opened his eyes three times. It was reported that he is still in critical condition and has not regained consciousness, but is now stable. Deputy Hack's family is staying hopeful and his wife believes that he is aware that his family's presence in the hospital room.

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Deputy Hack's car crash comes as yet another disheartening police car accident, since only six weeks ago, a Oakland County Sheriff Deputy passed away after he was also struck by a car on Thanksgiving day. The Detroit Free Press reported that Deputy Eric Overall, "had just deployed tire-deflating stop sticks on the southbound side of M-15 at Seymour Lake Road and was "well off the roadway" when the driver purposely swerved to hit him at about 12:30 a.m." 22-year-old Christopher Joseph Berak, the driver who hit Overall, has four prior convictions for marijuana possession and for resisting and obstructing police. 

While Oakland County and Michiganders may be surprised to hear about both of these police accidents, car crashes involving law enforcement officers are more common than most may think. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released statistics that found that 86 law enforcement officers were killed during in line-of-duty incidents in 2015. Of those 86 fatalities, 29 were police car crash deaths. 

While Deputy Overall's death was ruled a homicide, Deputy Hack's car crash was likely a non-intentional accident. While there is no surefire way to avoid causing a car accident, drivers would do well to always pay attention to their surroundings when operating a motor vehicle. For police car crashes in particular, one way to avoid car crashes with cops is to know how to respond when you are being pulled over by a law enforcement officer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC blog has previously discussed Michigan State Police Lieutenant Rob Davis' tips on what to do when a police officer pulls you over


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that each year 4,092 pedestrians are killed in motor related accidents. It's important for drivers to always be aware of their surroundings and to watch out for other cars as well as pedestrians. No matter how vigilant a driver is however, car accident can and do happen. If you have been involved in a car accident due to a negligent driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with a car accident attorney today.

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.

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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.
 

Overheated Car? Here's A Few Tips.

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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.
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  • 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.

Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury Car Accident Attorney

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

Michigan Head Injury Car Accident Lawyer

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.

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. 

Michigan Fire Injury Attorney

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. 

Mountainous Road

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.

90% Of Motorcyclists Killed In 2016 Had No Formal Training

Although May was National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, today, June 19, is International Ride to Work Day. Today, motorcyclists worldwide are celebrating their favorite form of transportation. Motorcycles give a certain freedom and excitement to drivers, unique from other boxed-in vehicles on the road. Add to that the fact that the weather in Michigan is starting to heat up, motorcyclists are starting to increase in number on the roads.

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Unfortunately however, not all motorcycle drivers ride safely, and often motorcycles don't stand a chance of surviving a collision against the giant hunks of metal that are cars and trucks, moving alongside motorcycles on the roads. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, nearly 90% of motorcyclists killed in crashes on Michigan roads last year had no formal training during the last ten years. This is a staggering statistic, especially considering the wide number of training classes available across the state. However, many motorcycle accidents may be preventable if riders receive the proper training these classes provide and an official endorsement. 

Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The Michigan Department of State encourages programs that educate people on the safety of operating a motorcycle. There are multiple types of motorcycle training classes offered, through both public and private organizations, all as part of the Michigan Rider Education Program. And it is not just first-time riders who have the opportunity to take Michigan motorcycle driving classes. Beyond the Basic Rider course for beginners, other classes include: the Three-Wheel Basic Rider course for those who want to learn to ride three-wheel (instead of two-wheel) motorcycles, a Returning Rider Course for experienced drivers looking to refresh previously learned motorcycle skills, and an Advanced Rider course for already endorsed motorcycle drivers who want to brush up their riding skills.

With such a range of training class options, it seems silly for those operating a motorcycle to think they do not need training. Yet, the facts are there. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there was an 8% increase in fatalities from motorcycle crashes, nationally from 2014 to 2015. Obviously, the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents in the United States is only increasing. With many of these deaths being able to be prevented with simple training courses, there is a need for more awareness and exposure regarding these types of classes.
 
Michigan residents are encouraged to check Michigan.gov for the location of nearby motorcycle training classes that have been approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). In addition to taking a motorcycle safety class, motorcyclists may be interested in reading some general safety tips for motorcyclists, that The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously posted.

Michigan Motorcycle Car Crash Lawyer

Inexperienced and unprotected drivers may put themselves in dangerous situations that may lead to serious injuries or death from a motorcycle crash. The training classes the State of Michigan offers may be able to teach proper riding techniques to prevent motorcycle collisions or at the very least inform the rider how to act in such dangerous situations.

There is nothing wrong with a little wind in your hair, as long as one remembers to enjoy motorcycles the safe way. And this International Ride to Work Day, it is especially important to remember that safety comes first when enjoying the celebration of motorcycles.


Motorcyclists face unique safety risks as they are sharing the road with other, much larger vehicles. Special training classes can teach new skills or refresh old techniques, in order to help riders prevent themselves from getting into motorcycle accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Tips For Driving Safely With Motorcycles On The Road

Driving a car can be extremely dangerous due to the many distractions and dangers on the road. One of these dangers is other drivers on the road, including motorcyclists. In recent years, motorcycles have become extremely popular and more motorists are seen on the road each day. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passengers to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled in 2012 and five times more likely to be injured. As you have probably noticed, motorcycles can be very dangerous, and we want to give you some tips for driving safely with motorcycles on the road, including avoiding many distractions, such as cell phones, using turn signals, and staying alert at all times. 

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There are many general distractions while driving a car, including children, using audio entertainment, eating and drinking, as well as using satellite navigation. Although these are all distractions that you should be very careful with and try to avoid, there is one distraction that outweighs all of these, and that is using your cell phone while driving. In 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones, and they found that text messaging makes a crash 23 times more likely to happen. A cell phone can be extremely dangerous while driving and cause auto accidents on the road. Instead of picking your phone up to make a phone call while driving, use a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth headset, or if your car has a built in Bluetooth system, take advantage of that. With regards to text messages, it can wait. You shouldn’t attempt to read or send text messages while driving, as they cause many car and motorcycle accidents. Following these tips and avoiding cell phone usage in the car, will definitely decrease the likelihood of an accident. 

Another thing that causes a many accidents on the road is poor turn signal usage according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. According to a study conducted by the Response Insurance, 57% of drivers admitted that they don’t use their turn signals when changing lanes. 47% of these people said they don’t have time, 23% said they’re too lazy, 17% said they’re afraid they’ll forget to turn it off, 11% said they’re too busy changing lanes a lot to use it, and 7% of them said it adds excitement to driving. 

A recent Society of Automotive Engineers study found that the failure to use turn signals results in more than twice the number of accidents that are caused by distracted driving.  Experts agree, taking the time to use proper turn signal techniques will lower your chances of being involved in an auto accident.  

These tips will improve your safety while driving, especially when there are motorcycles on the road. In addition to these cell phone and turn signal tips, there are a few general ones that will certainly help as well. Always look out for motorcyclists, by using your eyes and mirrors to see what’s around you. Make sure you are always focused on the driving your vehicle by avoiding all distractions. Finally, simply take your time while driving, don’t rush, and give motorcyclists more room. Although motorcycles may not seem large, they still need plenty of room to operate. 

If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, contact a lawyer at The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our accident attorneys are experienced in handling all types of auto accident cases. The Michigan Law Firm can help victims of car crashes deal with insurance companies and medical bills to ensure a peaceful and healthy recovery process. Call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation today.

Source:   Texting and Driving Safety