Shoppers Should Prepare For Black Friday Traffic

Black Friday. We’ve all seen the videos of massive crowds outside of a Walmart, people trampling over safety barricades at Target, and getting into fistfights over flat screen TVs at Best Buy. While consumer greed and violence are as closely associated with Black Friday as turkey is with Thanksgiving, something that often gets overlooked is Black Friday traffic. After all, those hordes of people storming the doors of the local mall had to get there somehow, right?

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Thanksgiving traffic is bad all week and Black Friday is no exception. According to data collected by Google, eager shoppers actually begin their drives to malls across the country on Thanksgiving evening. Traffic starts to pick up at around 4 PM on Thursday, with the number of drives over the course of Thursday evening being 5 times higher than a normal Thursday in November. Waze, a navigation app created by Google, found similar data. Users of the Waze app saw traffic peak throughout Thursday evening, drop off slightly overnight, and pick up again early Friday afternoon. Waze reports that traffic is at it’s worst on Friday between noon and 3 PM. Similarly, Time reports that traffic between 12 AM and 2 PM on Black Friday is significantly higher than traffic on an average November day. More drivers on the road than usual, coupled with the fact that they’re anxious to get to the store quickly and could be driving in an unfamiliar area, means that car accidents can happen. Drivers need to be alert and follow the rules of the road to avoid being involved in Black Friday traffic car crashes.

So where exactly is everyone going on Friday? In general, Waze found that people are most often searching for electronics stores, outlet malls, and Christmas tree farms. Unsurprisingly, they also found that the most searched for navigation destination on Black Friday in 2015 was Walmart. The app saw an 85% increase in the number of searches for Walmart as compared to other Fridays in November. Other department stores that were frequently searched for include Costco, Kohls, Macy’s, and Target.  For clothes, drivers were searching the most for Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, Old Navy, Ross, and TJ Maxx. When it comes to home decor, drivers were most interested in finding Bed Bath and Beyond, Homegoods, Ikea, Lowes, and Home Depot. If your Black Friday plans include any of those destinations, know that the roads are going to be unavoidably congested with shoppers looking for good deals. It also means that if you wait to go Black Friday shopping until Friday afternoon, the store shelves could likely be empty when you get there.

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While Thanksgiving brings bountiful feasts and plenty of leftovers, Waze also found that searches for restaurants see a drastic increase on Black Friday as well. Mcdonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Panera Bread, In-N-Out, and Chipotle were the most searched for restaurants on Black Friday in 2015. In Detroit specifically, the most searched for term on Black Friday was “hamburgers.” If your Black Friday deal hunting makes you hungry, your best bet for hitting a restaurant is between 2 PM and 3 PM, so as to avoid lunch and dinner traffic.

A huge increase in the number of cars on the road unfortunately means there may be an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents as well. According to Time, there are 34% more automobile accidents on Black Friday as compared to the number of accidents in the two weeks before and after. The majority of those accidents were backing or parking related, which is not surprising considering how many people are trying to get in and out of parking lots on Black Friday. On the road, drivers are likely in a hurry to get to their destination, and could be making poor driving choices as a result. While no one likes sitting in traffic (especially when a great sale is on the line) drivers should know that bad traffic is something they need to expect when it comes to Black Friday shopping.

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But there is a chance that all of that could change, however, thanks of course to the internet. A report from the Chicago Tribune found that over Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, there was a significant increase in the number of people who stayed home on Black Friday, and did all of their shopping online. The National Retail Federation found that “109 million people shopped from their computers and mobile devices from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, while about 99 million hit the sales in brick-and-mortar stores.” The year before, the numbers were more evenly split, with 103 million people shopping online and 102 million in stores. The internet has already changed much of how we live our lives, and maybe soon we will be able to thank it for saving us from Black Friday traffic.

Everyone loves a great sale and being able to knock out some holiday shopping early. And while the crowds inside the store are one thing, the crowds getting to the store are quite another. If you plan on going Black Friday shopping, traffic should be a part of that plan. Roads, especially near malls and shopping centers, are going to be congested. You probably can’t do anything to change how much traffic there will be, but you can be responsible for planning for it. Know that your drive to Target is probably going to take longer than it does on a normal day, and build that time into your schedule accordingly. When you’re on the road, don’t let your frustration with traffic and desire for a great deal on an iPad result in dangerous driving behavior. In the parking lot, check and double check that your path is clear when pulling into and backing out of parking spots, and espescially be on the lookout for pedestrians and shopping carts. There is no Black Friday sale that is worth risking your life, the lives of those you are traveling with, and the lives of other people on the road.


Don't let your desire for a good sale get the best of you this Black Friday. With so many drivers on the road, traffic will be bad and car collisions can happen. If you or a loved one are injured in an automobile accident this Black Friday, or any other day of the year, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Drivers Should Be Prepared for Heavy Thanksgiving Traffic

Thanksgiving is here, and for many of us, that means overeating, watching football, and leftover turkey sandwiches for weeks. It also means that many of us will be piling in the car and hitting the highway in order to do so. Thanksgiving, and the days surrounding it, are some of the busiest travel days of the year, with millions of Americans traveling to see loved ones.

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Thanksgiving weekend is generally considered to include Wednesday evening, and all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with some resources including Tuesday afternoon as well. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the number of long distance trips during this time period increases by 54% as compared to the average number of long distance trips the rest of the year. While TV news reports are often focused on long airport security lines and flight delays, USDOT reports that 91% of long distance holiday travel is by vehicle. They also note that the average long distance Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles, with about half of all travelers completing their trip within the same day, and not spending any nights away. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 53% of long distance trips are to visit friends and family, whereas this only accounts for about 24% of long distance trips during the rest of the year.

According to Travel and Leisure, an estimated 41,900,000 people piled into their cars over Thanksgiving weekend in 2015. With that many people on the road, traffic is going to bad. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday after are when the roads are at their worst, but roads are more congested than usual for the whole weekend. Time reports that roads start seeing an increase in traffic at about 1:00 PM on Tuesday, with gridlock setting in from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Heavy traffic returns on Wednesday morning at around 11:00 AM, and stays that way all day, with 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM being the worst of it. When coming home after the holiday, traffic is up to 60% worse on Saturday than it is on Sunday. If you’re able to complete your trip in one day, Thursday is the day to do it. Traffic on Thanksgiving day mimics weekend traffic patterns, meaning if you leave in the morning or evening (avoiding mid-day) you shouldn’t see too much slow down.

Detroiters should be warned that they likely won’t be able to avoid traffic this Thanksgiving, as Northbound US 23 and Northbound I-75 Merge in Detroit rank #9 on ABC News’ list of America’s Top 10 Most Congested Roads. They say that “this stretch of road near Flint, Mich., attracts people fleeing to the beautiful northern Michigan forests for turkey and fun. Cabin owners, resort seekers and deer hunters flock north from Detroit, Indiana, Ohio and even Chicago.”

Unsurprisingly, data giant Google has been collecting information via their Maps app about our Thanksgiving travel habits. Google reports that “ham shop”, “pie shop”, and “liquor shop” are the most searched for terms on Maps on Wednesday, as people do last minute cooking or need to pick up a hostess gift. Likely a result of cooking mishaps in years past, “buffet restaurants” are what’s most searched for the most on Thanksgiving day. On Black Friday, Americans are searching for “electronics store”, “outlet mall”, and “Christmas tree farm” the most. In Detroit, however, the most searched for item on Black Friday is “hamburgers”.

So many people traveling over a certain time period unfortunately means that accidents are going to happen. According to the National Safety Council, there were 391 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving period in 2016. This accounted for 12.84% of all traffic deaths during November of 2016. That number is up from 301 deaths over the same time period in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA notes that 50% of the people who died in automobile accidents over Thanksgiving in 2015 were not wearing seat belts. National Safety Council has the following tips for how drivers can be safe and prepared when traveling over the holiday.

thanksgiving traffic

 While following these tips can’t guarantee you won’t be in any accidents this Thanksgiving, it could help reduce the likelihood. Heavy traffic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel over the holiday, but it does mean you should be prepared and know how it will affect your travel plans. Check traffic and weather before you leave, and know that your route will likely take longer than it does on a normal day. Try and stay calm when you’re stuck in traffic, and know that everyone else is likely just as frustrated as you are. And of course, making good choices like wearing a seat belt and not getting behind the wheel while drunk are behaviors that should be practiced year round.


While Thanksgiving leads to hugely heavy traffic, car collisions happen anytime of year. If you or a loved one have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 
 

Detroit Submits Bid for Amazon's New Headquarters

A newly released ad campaign has taken social media by storm, all in the hopes that one of the biggest companies in the world will make Detroit its new home. A video entitled Detroit. Move Here. Move The World. hit social media on Thursday, October 19, 2017, as part of the official Detroit-Windsor bid to be selected as the location for Amazon’s next headquarters, which is being called HQ2.

Source: YouTube - Detroit Moves HQ

According to the Detroit Free Press, Amazon announced a request for proposals for HQ2 in September of 2017, and since then cities across America have gone into a frenzy hoping to win Amazon’s affection. WXYZ Detroit reported that upon hearing about the competition, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder asked Dan Gilbert to put together a proposal for Detroit. Gilbert is a Detroit businessman and downtown developer, who has been heavily involved in the rebuilding of the city. The deadline to submit proposals was October 19, and the winner will be announced in 2018. Amazon plans on investing $5 billion in their new location, and will employ over 50,000 workers. The full development of the headquarters would be spread out over 15-17 years, and could require as much as 8 million square feet of office space.

According to Crane's Detroit Business, in addition to Gilbert, a 60-person “Amazon committee” was assembled, consisting of business, education, political, and philanthropic leaders. Specific details of the bid regarding tax incentives, mass transportation for employees, and filling such a large talent pool are being held closely guarded by the committee. The video, which has been viewed over 100,000 times on Youtube alone, was put together by journalist and filmmaker Stephen McGee, with a voice over by Detroit-based poet, playwright, and performance artist Jessica Care More. The video features scenes of iconic Detroit locations, businesses, auto manufacturers, and nearby universities.

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The Detroit News reported that Gilbert told the Associated Press that “we feel like we have a lot of advantages. One of them is we’re proposing international headquarters on the border of two North American countries. We’ve got a hedge against any kind of immigration issues that might be on either side because you have two countries. You also have a huge, deep talent base in Canada and special universities.” He also added “we have a lot of transportation advantages because Amazon is sort of a transportation company to some degree. All the stuff with autonomous vehicles and drones and aerospace, there is a lot of that in Detroit.” Detroit's history of vehicle manufacturing, as well as developments of autonomous technology, are central to the bid. The video states that Detroit is “where mobility is born.”

There is still a long and competitive process ahead, as Amazon says over 200 cities have submitted proposals. But should Detroit win the bid, it is hard to overstate how much of a boost to the local economy having a company as large as Amazon setting up shop would be. Detroit is in the middle of a revitalization, and what better way to catapult that by having one of the largest and most influential companies in world make Detroit their new home. For more information on Detroit’s bid, visit Detroitmovestheworld.com, or check out #MoveTheWorld on social media.


With a company as large as Amazon moving into Detroit, tens of thousands of people will be added to the daily commute, meaning more accidents are likely to happen. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation with an expereinced automobile injury lawyer.

Elon Musk Announces Approval of Hyperloop Connecting NY to DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

New Traffic Signal Helps Save Pedestrian Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Detroit Earns Poor Traffic Congestion Ranking

Detroit, Michigan was recently ranked 128th in the top 200 cities with the worst traffic congestion in the world, and 24th nationally. The ranking was compiled by INRIX, a global company that provides mobile applications and internet services. They conducted their study on more than 1,000 cities from around the world and found that Detroit motorist spend an average of 33 hours in traffic. 

According to the report, “Based on the findings, the U.S. ranked as the first most congested developed country in the world, with drivers spending an average of 42 hours a year in traffic during peak hours...For the first time, the INRIX Traffic Scorecard also includes the direct and indirect costs of congestion to all U.S. drivers, which amounted to nearly $300 billion in 2016, an average of $1,400 per driver."

Traffic Jam

Michigan Cities' Rankings

MLive says that INRIX's report that drivers in Detroit were found to spend 6% of their driving time in traffic compared to the average 104 hours motorists spent in traffic in 2016. However, other major cities in Michigan such as Ann Arbor, Saginaw, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo were also included in the study. Ann Arbor came close on Detroit’s heels finishing at number 257 worldwide and 40 in the US. Overall. INRIX found that Ann Arbor drivers spent 24.4 hours on average in congestion versus the 13 hours motorists in Grand Rapids would most likely spend behind the wheel of their vehicle. Lansing drivers spent 9.5 hours on average in traffic, followed by Flint with 8.9 hours, Saginaw at 3 hours, and Kalamazoo clocking in at 2 hours.  

How to Avoid Traffic Congestion

With traffic congestion becoming a growing problem on Michigan roadways, MLive offers a few tips that drivers could follow to make their commute a more enjoyable one.  

  • Plan Your Commute. Gauge how much time your traffic route takes during rush hour. Drivers can simply plug in the address of their destination on Google Maps or another mapping service to discover alternative routes and their estimated times of arrival. Also, taking the time to decide on clothing attire for the next day, making lunches beforehand, packing, etc. can all aide in making sure motorists leave the house without rushing and becoming flustered. 
  • Be Productive - Safely. During time in congestion when traffic is at a complete stop or when at a red light, make that appointment that has been postponed, learn a new language, send a quick email or text or even read up on some of The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog posts that were missed. However, when traffic is moving, even if it's at a snail's pace, all eyes and attention must be on the road. 
  • Choose Your Station Wisely. If the other two options fail at making time move faster, try putting on a favorite podcast, comedy station, or playing a soothing playlist to calm any agitated nerves. 

Road Rage and Car Crashes 

Incidents of road rage can occur during times of rush hour. People are irritated and ready to get home but are prevented from doing so because so many others are trying to do the same thing at the exact same time. Even thinking about tailgating, cutting people off, incessant honking, weaving in and out of traffic, lane blocking, and all of the irritating aspects of traffic congestion are enough to make a saint angry. These irritating aspects are also actions that may cause dangerous and injurious car accidents. So, motorists should keep in mind that all drivers are in the same boat, that sharing the road is proper etiquette, and that adhering to traffic laws will assist with making roadways safe and easy for everyone to use.  Hopefully using the tips listed above can also help with safely commuting during rush hour.


Detroit is called the Motor City for a reason. Cars are made here, driven here, and are an essential piece to the culture. With so many motorists on the road, possible agitations can arise and lead to accidents caused by aggressive driving. If you or someone you know have been a victim of road rage, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. Our offers free consultations to help victims of car accidents figure out the next step in their case.