Is Uber the New 9-1-1?

Uber Car Crash Lawyer

In November 2015, a Grand Rapids, Michigan man was shot and was bleeding heavily. Instead of calling 911, he called an Uber.

Slow ambulance response times and the astronomical service fees that follow, have many individuals taking matters into their own hands, or phones actually. Individuals in need of emergency care are now picking up their smartphones, opening their favorite ridesharing app, and instead of adding their local bar as their destination, users are requesting to be dropped off at the nearest emergency room. Uber, in particular, has responded to this trend by creating a non-emergency transportation application to help healthcare providers, Uber Health.

Distressed people find themselves waiting long periods of time for an emergency vehicle to arrive. These slow response times have caused life-threatening obstacles for many individuals. In 2013, “the city of Detroit had fewer than 10 working ambulances. A 911 caller with a medical emergency was likely to wait 20 minutes or more for help to arrive,” according to the Altarum Institute. In 2014, Detroit had seen some of its worst response times in decades. In January 2014, the average response time of Detroit's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was 18 minutes, as mentioned by, The Motor City Muckraker. But, the article also mentions that in 2015, The City of Detroit saw an increase from 12 to 25 EMS vehicles after Mayor Mike Duggan took office, and started an initiative to improve Detroit’s ambulance response time. The article also mentions that the initiative, which began in April 2015, saw response times surpassing the national average, dropping 10 minutes to 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

But even with improved emergency service response times, many individuals are still choosing ridesharing services over calling 9-1-1. Why? Ambulance rides are expensive! A deciding factor in choosing transportation for many individuals is how much it will cost them. People love Uber for the simple reasons that they can arrive at a destination quickly and without breaking their wallets. And when the price of an ambulance ride to the hospital can range from $600 to $1,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, it’s no wonder people prefer an Uber! According to the University of Kansas, “the use of Uber in cities across the country has reduced per capita ambulance volume by at least 7%,” likely because patients want to avoid the expensive ambulance ride with paramedics. The study looked at ambulance rates in 766 U.S. cities across 43 states from the time Uber was made available in the area from 2013-2015.

Although taking an Uber to the hospital may be much cheaper and at times faster, it might not be a medically sound decision to rule out an ambulance. A 5-star uber driver may provide bottled water and your choice of music but ambulances come equipped with trained professionals who provide life-saving care! Also, an emergency vehicle can legally impede traffic to race an individual to an emergency room, where ridesharing services cannot.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

While Uber does not encourage using their services in place of emergency care, they have recognized the need for more efficient and easy to use transportation in the medical sector, and have introduced Uber Health. According to Uber, “Uber health is a technology solution for healthcare organizations that leverages the ride hailing power of Uber platform... the app allows hospitals and other healthcare professionals to request, manage, and pay for rides for others, at a scale.” Healthcare organizations use Uber Health to allow patients to request or schedule a ride to and from their place or treatment, and for staff to get to and from work, 24/7. Uber Health is currently available in the United States everywhere Uber is already available. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “services like Uber Health could help patients avoid missing appointments because of lack of affordable transportation.”

But it should be stressed again that Uber Health is not an alternative to calling 911, but rather an aid for healthcare providers to arrange higher quality transportation services for patients. Requesting ridesharing services instead of emergency vehicles because of slow EMS response times or hefty medical bills may put injured victims at a higher risk of not getting proper medical attention.


Calling an Uber to go to the ER for a paper cut is a better idea than calling an ambulance. But, taking an Uber to the ER after experiencing a heart attack may not be the best medical decision. No one likes going to the hospital or dealing with piling medical bills. The personal injury attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC understand the frustration that injured victims feel and help them so they can focus on their recovery. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Holiday Season Causes More Drunk Driving Accidents

It is almost impossible to separate Christmas and New Years from drinking alcohol. From spiced wine, spiked punch, and brandied eggnog at holiday parties, to beer while watching football on New Year's day, almost every holiday event has a corresponding alcoholic beverage. And while it is, of course, fun to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, with a drink or two, often times figuring out how to safely get home from those parties is overlooked. The winter holiday season is therefore unfortunately notorious for seeing a spike in drunk driving accidents, as too many people drunkenly get behind the wheel after their holiday celebrations.

Detroit Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more people are likely to die in alcohol related crashes during the holidays than at any other time of year. During Christmas and New Year's, 2 to 3 times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during comparable time periods during the rest of the year. During this time period, alcohol causes 40% of traffic fatalities, as compared to just 28% during the rest of December.

Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in December of 2015, drunk driving resulted in 840 deaths. Also in that month, drunk driving accidents were 4 times more likely to occur at night as opposed to during the day. In Michigan alone, the Michigan State Police reported that there were 5 fatal crashes and 6 fatalities on Christmas day in 2016. On New Year’s Eve 2016 and New Year’s Day 2017, there were 9 fatal accidents and 11 fatalities. In all of these car accidents, alcohol and lack of seat belt use were factors that lead to car accident fatalities.

Making matters worse, there is a significant increase in traffic during the holidays, putting more people at risk of being involved in any type of car accident, let alone a drunk driving car accident. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the amount of long distance road trips taken increased by 23% during Christmas and New Year’s as compared to the rest of the year. People travel, on average, 275 miles to visit friends and family over the holidays, with about half of travelers completing their trips in one day, without spending any nights away.  So many people on the road means heavier traffic, and more people at risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s fall on a different day of the week each year, making traffic patterns more difficult to predict.

When consuming alcohol at holiday parties, drivers often don't realize just how drunk they are, and think they are OK to drive. When alcohol is consumed, skills that pertain to driving (such as concentration, and decision making) are diminished more quickly than some of the more obvious signs of drunkenness take to set in. Even though alcohol may not initially change the drinker's behavior, anyone who imbibes alcohol may still be impaired. Alcohol slows reaction times, makes it tough to control behavior, and may even amplify aggression. When large quantities of alcohol are consumed, speech can be slurred and drinkers may feel a loss of balance and drowsiness. All of these symptoms of drinking can impair driving abilities, and a person experiencing drunk driving behavior has no business being behind the wheel.

Michigan Winter Car Crash Lawyer

If you find yourself enjoying an alcoholic beverage this holiday season, call an Uber or take the bus home. Better yet, if you know you'll be drinking ahead of time, prearrange a ride.  If you're spending the holidays with a group of people who will all be partaking in alcoholic beverages, select a designated driver. These are all ways in which you may be able to reduce the likelihood of causing a drunk driving accident. And if you see someone who is drunk at a party, HuffPost has the following tips for helping prevent a drunk driver from taking the wheel.

Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention Tips

  • If someone is noticeably impaired, take away their keys.

  • Remind drunk people that police often set up more drunk driving checkpoints during holidays (although this is illegal in Michigan, so it may only work if you are out of state).

  • Set ground rules, such as a person cannot start drinking until they have turned over their keys

  • Find out who at the party does not drink, and assign them as designated drivers.

  • If you’re at a family party with teenagers, hire them out to “babysit” the adults by driving them home.

So, if you have a drink or two during holiday festivities, keep in mind that  no matter how quickly you think you can sober up, or if you’re the "least drunk" person at the party, anyone who has been recently consuming multiple alcoholic drinks is not suitable to drive. There are plenty of options available to make sure a drunk person does not operate a vehicle. While you can’t guarantee you won’t be involved in an automobile accident, you can guarantee that you will not be the one to call an accident attorney and admit to driving drunk.


Drunk driving is never OK, but alcohol-related accidents are unfortunately common during the holiday season. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let us handle the legal issues while you focus on recovering. 

Investigations Launched After Michigan Cop Is Not Penalized For Drunk Driving

An off-duty Michigan police officer was caught drunk driving, and now he and the officer who stopped him are both facing repercussions. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, early on November 9, 2017, at approximately 12:30 AM, an off-duty Roseville police officer was stopped for attempting to travel south in northbound traffic on Woodward Ave. The Roseville officer was pulled over by a Ferndale officer, and while the Roseville officer allegedly appeared to be drunk, he was not given a breathalyzer, nor was he ticketed or arrested. Instead, the Ferndale officer called his supervisor, and was told to drive the Roseville officer, as well as his passenger, back to the station in Ferndale. Once at the Ferndale station, a Ferndale lieutenant drove the Roseville officer and his passenger home.

Many view this as a case of special treatment-since the drunk driver was a cop, and was not breathalyzed, ticketed, or arrested. Instead, his transgressions were ignored and he was given a ride home. As a result, WXYZ Detroit reported that both Roseville and Ferndale police departments launched internal investigations into the incident on November 17, 2017. More so, the Ferndale Police Department submitted the incident to the city attorney for possible criminal charges. The Roseville officer, should he be charged, would be facing an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge. The Roseville officer is currently suspended without pay, and the names of the officers involved are being withheld as the investigation is ongoing.

The Ferndale police department says that some discretion is always involved whenever a driver is pulled over, and that not all drunk drivers are ticketed or arrested. Ferndale Police Chief Collins said in a statement that, “our jobs are complex and we trust our people to use sound judgment. When somebody makes a call that is unsafe or not indicative of the department’s values and operations, we take that seriously and we act accordingly.”

The Roseville police department will be undergoing a drunk driving education program. Roseville Police Chief Berlin said in a statement, “in this day in age for anyone to drive drunk surprises me; there is a whole list of options to get home like Uber and Lyft. As a police officer you know the consequences. The lack of judgment surprised me."

Detroit Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,912 people were killed by a drunk driver between 2003 and 2012 in the state of Michigan. Michigan legislature states that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, or impaired, by alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescribed medication, and with a bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.

Roseville Police Chief Berlin is right-there are plenty of alternatives to drunk driving. By using a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft, prearranging a designated driver, using public transportation, or calling a taxi, or having any way of getting home that doesn’t involve a drunk person getting behind the wheel, is the best way to avoid getting into a drunk driving car accident. Drunk driving is never OK, and no one should be able to avoid the consequences of committing such an avoidable crime. Drunk driving is a danger to every car and person on the road.


Drunk driving can not only lead to extremely dangerous car accidents, but is also illegal. If you or a loved one have been involved in a drunk driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal cosultation.

QLine Has Hits and Misses in First Weeks of Operation

If you have found yourself in downtown Detroit recently, you may have noticed a new addition to the city streets - the QLine. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog wrote about the announcement of the QLine in April of 2016, which has since developed from a concept to a fully operational transportation system.

According to The Detroit News, the QLine began operations on May 12, 2017 and rides were free of charge from opening day through Labor Day weekend. Riders began being charged for fares on September 5, 2017 at 6 AM. Over that 12 week time period, the QLine saw ridership increase from 4,000 to 6,300 rides per day. M-1 rail, the company that developed the QLine, said they were prepared for ridership to drop off slightly once fares were put in place, but they expect to average 5,000 rides per day over the first year. The company hopes to reach an average of 8,000 daily riders over the first 5 years of operation. In addition to increased ridership, the QLine also saw an increased number of ride operators. When the QLine opened they had 17 trained operators. They now have 21 and expect to have 27 by the end of their first year. The number of streetcars also increased, as the QLine now has 5 streetcars operating during peak ride times - Monday-Saturday, 10 AM to 7 PM.

Detroit QLine Car Crash Lawyer

The Detroit Free Press reported that the Qline was able to offer free rides for an extended period of time thanks to support from The Kresge Foundation. Now that fairs have been enacted, riders have several options for how they purchase tickets. A three hour pass costs $1.50, and an all day pass costs $3. People who find themselves traveling throughout Detroit often may want to opt for a monthly or yearly pass, which cost $30 and $285 respectively. Riders can purchase passes through a phone app using a credit or debit card. Alternatively, they can purchase tickets at station kiosks using cash and credit or debit cards.

While the payment options to ride the QLine are easy to use, not everything went smoothly on the first day fares were charged, as several kiosks were out of order, and not all stations had taken down signage saying that rides were free, thereby confusing passengers. Passengers also complained about the wait times, although M-1 rail says that wait times have now have decreased from 19 minutes when the QLine first opened, to just under 17 minutes. The company says they are further aiming to shave wait times down to 15 minutes.

Although passengers may not like it, M-1 Rail is likely relieved to now start charging for rides, as construction of the QLine cost $7 million more than expected, according to Crain's Business Detroit. The final estimated cost of the project is $144 million, while earlier estimates expected the project to cost around $137 million. M-1 raised $187.3 million for the project through private donations from corporations, universities, and hospitals. This money was to be used for not only the construction of the QLine, but also to keep it operating for 10 years, before turning it over to the city for it to operate as a public transportation system. But with an estimated yearly operating cost of $5.5-$6 million, this money will fall short of the 10 year mark. M-1 says in order to raise more money, they will solicit more corporate donors as well as government aid, in addition to selling more advertising, and possibly reselling the naming rights.

Detroit QLine Accident Lawyer

In the meantime, M-1 is continuously working on ways to improve riders experiences on the QLine. In order to shorten wait times, the QLine no longer stops at every station. Rather, it only stops if a passenger signals that they want to get off, or if there are passengers waiting to get on. Also helping to shorten wait times is increased battery power, reducing the amount of time cars need to stop to have their battery charged. M-1 is also working with MDOT to improve traffic signaling at large intersections, and police are issuing more tickets and towing cars in order to keep the QLine track free of obstructions. From a technology standpoint, M-1 is working on further developing the QLine app to let riders know when it is approaching, and they are installing electric maps at stations that show points of interest in the city, in relation to their location from that stop. M-1 also plans on adding directional signage to each station that helps riders find their way to downtown.

The QLine runs along Woodward Ave from New Center to Downtown, passing through Wayne State University, Midtown, and Foxtown. The QLine operates Monday-Thursday 6 AM to 11 PM, Friday 6 AM to 12 AM, Saturday 8 AM to 12 AM, and Sunday 8 AM to 8 PM. The QLine runs extended hours for special events such as concerts and home games at Comerica Park, Ford Field, and the new Little Caesars Arena. 

Systems like the QLine are a great transportation option for cities like Detroit, and an effective alternative to drunk driving. After all, the QLine is cheaper than taking an Uber or a Lyft and still helps people avoid the risk of getting into drunk driving accidents. Having a public transportation system also clears up traffic congestion, which in turn keeps drivers from exhibiting road rage that causes car accidents. However the QLine does add yet another obstacle that drivers must pay attention to on busy city streets. It's easy to get into a motor vehicle accident when a driver is taking a right turn at an intersection and doesn't see the QLine streetcar coming up to the light in the lane the driver needs to cross. 

While it may take Detroit drivers some time to get used to sharing the road with this new public transportation system, the long term benefits of the QLine such as preventing drunk driving car crashes and aggressive driving car accidents, make it worth putting up with a little early on confusion. 


Public transportation systems can cut down on the amount of traffic and therefore the number of road rage car accidents in busy cities and on the number of drunk driving car accidents.  However they can also add confusion and distraction to already busy streets, resulting in distracted driving car crashes. If you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, including one involving public transportation, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM to speak with an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.

Pokemon Go: Virtual Reality Game's Recent Real Life Accidents

As many people know, in today's tech-savvy world, keeping a cell phone in your car is dangerous, and it is even more dangerous to text or use an app on your smartphone while driving. Many apps require a person's attention on their phone screen for more than just a quick glance, which is more than enough time to cause a car collision. This time last year, the Pokémon Go app was just beginning to take users by storm, with people everywhere constantly discussing the game and traveling around town to "catch" the Pokémon. The game projects characters on the screen amid the player's actual surroundings, combining the virtual with reality. One year later, the game continues to develop new features and bring people together, with some even attending in-person live events to play the game. The popularity of the app has created yet another form of distracted driving, and has led to several motor vehicle accidents in Michigan and around the country.

Pokemon Go Car Crash Lawyer

In one example, a man crashed into a cop car in Baltimore, Maryland while playing Pokémon Go, last July. USA TODAY reported that the Pokémon Go enthusiast slammed into a parked Baltimore police car while playing the game on his phone. In body-camera video released by the Baltimore Police Department, several officers are seen standing near the police car as a Toyota Rav 4 slams into the police cruiser and continues driving. In the video, an officer runs after the vehicle, which stops near the end of the block, and the driver gets out of his car. The officer asks if everyone is ok, and the driver, whose face is blurred in the clip, shows the police officers his cellphone. “That’s what I get for playing this dumb--- game,” the man says to the officers. A spokesperson for the police department mentioned that the incident wasn't even the first one that week!

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last summer, CBS News said that teen Autumn Deiseroth was hit by a car in an incident related to Pokémon Go. Deiseroth saud she did everything right while playing the game near her home, including looking both ways before crossing streets, but she was hit by a car anyway, after the game lured her across a busy highway. "She was not walking and playing the game," her mother, Tracy Nolan, told a CBS affiliate. "She was coming home to tell her mother she found Pokémon. I'm blaming the game itself because it's dragging kids across major highways. Kids don't need to be going across highways."

Michigan Phone Car Accident Lawyer

Here in Michigan, Pokémon Go is being blamed for a suspected drunk driver crashing into a parked car in Commerce Township, while his eyes were glued to his smartphone. According to the Detroit Free Press, a 28-year-old Walled Lake man fled in his wrecked car but was arrested after deputies followed a trail of vehicle debris from the crash to the suspect's home. The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that deputies determined that the man had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and transported him to Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital for a blood draw via a search warrant. He was also treated for injuries sustained in the crash. The suspect told police he had been in the area searching for Pokémon on his phone, while driving, when he struck the parked vehicle. The driver was arrested following his treatment and was lodged in the Oakland County Jail pending charges.

Pokémon Go has even gone so far as to lead to fatal vehicle-pedestrian crashes. On October 14, 2016, 24-year-old Cody Soucie of Roseville, Michigan hit Ryan Mannes, 14, with his motorcycle while Mannes played Pokémon Go with two of his friends. Soucie had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14, which is almost twice the legal limit. Mannes had walked into the street to catch a Pokémon, as described in the Detroit Free Press, and was hit by Soucie upon returning to the sidewalk. Mannes was pronounced dead at the scene with catastrophic injuries. Soucie was charged with a felony crime that could lead to, up to 15 years in jail. 

Distracted walking, including looking down at cell phones, is an alarming new trend that poses a significant safety threat, in the form of inattentional blindness, to pedestrians and motorists alike. The National Safety Council emphasizes that pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings. Of course, no one plans to be hit by a car while playing Pokémon Go. However, what is unknown to many people is that unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Apps like Pokémon Go and virtual reality games are fun to play and are experiencing a surge in popularity, but users are advised to always be safe while playing, and to definitely never use them while driving, so as to help prevent a severe injury or car crash fatality. 

Michigan Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Additionally, there are several ways to avoid distracted driving accidents and drunk driving car crashes. Apps have recently been developed that actually work to minimize phone usage while in a vehicle. Car sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available to take people home so that people under the influence don't have to risk their life or the lives of those on the road by driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving and distracted driving are never okay, even if the goal is just to catch Pokémon. As games for smartphones multiply, safety and awareness must also increase, in order to avoid fatal car crashes.


Pokémon Go was created to bring the game to life and to get people to be more active and spent more time outdoors. While these are admirable goals from Niantic, the creater of Pokemon Go, it is important to be safe and vigilant while playing the game, and to never play while driving, as Niantic themselves warn. It is also important to be aware of one's surroundings at all times, because you never know when a vehicle headed your way, if your head is down and absorbed in a game. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Automakers Break Into Ride-Sharing Car Market

Uber Car Crash Lawyer

Ride-sharing first became a tech-phenomenon in 2011 when tech-giants, Uber and Lyft, introduced the ability to hail cabs and share rides with friends instantly, through an app available on smart phones. Since then, according to Business Insider, 30% of the U.S. population has reported using some form of a ride-sharing app. Ride-sharing has made transportation fast and convenient, and the industry is only growing as new companies look to break into the market.

However, as Popular Mechanics explains, the sharing trend, as opposed to individuals purchasing and operating their own vehicles, started with car-sharing. Car-sharing became a trend in the automotive industry in 2000 and was popularized by a company called ZipCar, but has just recently taken off since the development of smart phones. Car-sharing allows customers to purchase a membership with a car-sharing service such as ZipCar, which customers can then use along with the company’s website or app, to locate the nearest vehicle, flash their membership card to unlock the vehicle, and then drive the car their reserved time period. While car sharing is very convenient for those who don't own a motor vehicle, it's most common complaint is that most car-sharing companies' customers are given the option to be charged by the day, hour, minute, or mile they drive. Being charged by the minute or mile can get very expensive. However, the positive aspect to car-sharing is that gas and insurance are already included in the fee.

While it was the first to gain popularity, ZipCar is now one of many similar services. Last year, The Michigan Law Firm Blog wrote an article about GM launching its own car-sharing service, Maven. In an effort to become the leading forerunner in personal mobility services, GM acquired assets from Sidecar, a ride-sharing start-up company, in January of 2016 and has also teamed up with the premier ride-sharing brand, Lyft. GM has also broken into the ride-sharing market by introducing Maven Gig, a service that allows drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to rent Chevy Volts, if they do not have a car of their own, to drive their ride-share costumers in. 

More recently, Daimler and BMW have become the next large automakers attempting to challenge Silicon Valley by designing their own car-sharing and ride-sharing programs. According the The New York Times, Daimler, the makers of the luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz, first introduced its car-sharing brand, Car2Go, in 2008 in Germany, and has since grown to serve about 2.4 million members across 9 countries. 33% of Car2Go members are even located in North America. The Car2Go program has yielded positive results after a 3-year study of 10,000 members done by U.C. Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, which reported that Car2Go service has reduced vehicle ownership and miles traveled in privately owned cars. As a result, greenhouse emissions have been reduced, 2% to 5% of Car2Go members have sold their privately owned vehicles, and 7% to 10% of members have stopped seeking to purchase a vehicle because of the service.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

BMW first launched its own car-sharing service, DriveNow, in Europe in 2011. In December of 2016, it went on to launch its North American car-sharing service, ReachNow. BMW has also been testing its own ride-sharing service in Seattle as well. Steve Banfield, the CEO of ReachNow, explained the company’s reasoning to enter into both car-sharing and ride-sharing markets by stating that “sometimes they (customers) want to be driven, sometimes they want to drive. Sometimes they want the car for several days, sometimes they want the car for 10 minutes.” Banfield further explained that offering customers different ways to move about cities allows the company to study and research the method of transportation individuals prefer to use, allowing the company to become closer to the consumer. Both services also allow BMW to promote their luxury brand by offering temporary rides and mobility to individuals. 

A future with autonomous vehicles is inevitable, so it is important for companies to mold a business strategy that will allow themselves to adapt to a new automotive industry that will no longer require individuals to purchase and operate their own vehicles. BMW has reportedly partnered with Intel to begin production of autonomous cars by 2021, while Daimler and Uber have partnered to start their own creation of self-operating vehicles. These large automakers hope by creating their own personal mobility brands and creating early plans to start autonomous vehicle production, they will be able dominate the market in the future.

Detroit Uber Car Accident Lawyer

With these car-sharing and ride-sharing programs, it is important to remember that human drivers are still operating these vehicles (that is, until vehicles become autonomous). Therefore the risk of a car accident due to human error is always present. Thus, passengers should always stay alert while riding in a vehicle and follow car safety precautions such as wearing a seat belt.


The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a Metro Detroit law firm that handles all types of accident cases. If you or someone you know has been involved in car, bus, motorcycle, or truck accident, call the The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Lyft Begins Testing Pre-Scheduled Pickups

Lyft, a popular transportation network company, which was founded in 2012, is adapting to the needs of its customers. Customers of services such as Lyft, like to know in advance that they have a future ride secured and scheduled. That is why the company is beginning testing on a new feature that allows passengers to book their ride up to 24 hours in advance. 

Lyft Car Accident Lawyer

“Whether you have an early-morning flight and need to get to the airport or have a make-or-break business meeting cross-town, scheduled rides will get you out the door and off to your destination at your specific pickup time,” Lyft Blog writes. When customers are using the app to select their pickup location, they will be asked to set their desired pickup time by clicking on the clock icon which will appear on the right side of the screen. Lyft also allows riders to update or cancel their pickup up to 30 minutes prior to the requested time. 

This new feature to the service is seen as Lyft gaining an advantage over their rival competition, Uber, which has not yet allowed their users to schedule rides ahead of time. While pre-scheduling pickup times are seen as a customer-friendly move, it will also help the drivers, as this new feature will provide a more steady and reliable stream of money. 

Lyft Car Crash Lawyer

“While on-demand rides remain core to our platform, we’re thrilled to offer even more options to passengers- as well as another opportunity for drivers to earn. Testing for scheduled rides begins shortly in San Francisco, and we look forward to making the feature available to more passengers this summer,” the company stated. 

Meanwhile in Detroit, a “Standard” ride via Lyft (up to 4 passengers) starts at 50 cents, tacks on 17 cents for every minute, as well as 70 cents for every mile. The minimum ride cost is $4, and it costs $5 to cancel a ride. 


Transportation services like Lyft and Uber are great ways to get around town if you are looking to save on gas or find a way home after a night out on the town. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the drivers of these cars may be distracted while driving, as they depend on a GPS map on their device to give them directions. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident caused by distracted driving, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today for a free consultation, at 844.4MI.FIRM.

New Uber Software Tracks Drivers' Habits to Prevent Distracted Driving

One of the expectations that comes with getting a ride from an Uber driver is that they will be following all traffic laws and practicing safe driving habits. However, that is not always the case, as some Uber drivers have been seen holding the wheel with one hand and their cell phone in the other hand for directions. In an effort to promote safer driving habits for its drivers, Uber has announced a new software rollout which will send daily reports of a driver’s driving patterns back to the company, will remind drivers to take a break before getting drowsy, and will send drivers a message which reminds them not to hold their phone in their hands while driving.

Uber Accident Lawyer

While Uber has said the measurements won’t be used to penalize drivers, the metrics do track activities that are often seen in some of the lowest rated drivers. “To get the measurements, Uber will track the movement of the phones’ gyrometers and accelerometers to assess the speed and movement of the phone. This raises some privacy questions, especially as Uber still categorizes its workers as independent contractors, rather than employees,” Karis Hustard wrote for ChicagoInno.

While the program will run for two months in only 11 cities across the United States, the company says that it will evaluate after that and decide if it wants to expand elsewhere.

UBER AND DRUNK DRIVING

As we gear up for the end of summer, which is infamous for drunk driving accidents, Uber ran a poll of its users across the country to see how the service interacts with intoxicated driving. 95% of respondents said that Uber helps reduce drunk driving in the community, and an additional 84% said that Uber allowed them personally to avoid drinking and driving. “We’ve seen again and again that when people have a reliable way to get home safely at the push of a button — no matter the time or place —they make safer choices,” Uber wrote on its website. 


If you feel there is even a slight chance you might not be in the right condition to drive, calling a public transportation service such as Uber may save your life and the lives of others. Additionally, if you have been in an auto accident caused by a driver who was impaired or distracted at the time of the accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will fight to get you the help you deserve. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Study Says There Is No Link Between The Rise of Uber and The Fall of Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

You’ve just spent a night out with your friends, had a few drinks, and need a safe way to get back home. What’s the most popular solution these days?

Uber.

The popular ride-sharing service has become well known across America as the best way to avoid driving home after having a few too many drinks. The company even promotes on their website that cities with Uber have “fewer drunk drivers on the streets.” However, a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found no noticeable impact on the number of drunk driving deaths in cities where Uber provides its services.

“Obviously the rise of Uber and Lyft has been incredible, and we were curious about potential implications,” David Kirck, co-author of the study from the University of Oxford, told CNNMoney. To conduct the study, Kirck and his partner Noli Brazil examined drunk driving numbers in the Top-100 most populated metro areas in the United States from 2009 to 2014. The study found that the rise of Uber has not correlated with a decrease in deaths overall or during peak hours such as weekend nights.

Kirck points to a number of reasons why Uber hasn’t helped slow the number of drink driving deaths. First, drunk drivers, who are already not thinking clearly, may not feel like waiting and paying to be picked up, and they like their odds of making it home safe without getting caught (Out of 121 million incidents of drunk driving in the United States, only 1.1 million are arrested). Additionally, there are simply not enough Uber drivers in the United States to make a real dent in the 10,000 people who die every year in drunk driving accidents. While there are hundreds of thousands of Uber drivers working each month in the United States, there are still 4.2 million people who decide to drive drunk every month.

Uber Accident Lawyer

CNNMoney pointed out that Uber continues to claim its service can help decrease drunk driving, as it often refers to another study that shows a 3.6% to 5.6% decrease in drunk driving deaths in California. “We’re glad Uber can provide an alternative to drunk driving and help people make more responsible choices. Our ridership numbers show that trips peak at times when people are more likely to be out drinking and 80% of riders say that Uber has helped them personally avoid drinking and driving,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.


Kirck offered that companies like Uber can have a more substantial impact in the future. “It will be important to revisit the findings in a few years, assuming Uber and Lyft have even greater presence in the United States and beyond. And if Uber and Lyft can find a way to have greater appeal to drunk drivers, then there is a possibility of bring fatalities down.”


Make no mistake about it: there is NO good excuse for getting behind the wheel while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not only do you put yourself in harms way, you also endanger everyone else on the road. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in helping victims of drunk driving car crashes receive the help they deserve. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Ride Sharing Apps Won't Decrease Car Sales

 

Recently there has been a rise in online transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. Due to the easy access of smartphones, with one click of a button, people can have a ride to wherever they want. This can eliminate the problems of finding an empty taxi or having to worry about finding parking while driving.

Ride Sharing App

While these ride share companies have proved to be convenient and popular with citizens, many companies have taken issue to them. This is because places like Metro Detroit thrive on the business of car sales. Therefore automotive companies might see Uber and Lyft as a threat. More people taking Uber and Lyft means that people will be less inclined to lease or buy a car. However a couple of studies have recently seemed to disprove this notion

According to a study by Kelly Blue Book people use the ride sharing apps for various reasons. For some people it could be due to city living and the inconveniences of driving a car, while others were reported to only use the apps for their nightlife.That is why the study mainly determined that people that use Uber and Lyft were looking for an alternative to taxis or other public transportation. One way or another, they were not planning on using a car of their own to get to their destination. Moreover, the study determined that 74% of consumers surveyed said that driving is their preferred mode of transportation. 

Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. said that, “While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveal that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors.”

Zipcar

In addition to companies like Uber and Lyft, which are essentially taxis in peoples' own cars, there are also other ride sharing companies. About 5.8 million people worldwide use services like Zipcar, Daimler’s car2go, and Turo. These companies allow car owners to rent out their vehicles to others. Instead of someone being chauffeured around, they can drive other peoples' cars to get to where they want. 

However, that doesn't mean the users of these type of companies don't necessarily want to buy a car either. The Kelley Blue Book did a survey on the habits of these users.

Kelley Blue Book Car Ride Sharing App Statistics

1. According to the survey 81% said that vehicle ownership is more reliable.

2. 76% of these users said that they plan to buy or lease their own vehicle within two years time.

3. 80% thought that owning their own car was safer.

All of this data shows that despite the boom of ride sharing apps, car companies don't need to worry about their sales being affected. Uber, Zipcar, and other ride sharing companies are alternates to public transportation, not to buying or leasing a car. The vast majority of their users are planning on getting a car of their own in the near future.


Having the opportunity to use Uber or Lyft might decrease someone’s chance of getting to a car accident. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean that accidents don't occur. Whether you are driving your own car or using someone else's’ car with Turo, there is always the possibility of a motor vehicle collision occurring. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an car accident of any kind, call the The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

"Taxibots" Could Eliminate 9 out of 10 Cars

Self-driving cars might have a bigger impact on traffic congestion than previously thought. More specifically, autonomous taxis are changing the way companies such as Uber and Lyft want to do business.  A group of transportation experts at the Organization for Cooperation and Development discovered results from a trip in Portugal, which showed that the mainstreaming of self-driving cars will eliminate cars by 90%, acres of land will open up, and will decrease commute times by 10%.

These “taxibots,” as described by the researchers, will be a combination of mass carpooling and UPS delivery intelligence. These vehicles will navigate through cities and match compatible carpool routes based on a mathematical algorithm. Under this type of system, 9 out of 10 cars would no longer be necessary and eliminate the need for public transportation. 

Self Driving Car Accident Lawyer

The evolution of taxibots would also open up large chunks of space in cities, which would allow for more development in downtown areas. The study finds that without the need for individual ownership of cars, a city like Lisbon, Portugal would have around 210 football fields worth of extra space. There would also be significant savings for consumers in the area. The mere presence of parking spaces can increase the cost of construction, which leads to development costs getting passed on to consumers, in the form of steeper prices on goods and rent. A taxibot system would eliminate the need for parking spaces, thereby decreasing consumer costs. 

Lyft Car Crash Lawyer

One of the leading companies looking into driver-free taxis is Uber. The ever-popular taxi service has recently opened a new facility dedicated to mainstreaming this technology, which would completely automate their workforce. General Motors Company and Lyft Inc. will also begin testing electric driver-less taxis for public roads. The Wall Street Journal reported that GM invested around $500 million in Lyft in order to compete with the Silicon Valley minds in a battle to own the driver-less taxi industry. 


Driver-less cars are the way of the future which will virtually eliminate car collisions. For now, drivers must be extra cautious while driving, as accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident of any scale, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Accidents can lead to problems down the road, such as trouble paying medical bills, loss of employment, and lingering injuries. Our attorneys can help get you the answers and help you need taking care of these issues. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consulation.