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shutterstock_673012249-300x206According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, over 50 percent of U.S. traffic deaths happen when a driver crosses the center line or edge of a roadway. Crossing the center line can result in a head-on, or frontal, collision, which accounted for 58 percent of passenger vehicle deaths in 2020, according to reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

These statistics are grim for passenger cars, but compound when one considers the added risk motorcyclists experience in the event of head-on collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than passenger car occupants due to their size and exposure.

Deadly Michigan Motorcycle Accident

According to a recent article, a Michigan man died after his motorcycle collided in a head-on crash with a van. Early investigations report that the van crossed the center line of the highway and crashed into the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was ejected and died at the scene. A passenger also riding on the motorcycle was also ejected and suffered critical injuries and hospitalization. Whether or not the victims wore helmets is unclear. Witnesses claim the driver of the van was considerably over the center line, so much so that another motorcycle was almost struck. The driver of the van showed signs of intoxication and had open intoxicants in his vehicle, and an investigation is pending.

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shutterstock_744979924-300x200Not all Michigan crashes are accidents, and drunk driving incidents are a prime example of preventable crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, over 30 people in the nation die in a drunk-driving accident. Recent statistics indicate that nearly 11,700 people were killed in an alcohol-related traffic accident in 2020- a 14% increase from the previous reporting year.

Alcohol is a substance that can significantly reduce a person’s brain function, which can lead to cognitive impairment and difficulties with reasoning and coordination. In essence, alcohol impairs all the abilities related to safely operating a vehicle. After consumption, alcohol passes into the bloodstream and metabolizes in the liver. The blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured by the amount of alcohol in a certain amount of blood.

In most states, including Michigan, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .08. However, crash data indicates that many accidents involve situations where the impaired driver had a BAC of .01 to .07 g/dl. Even a BAC of .02 begins to affect a driver’s cognitive ability.

shutterstock_676181746-300x200Every day, there is a wide range of different vehicles being driven by individuals, including what are known as off-road vehicles. Off-Road Vehicles, or ORVs, are motor-driven recreational vehicles that are capable of cross-country travel and that are meant to be used off-road or on dirt roads. ORVs are not meant to be driven on paved roads or highways. These vehicles are capable of traveling on land, snow, ice, marsh, and other landscapes. ORVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and other similar vehicles. ORVs can have different sizes depending on the type of vehicle. For example, ATVs can weigh more than 600 pounds, in addition to being able to reach speeds of 65 mph or more.

In a recent news article, a 17-year-old Greenville resident passed away after an ORV accident in Otisco Township. According to the report, the 17-year-old driver and an 18-year-old passenger were riding in the ORV when the vehicle flipped over. The 17-year-old driver died in the crash, while the 18-year-old passenger was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Initial reports suggest that speed and recklessness were likely factors in the accident, and neither individual wore a helmet at the time of the accident.

In the state of Michigan, ORV license and trail permits are valid for one year, which begins April 1 and ends March 31 of the following year. The Michigan state government website includes information about permit requirements and trail etiquette, in addition to reminding people that operators under the age of 16 in Michigan are required to take an approved ORV education course.

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shutterstock_628251-300x200In action-packed movies and action-packed tv shows, it is not uncommon to see a scene involving speeding vehicles crashing into objects that result in the vehicle erupting into flames. When these types of crashes happen in the real world and involve a vehicle catching fire, these crashes can be especially devastating for those involved and even for those who witness the fiery crash. According to research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries; and $1.9 billion in direct property damage in the US during 2018.” The causes of vehicle crashes that involve fires are not always easily identifiable or immediately clear and take some time to be investigated properly.

A recent news article revealed the details of a tragic accident that occurred during an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 40-year-old male died while driving a semi-truck powered by jet engines 300 mph down a runway as part of a performance. A video shows him driving past an explosion on the runway when his jet-propelled truck catches fire and appears to roll. The crash took place during the show’s pyrotechnic portion when planned explosions were going off. The crash is still under investigation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading causes of vehicle fires were mechanical failures or malfunctions and electrical failures or malfunctions. The association stresses the importance of regular maintenance on vehicles to prevent vehicle fires. When vehicle crashes include fires, family members of accident victims may wonder how this impacts their ability to recover damages. One may be able to bring a product liability suit against the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer of a vehicle can be held liable for defective trucks they design when it is proven that the vehicle posed a reasonable risk of harm, that a safer version of the vehicle could have been manufactured, and the defect was a direct cause of the injuries sustained. In addition to the possibility of product liability suits, victims and the loved ones of those killed in these types of accidents should consult with an experienced lawyer who can help determine which type of civil lawsuit may be viable.

shutterstock_552711124-300x200Auto-pedestrian accidents in Michigan present a serious danger to commuters trying to navigate our cities on foot. The aging roadway infrastructure in our state often lacks adequate safety features to allow pedestrians to safely cross roads and highways. A pedestrian was recently killed when she was hit while attempting to cross the street in Detroit in May 2022. A recently published local news report discusses the accident and the consequences being faced by the driver of the vehicle involved.

According to the facts discussed in the news report, the victim, a 32-year-old Detroit woman, was attempting to cross the intersection at Livernois and Dragoon street when she was struck in the median by a truck. The driver of the truck fled the scene after the crash, and the woman was pronounced dead by authorities after they arrived on the scene. Although the driver of the truck fled the scene of the crash, the 24-year-old Detroit man later turned himself in and was placed under arrest for his role in the fatal crash. According to the article, the man was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and reckless driving that caused death.

Although the driver of the truck may face serious criminal consequences for his role in the victim’s death, the family of the victim may need to pursue a civil claim against the driver to receive financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Drivers on Michigan roads owe other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians a basic duty of care to prevent intentional or negligent injury by the driver’s conduct. When a driver violates that duty by driving negligently or violating traffic laws in the process of causing an accident, they can be held accountable for the consequences of the crash.

shutterstock_1384642727-300x200Motorcyclists in Michigan should always wear protective gear and use as much caution as possible to avoid a collision. According to one study, motorcycle accidents are four times more likely to result in a serious injury or death when compared to automobile collisions. Even when motorcyclists do everything right and utilize the best precautions, tragic accidents can occur when other drivers are negligent. A local news article discusses a Michigan collision that resulted in the deaths of two bikers earlier this month.

According to the facts discussed in the news report, the two motorcyclists were stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left-hand turn when they were struck by another driver from the back. The bikers were ejected from their bikes, and by the time emergency crews arrived on the scene birth of the motorcyclists were dead. The driver of the car that crashed into the stationary bikers remained at the scene and was questioned by law enforcement officers. According to the article, the crash is still under investigation.

Inattentive drivers do not only place motorcyclists at risk. Accidents caused by inattentive drivers injure or kill thousands of Michiganders each year. If a driver is negligent and causes an accident, they may be subject to criminal, administrative, as well as civil liability for the crash. Criminal charges are not uncommon after a serious crash, negligent drivers can be charged with felony assault or even homicide after a serious crash. Administratively, the state of Michigan may suspend or revoke a dangerous driver’s license until they can demonstrate the ability to drive safely.

shutterstock_620008691-300x225Michigan roads can be dangerous under any conditions, with many drivers failing to pay enough attention to the road, speeding, following too closely, or operating their vehicles while impaired. Accidents that involve semi-trucks and other large vehicles are even more dangerous. Although truck drivers must be licensed and trained to safely operate their vehicles, the pressures and stress involved with hours of driving can lead to lapses in judgment. A local news report discusses a recent accident involving two semi-trucks and a car, which ended in tragedy.

According to the recently published article, the crash happened on April 28 on Interstate 94 near Albion township. It appears that a semi-truck driver was following a car too closely, and when the car started braking to avoid colliding with another semi-truck in front of it, the semi in the rear crashed into the car. After the initial collision, the car was crushed into the other semi-truck and sandwiched between the two large vehicles. When police and EMTs arrived on the scene, the only occupant in the car was pronounced dead, and one of the semi-truck drivers was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Victims of accidents involving semi-trucks or other large vehicles may face different challenges in seeking compensation for their losses. Semi-truck drivers have an increased duty to the public to operate their vehicles safely, and state and federal regulations mandate acceptable and unacceptable driving practices. An accident victim needs to know exactly what regulations applied to the trucker involved in the crash and should be able to determine if any safety regulations were violated before the accident occurred. If an accident victim can demonstrate that a truck driver was not complying with safety regulations or was in violation of a traffic law before an accident occurs, then proving the truck driver’s negligence and holding them accountable becomes much easier.

shutterstock_667288234-300x200Head on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents for several reasons. One of the reasons why head on collisions are so dangerous is that they often involve high speeds, as these accidents typically occur on undivided highways or other roads that have higher speed limits. Another reason why head on collisions often result in such serious injuries is that the impact in these accidents is direct, meaning a vehicle goes from traveling full speed to a complete stop in a split second. The results of a head on accident are often fatal, and even when motorists survive, they may suffer lifelong debilitating injuries.

According to a recent news source, a head on collision in Cheboygan County claimed the life of one Michigan man. The accident occurred on M-68 near the M-33 junction in Koehler Township at approximately 5:25 in the morning. Evidently, the driver of a Ford pickup truck was heading eastbound on M-68 when he suddenly lost control of the vehicle. The truck crossed over the center median and into oncoming traffic, at which point it collided with an oncoming car, driven by a 54-year-old man from Onaway. Emergency responders came to the scene and determined that driver of the car had died from the injuries he sustained in the accident. The driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries. Emergency responders were able to treat him on the scene, and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Fault in Michigan Head On Accidents

Head on accidents don’t just happen; they are almost always caused by driver negligence. In the case discussed above, there is no indication of what caused the driver of the pickup truck to lose control and cross into oncoming traffic. While the official investigation is still underway, it is likely that the driver was somehow negligent.

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Sometimes, when you are involved in an accident, the at-fault party is charged criminally for his actions. Most commonly, this typically involves a driver who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is a crime in most states. When the at-fault party is charged criminally, however, it does not guarantee that you, as the victim, get compensation. In fact, to receive damages for your injuries or property damage from the crash, you have to file a separate civil claim against the driver. Understanding this distinction between criminal and civil cases is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.

According to a recent local news report, a pickup truck driver took a number of substances before he was involved in an accident that killed one teen passenger and severely injured another. The prosecutor stated that the driver picked up two teens and others before heading to a house party, where he consumed alcohol and “whippets,” which are inhalants that substantially affected his ability to drive and operate his vehicle. After the accident happened, the driver fled the scene on foot. Various witnesses corroborated that the driver was drinking at the party, and the prosecutor also obtained a video of the driver inhaling whippets before the crash. The driver pleaded no contest to several counts, including operating while intoxicated and causing death and failing to stop at the scene of the accident when at fault for causing death.

When an at-fault party is charged criminally, they are typically being prosecuted by the state. The result of the criminal case is typically a punishment handed down by the state, such as jail time or community service. The victim in the accident is not involved in the criminal case outside of potentially being included as evidence of the at-fault party’s wrongdoing.

shutterstock_1768652843-225x300Choosing whether to formula feed or breastfeed a baby is a big decision for new parents, and the decision can be fraught. Generally, the formula provides babies with nutrients they need to thrive; however, contaminated products can lead to risky situations. Those who believe that contaminated or unsafe formula caused their babies to suffer injuries should contact a Michigan product liability attorney.

Premature babies require extra nutrition to support their developing systems. Parents should feel confident that companies developing and manufacturing baby formulas take all steps to ensure the quality of their products. In addition to quality control, companies should clearly list all potential risks and side effects of using their products. The failure to do so can lead to life-long or deadly consequences for these vulnerable babies.

Recently, in light of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigation, Abbott Pharmaceuticals recalled more Similac baby formula. The recall comes in response to a tragic situation where a child consumed the formula before getting a severe bacterial infection and dying. The CDC believes the infection may have contributed to the child’s death. The company stated that they found evidence of the bacteria in their Michigan facility but have not discovered any evidence of Salmonella.

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