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First Winter Car Accident Death in Detroit

November 13, 2008 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer Gives Winter Driving Tips to Get Season Started Right

On Monday, a man was killed in a multi-vehicle car accident on eastbound I-96 near Davison in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reported. The area’s first hint of winter, which included a lot of black ice, also caused dozens of car crashes during the morning metro Detroit commute.

Sadly, this auto accident victim who was killed due to treacherous Michigan winter driving conditions will not be the last. People are killed from bad weather conditions every year in Michigan. With months of ice, snow and sleet yet to come, our car accident lawyers have compiled a list of winter safe driving tips that can save lives:

o Clear snow and ice from your vehicle to improve visibility. Include the hood, roof, trunk, turn signals, tail lights and headlights.

o Slow down on Michigan roads when visibility and road conditions are impaired.

o Increase the following distance between vehicles.

o Anticipate dangers like black ice on bridges and underpasses, hidden lane markings, stalled cars and poor visibility.

o Use proper winter braking techniques. If you have anti-lock brakes, which most cars and small trucks are equipped with today, stomp firmly on the anti-lock brakes. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, pump your brakes and steer into a skid.

o Avoid skids by easing off the accelerator and avoiding locking up the brakes.

o In a skid, steer in the direction you want your vehicle to go and straighten the wheel as soon as the car begins to veer in the desired direction.

o If you have been in a minor car accident on wintry roads, stay in your vehicle while you wait for help to arrive. If you get out to inspect the damage, you risk being hit by other vehicles.

o If your car stops or stalls, remain in the vehicle after turning on your dome light. If you need to run the car, do it only enough to stay warm and then shut it down again.

o Always keep heavy blankets, flares, a medical first-aid kit and other emergency items in your vehicle. Also, keep a flashlight, jumper cables and some type of warning device in your trunk.

o As always, buckle up! If you have children, please put your children in child safety seats. If the child is under 12 years old, the safest place is in the backseat.

In addition to winter driving safety tips, our personal injury lawyers have created three checklists to help drivers prepare for and respond to serious auto accidents in Michigan. Every car accident, injury and circumstance is unique. These guides are simplified outlines to help protect and inform drivers, to ensure the best possible outcome in the event of an auto accident.

o Before a Michigan Car Accident

o At the Scene of a Michigan Auto Accident (Please print this and keep it in your glove box, just in case.)

o Immediately Following a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident due to hazardous Michigan weather, or a another driver who may have been driving recklessly amid dangerous road conditions, please call an expert personal injury lawyer from Michigan Auto Law to protect your rights at (248) 353-7575. There is absolutely no fee or obligation.

– This post was written by Steve Gursten, managing partner of Michigan Auto Law. Visit Steve Gursten’s LinkedIn profile.

Related information:
Michigan Car Accident Victims Could Get Second Chance

Michigan Mini-Tort

Understanding the Basics of Michigan No-Fault Law

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights.

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2 Replies to “First Winter Car Accident Death in Detroit”

  1. I came across your blog (Nov 13 2008 entry), researching something else. However, I really, really, take issue with some of your statements:

    “this auto accident victim who was killed due to treacherous Michigan winter driving conditions ”

    “People are killed from bad weather conditions every year in Michigan.” which is followed by a number of tips regarding safe driving.

    I consider the above quoted statements irresponsible. The media, and now your blog, perpetuates the myth that weather conditions CAUSE accidents and kill people.

    The weather doesn’t cause accident, the weather doesn’t kill people. What causes accidents is people’s either inability or refusal to adjust their driving to the road conditions.

  2. Thank you Wendy for your thoughts. I went back and read what I wrote that day in November, 2008. The weather conditions that caused this wrongful death included black ice. Whereas black ice does not usually excuse a driver from causing a car accident, and will not under our driving laws and rules of the road, for failing to control his or her car, it will if the black ice is sudden and unexpected and could not have been reasonably anticipated. In this or similar conditions, it would be very hard for anyone to anticipate or avoid a crash. Sometimes, weather does cause accidents and sometimes, weather does kill people. This is not a myth, but a fact. On this particular day in Detroit, there were dozens of reported car accidents due to the weather, so something was going on.

    I do think your comment does apply with more accuracy to professional truck drivers. These professional drivers have a CDL license and special rules that do not apply to ordinary drivers of cars. In fact, the FMCSR requires professional truck drivers to pull off the road in bad winter conditions like this. The Michigan CDL requires truck drivers to lower their posted speeds to drive under the posted speed limit by 2/3 the posted speed. In fact, I gave a speech in which I said bad weather conditions are never an excuse with professional truck drivers. Here is a link to the video https://www.michiganautolaw.com/videos/truck-accident-attorney-seminar/bad-weather-not-cause.php. I think you will agree with what I said that day.

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