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Grand Rapids Personal Injury Blog

Police investigation into deadly Michigan crash continues

Police say that they have yet to determine what cause a motor vehicle accident on the afternoon of Sept. 2 that claimed the life of a Michigan State University assistant professor. The 37-year-old man was killed when his car was struck at a high rate of speed by a motor home as it waited at a stop sign on South Bagley Road in Greenbush Township.

Accident investigators believe that the motor home may have experienced a tire blowout or some other sort of mechanical failure in the moments before the collision. An eyewitness told reporters that he saw the vehicle 'lose a tire" before crashing. Excessive speed may have also played a role as the witness also describes seeing the motor home leave the ground completely before striking the professor's car.

Research could help spinal cord patients regain function

There may be some signs of hope for Michigan residents with spinal cord problems. Scientists from Boston Children's Hospital are working on a way to help paralyzed patients regain the ability to walk. Their research study examines ways to revitalize undamaged nerve pathways in the spinal cord.

Paralysis occurs when the neurons in the spinal cord become severed and are no longer able to transmit movement commands from the brain. However, most spinal cord patients only suffer partial nerve damage, meaning some neural pathways remain intact. Despite this, around 50 percent of patients suffer total paralysis and the loss of sensation. For the study, researchers set out to determine why this occurs and if it could be remedied.

What can be done after the wrongful death of a loved one

It is an unfortunate reality that there is an element of danger every time you get behind the wheel. The average person suffers an auto accident every 10 years. This may seem high, but remember that even the safest, most attentive driver can’t account for another motorist causing a wreck.

Some of the most traumatic accidents that happen on the roadways are crashes involving commercial tractor trailers. The power, size and cargo these vehicles carry make even minor collisions powerful forces that could cost people their lives.

Drowsy driving is similar to impaired driving

The American Sleep Foundation states that almost half the adult drivers in Michigan and the rest of the United States confess to repeatedly driving while feeling sleepy. Almost 20 percent of the drivers surveyed admitted that during some time in the last year, they fell asleep while driving. Forty percent of the drivers stated that they experienced falling asleep behind the wheel more than once since they began driving.

Many drivers may be unaware that drowsy driving is a hazard that places themselves and others on the road in danger. According to a report issue by the Governors Highway Safety Association, it is estimated that 5,000 people lost their lives in 2015 due to motor vehicle crashes caused in some part by drowsy driving.

Fleet operators are using technology to combat distracted driving

The worrying increase in distracted driving accidents is often blamed on smartphones and sophisticated automobile entertainment, navigation and information systems. However, many drivers crash each year in Michigan and around the country from just letting their minds wander. The problem is an especially thorny one for the freight moving sector because accidents involving semi-tractor trailers are usually serious. Furthermore, the pressure that truck drivers work under often leaves them fatigued and prone to distraction.

The fleet management company Omnitracs has taken steps to address the problem by adding a module to its web-based Driver Center that is designed to warn truck drivers and fleet operators about potential distracted driving situations. Alerts are sent out when drivers spend hours in heavy traffic or begin their shifts at unusual times or after only brief periods of rest. The feature keeps track of how long commercial vehicle drivers spend behind the wheel by accessing their hours of service data.

Truck drivers and drowsy driving

Commercial truck drivers in Michigan should be aware that they are more likely to engage in drowsy driving than other motorists. According to some estimates, drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year. Because of their enormous weight and size, commercial trucks and big rigs are likely to cause catastrophic and deadly injuries when they are involved in accidents.

Commercial truck drivers are more susceptible to driving while drowsy because of their tight deadlines, pressure from their employers and long hours on the road. Other drivers can get off of the road and get some much-needed sleep until they are able to drive safely again. However, commercial truck drivers who have to get their cargo to a specific location at a certain time may feel that they do not have this option.

Police identify victims of fatal motorcycle crash

Michigan residents may have heard about the crash between a vehicle and a motorcycle that occurred on the night of June 28 in La Salle Township. Michigan State Police of the Monroe post have identified the two motorcycle riders who were killed in that crash. Both were Monroe County residents, ages 53 and 45. However, the identity of the 52-year-old driver of the vehicle has not been released.

The crash took place on South Dixie Highway between a 2017 Harley-Davidson and 2003 Dodge Neon. It occurred when the car crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the motorcycle. Both riders, who were wearing helmets, were pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the car survived with non-life-threatening injuries. The severity of the impact caused the Harley-Davidson to catch fire, and the car fell into a ditch.

CVSA announces week-long brake inspection event

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced that it will ramp up its enforcement efforts in Michigan and throughout the country during Brake Safety Week in 2018. The event, which will take place Sept. 16-22, will primarily focus on Level I inspections. Inspectors will be looking for things like loose or missing parts, defective rotor conditions and worn linings. They'll also be checking a wide range of other components that are crucial to the braking safety of commercial vehicles.

Vehicles that don't pass inspection during Brake Safety Week will be taken off the roadways until they fix the associated issues. Brakes must consistently be maintained and repaired so that they operate according to the manufacturer's specifications. When brakes are improperly repaired, maintained or installed, they can reduce efficiency and present a risk to everyone on the road.

Most common injuries in a truck accident

Drivers in Michigan can imagine what the result of a collision with a commercial truck is like. In 97 percent of fatal crashes between trucks and passenger vehicles, it is an occupant of the latter who dies. Should victims live through the event, they are usually left with serious physical and mental conditions. The following are just a few of the most common injuries.

Injuries to the leg, arm and hip bones can arise when the impact of the crash sends victims into the window, steering wheel or airbag. If bones are shattered, they may require multiple surgeries to heal. Victims could suffer head injuries as well. These are just one example of traumatic brain injuries, and their symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after the accident. This makes TBIs notoriously hard to diagnose.

Walking A Dangerous Road

A walk in the park might be an easy and pleasant experience, but walking on or near U.S. roadways is anything but. Research into pedestrian safety around the country shows that pedestrians are in far greater danger than they were a few short years ago. From 2009 to 2016, pedestrian deaths rose nearly 50 percent. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed on American roads. This trend shows no signs of slowing.

The Double-Edged Problem Of Distraction

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