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Grand Rapids Personal Injury Blog

Isabella County car collision injures four

On the afternoon of June 13, 2019, in Nottawa Township west of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, a Dodge Charger ran a stop sign and collided with a GMC pickup. The accident took place at the intersection of Weidman and Meridian Roads and injured four people.

It appears that the Charger failed to yield to traffic that had the right of way. The occupants of the Charger were composed of two men, the 18-year-old driver and a 23-year-old passenger, and a 42-year-old woman. All three suffered life-threatening injuries with Isabella County police finding one unconscious upon arrival at the scene. The woman was treated at a local emergency room before being airlifted, while the other two were immediately airlifted.

Do you know how to avoid underriding a semitruck?

When a semitruck collides with a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are usually severely injured or killed. Semitrucks can cause significant damage in a collision because they weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles weigh, and they have a greater ground clearance.

The greater ground clearance contributes to a particularly devastating type of crash called underriding. Underriding involves a passenger vehicle sliding or being pushed underneath a semitruck. This type of collision can occur on any side of the semitruck, but is often associated with a car sliding under the back end of the trailer.

What parents can do to keep teen drivers safe in summer

Teen drivers, being inexperienced, can pose a danger to themselves and others on the roads of Michigan. This is especially true in the summer since teens tend to spend more time out when school is out. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety even said that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day constitutes the "100 deadliest days" for teen drivers. Fatal car crashes involving teens go up an average of 15% during that time.

For this reason, AAA encourages parents to teach their teens about safe driving practices. First of all, teens should be able to check certain vehicle components, such as tire pressure. Under-inflated tires will increase the risk for a blowout. Before heading out, teens should plan their routes. Being lost raises the risk for inattentive driving.

How to avoid drowsy driving

Drowsy driving continues to be a major hazard in Michigan and across the U.S., according to a survey by AAA. In fact, the auto club found that nearly one-third of drivers admit that they've been so sleepy they had difficulty keeping their eyes open behind the wheel in the previous 30 days.

Part of the problem is that many drivers don't understand how dangerous drowsy driving is. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that drivers who stay awake for 24 straight hours are as impaired as drivers who have a blood alcohol content level of .10, which is higher than the legal limit. Meanwhile, prescription sleep aids aren't helping. While most sleep medications advise that users get a minimum of seven or eight hours of sleep after taking them, a Consumer Reports survey found that one in five users drive within seven hours of consuming the drugs.

Improving truck safety with speed limiter use, other safety tech

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that in collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles, 72% of the fatalities are occupants of the latter. It is imperative, then, that trucking companies in Michigan and across the U.S. do all they can to prevent crashes. Unfortunately, truck crashes continue to rise in many states.

Florida is one example: in 2014, it saw 23,515 truck crashes, but that number was 32,513 in 2018. The Florida Department of Transportation states that the number one driver-related factor in these crashes was speeding.

Survey examines distracted driving on U.S. roads

Michigan residents might like to know about a distracted driving study regarding the use of mobile devices while driving. According to the researchers, who worked on behalf of Root Insurance, 47% of those surveyed reported that distracted driving was their biggest safety concern while on the road. However, many respondents also admitted to driving while distracted despite their reservations about the risks.

This is the second year Root Insurance conducted the study. The collected behavioral data indicated that drivers between the ages of 18-24-years-old used their cellphones an average of 20 times for every 100 miles driven. Incentivizing motorists to avoid distracted driving is one way to turn around this dangerous trend, according to Root Insurance.

Weather Channel faces lawsuit over fatal crash with storm chasers

Michigan residents may know that the two stars of the Weather Channel's "Storm Wranglers" were killed in a car crash back in March 2017. In addition, another life was taken in that crash, that of a 25-year-old storm spotter employed by the National Weather Service. Now, the mother of the victim has filed a wrongful death suit against the Weather Channel. She is seeking $125 million in damages.

The show's two stars were speeding down a highway near the city of Spur, Texas, in pursuit of a tornado when they ran a stop sign and collided with the jeep driven by the 25-year-old. All three were killed on impact. The chase had been live streamed on the Weather Channel's Facebook page right up until the crash put an end to the broadcast.

Fatal semi-truck accidents still rising

In 2017, more than 4,000 people died in fatal large truck accidents on America's roadways. Truck occupants made up 17 percent of these fatalities, and car drivers and passengers made up 68 percent; pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists made up the rest. Unfortunately, these rates of fatalities are 28 percent higher than they were in 2009. Despite this problem in Michigan and other states, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to implement changes that might improve safety on the road.

Highway safety advocates as well as representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board have urged the NHTSA to do something about the increase in fatal semi-truck accidents. Specifically, the have requested that some type of mitigation features be required in large trucks to prevent rear-end accidents. These types of incidents account for an alarming amount of fatalities.

Michigan truck accident kills 1 and injures 4

The Michigan State Police have reported that a tractor-trailer accident on the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 in Macomb County on the afternoon of March 6 claimed the life of a 55-year-old woman and left four other road users injured. The Detroit resident was killed when a large truck struck the rear of her Ford Taurus sedan. Emergency services workers pronounced her dead at the scene.

Police at the accident scene near the 10 Mile Road exit say that the truck driver may have failed to reduce his speed sufficiently when the traffic around him began to slow down at about 1:30 p.m. After striking the Ford Taurus, the tractor-trailer toppled onto its side and came to a rest on top of a Chrysler sedan and Chevrolet SUV. First responders say that they were surprised and pleased to discover that the 19-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Chrysler suffered only minor injuries. Photographs taken at the scene reveal that her car was crushed almost beyond recognition. The drivers of the tractor trailer and Cadillac also suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Substance abuse in the trucking industry

The semi-trucks that carry the freight we need to live our daily lives are huge, massively powerful machines. Even a minor accident with a commercial truck can easily result in serious injury, a totaled vehicle and much worse. It is an unfortunate reality that alcohol and substance abuse by the trucks’ drivers is increasingly the cause of these accidents.

This is evidenced in a report released by USA Mobile Drug Test (USAMDT). In their recent statistical breakdown of substance abuse in the trucking industry, half of the drivers interviewed admitted to drinking and driving. A shocking 30 percent confessed to using amphetamines while on the road.

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