5 Michigan Accidents Caused by Common Driver Errors
Motor vehicle crashes that cause tragedy and hardship for the families of those killed and painful, lifelong injuries for survivors create havoc on Michigan’s city streets and highways each day. In 2017, traffic crash data provided by Michigan State Police (MSP) tallied 1,028 motor vehicle fatalities and 137 motorcyclists fatalities, and 78,394 persons injured in a total of 314,921 crashes. MSP ranked Wayne County with the highest number of traffic deaths among Michigan’s 83 counties in 2017. The majority of these crashes are a result of just one bad driver behavior or driver error that could have been prevented such as texting while driving (distracted driving), operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding and reckless disregard for traffic laws.
Looking at crash reports from September 2018, the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Lee Steinberg identified five Michigan accidents caused by common driver errors and hope to provide a helpful outlook as to why these accidents occurred and help others from making similar driving mistakes.
- Construction Zone Hazards
On September 10th, Marengo Township Fire Department reports say a semi-truck jack knifed, and a man’s car slipped and rolled over several times in a construction zone on Westbound I-94, near Marshall. While the road was slippery from light rain, both drivers involved in the accident told investigators they blame the construction zone for the sliding. Driving through a construction zone can be dangerous with or without weather hazards though. Take extra care to pay attention and expect the unexpected. Drivers should always be watchful for speed limit reductions, narrowing lanes, changing traffic patterns, and highway workers.
- Reckless Driving
Michigan State Police (MSP) said a 56-year-old woman driver died on the scene of a rollover crash on eastbound I-96 in Lyon Township on Old Plank Road. Investigators say the woman was driving recklessly which caused her vehicle to roll after she lost control and was ejected, possibly from not wearing a seatbelt. A new report by personal finance website, WalletHub, reviewed 2018’s Strictest and Most Lenient States on Speeding and Reckless Driving and ranked Michigan 13th for most lenient of all U.S. states for risky driving.
- Speeding While Driving a Motorcycle
A 32-year-old man from Dowagiac died in a motorcycle crash off of M-51 and Pokagon Street in Cass County. Local police say he died at the scene from his injuries and that speeding around a well-known risky curve was a factor. The man lost control and hit a mailbox. Still on the bike, he went through brush and trees while wearing his helmet.
- Driving Impaired by Alcohol of Drugs
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office reported on Saturday, September 15th, a bicyclist died after being struck by a vehicle operated by a drunk driver. A 23-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the crash after she fled the scene and since been charged with one count of operating while intoxicated causing death, and another count of leaving the scene of a fatal crash. Tests determined the woman had a blood-alcohol content more than three-times the legal limit when she was arrested. A review of state crash data from 2011 through 2015 by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that those who choose to drive drunk often have poor decision-making skills and slower reaction time and are more likely to drive drugged as well.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has become a crisis on all roadways and driver inattention is a leading cause of all highway crashes such as the incident along Derenzy Road near Intermediate Lake Drive in Bellaire in early September. A truck pulling a boat and trailer crashed and the driver admitted to being “distracted” while driving. Both the driver and passenger required emergency extrication from the vehicle and medical attention by airlift to the closest trauma center. Don’t text or talk on the phone while driving and avoid taking your hands off the wheel for any reason.
In 2017, NHTSA findings showed 14 percent of fatal crashes involved drivers not wearing seat belts, 27 percent of fatal crashes involved drunk drivers, and 27 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding.
Michigan drivers can do better.
An Attorney Can Help
Whether we agree with it or not, most of us are familiar with Michigan’s “no-fault” law that says all parties in a motor vehicle crash are eligible for benefits from their insurance companies, regardless of who caused the accident. (Motorcyclists are an exception to the law and are not covered unless a motor vehicle like a car or truck is involved.) However, it remains important for all drivers to recognize that the “no-fault” law doesn’t protect you from being found guilty of causing an accident. Also, besides getting no-fault benefits, a person injured in a Michigan car accident or truck accident can obtain compensation for their pain and suffering. This is called a third-party claim. A driver can only bring a third-party claim if the other driver was at least 50 percent at-fault for causing the accident and the injured person sustained what’s called a “threshold” injury. Proving a threshold injury is not easy and usually requires the professional help of an attorney. The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg has been helping car accident victims for over 40 years obtain the no-fault benefits and pain and suffering compensation they deserve.
Contact Us Now About Your Michigan Accident Injury
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash and believe it was caused by the poor driving decision or error of another operator, the motor vehicle and motorcycle accident injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg are ready to support your claim. Not only can a personal injury lawsuit help ease financial burdens, it can help create awareness to prevent driver errors that pose serious risks to road users every single day.
Please call and speak to our car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form.
Source: Michigan State Police Traffic Crash System