Key Points of This Article:
- Grand Rapids Police say a fatal crash involving a 71-year-old man was due to a medical emergency, which caused the elderly driver to cross the centerline.
- Head-on crashes can occur because the driver is confused, distracted, fatigued, battling a medical condition, intoxicated, or made a bad decision to speed or pass at the wrong time.
- Although it may be challenging to address a driver with a health condition, family and friends can help reduce the likelihood of that person causing a fatal crash by knowing what conditions are most dangerous.
- Motor vehicle accidents can happen suddenly, but Michiganders may be able to avoid the severity of a head-on crash by staying alert and acting quickly when necessary.
Head-On Crash in Grand Rapids Reminds Michigan Drivers to Stay Alert and Help Loved Ones Recognize Health Conditions
On February 2nd, the Grand Rapids Police Department reported to local news outlets that a 71-year-old man was driving northbound on Division when he experienced a medical emergency. His condition is believed to have caused him to cross the centerline, hitting another car head-on. Police say emergency medical treatment was performed on the scene, but unfortunately, the man was pronounced dead shortly after. At this time, the status of others involved and their injuries are unknown. Everyone at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C.
are saddened to hear this news.
It’s unknown if this accident could have been prevented due to the man’s medical emergency and condition. Still, the unfortunate situation can strongly serve as a reminder to Michigan drivers of these two safe driving conditions.
- Many health issues, as well as age, can affect a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
- Drivers need to stay alert and always to be prepared for the unexpected.
Head-on collisions in Michigan are horrifying events for all parties involved and nearly always end with terrible outcomes. For those who survive, many will live with severe personal injuries, resulting in an enormous amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Monitoring Health Conditions and Age-Related Limitations Is A Safe Driver Practice
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says older drivers have relatively higher incidences of crashes precipitated by drivers’ medical emergencies when compared to young and middle-aged drivers. Even small changes in someone’s general well-being can create medical emergencies on the road that lessen a driver’s response time, cause a lack of control over a vehicle, create distractions, and the ability to judge situations and make good driver choices.
Health conditions that cause impairment of an individual’s driving judgment or reaction time or affects an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle or contributes to a violent or aggressive action also apply to the Michigan Department of State’s standards for safe driving. These are some of the more common long-term health conditions and medical emergencies that are known to impact drivers and road safety.
- impaired vision
- physical limitations
- blackouts, migraines and neurological conditions
- issues with memory such as dementia
- multiple sclerosis
- heart disease
- stroke or TIA
- epilepsy and seizures
- sleep disorders
- alcoholism and drug addiction such as opioid painkillers
Self-awareness is the key to safe driving at any age, but may be slower to recognize for those with medical conditions. Many times, drivers who experience a medical emergency are not fully aware of the risk they carry and may need to depend on family members and physicians to decide about driving limits.
Staying Alert Is the Easiest Life-Saving Precaution Drivers Can Make
While not every head-on accident is preventable, but in the case of encountering one when you are on the road, review these emergency steps for the best chances of minimizing your injuries and risk of a fatal outcome:
- The first, most basic precaution to avoid being involved in a head-on collision is to pay attention and never drive impaired or distracted. If you are fully aware of your surroundings, you may be able to see a driver swerving towards you, crossing the center line and driving in your direction.
- In a head-on emergency, get out of the way and flash your lights to alert the driver headed towards you. The flashing warning may connect with them and cause the vehicle to slow down, pull over, and seek help.
- Be prepared to drive into the shoulder of the road (or even off the road when safe) when a driver is traveling too close to your direction. Remember that most road shoulders in Michigan are gravel, so you will want to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and move with caution.
- Choose to drive in a less-trafficked lane. Drive in the right lane in multi-lane traffic areas, and if you are in the left lane, drive as close to the right when safe.
- Braking will only delay the oncoming driver from hitting you and could cause even more harsh injuries. Avoid panic or hitting the brakes too soon.
If you see a driver approaching head-on, immediately reduce your speed and pull off the roadway. When safe, don’t delay. Dial 911 and report the driver or any accidents they have caused. Know your location and offer the dispatcher any information about the direction the driver is headed.
Finding a Michigan head-on collision lawyer to help you navigate an accident injury claim is vital. These cases demand special attention because of the severity of the injuries, the emotional trauma, and the insurance challenges that will inevitably arise. For individuals who have lost a loved one through a wrong-way collision or a head-on crash, a strong foundation may be present for filing a wrongful death suit. An experienced attorney can help in gathering evidence and preparing the claim.
Have You Been Injured in a Head-On Accident in Michigan?
The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. has helped families all over Michigan obtain millions in injury and wrongful death benefits. Our head-on accident attorneys are standing by ready to assist you during this sensitive time. Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733), so we can answer your questions. The call is free, the consultation is free, and we don’t charge anything until we win your case.