- As the weather warms up and the spring and summer months quickly fill with popular destination driven activities, road trip season comes alive in Michigan.
- Spring driving accidents, which can be triggered by tourism-related road users, often trigger serious injuries and sometimes fatal outcomes for drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians.
- It’s important to realize that no one should have to pay the price for accident injuries caused by another driver. And sometimes, only a lawyer can help gather the facts needed to prove negligent operators accountable.
- Avoid being involved in an accident by driving slower, remaining alert and extra cautious, and know the steps to take if involved in a crash during your next trip.
What You Need to Know About Spring Road Trip Accidents
With the snow melting and spring weather arriving, Michigan will naturally be seeing an increase in travelers passing throughout on weekend road trips and family outings. And with all of that excitement, will also come a rise in distracted and impaired drivers, vehicles that were not maintained over the winter, motorcycles, drivers haphazardly towing extra loads like campers and boats, clustered and bottleneck traffic zones, road construction, and new weather-related hazards such as wet roads.
With the help of Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), review this list to prepare yourself and help avoid causing – or being involved in – a motor vehicle accident this spring.
- Slow down on wet roads. Rain is a common spring driving hazard. Tires can hydroplane on a layer of water, losing contact with the road and causing the vehicle to skid.
- Replace worn tires. Worn out treads provide less traction and greater chance to slide. Likewise, make sure tires are inflated properly according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
- Check and replace worn wiper blades. Poorly maintained windshield wipers can hamper visibility in poor weather.
- Check all fluids and brakes. Top off the brake fluid, the transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid. Replace brake pads if needed.
- Test all vehicle lighting. Spring rain also can dampen visibility, so it is important to check all vehicle lighting including headlights, taillights, back-up lights, turn signals, parking lights and break lights. These lights are important not only because they help you to see, but also serve as a way to help you communicate clearly with other motorists.
- Buckle up. Always wear a safety belt when in a vehicle, and be sure children are properly buckled in the appropriate seats as well.
- Give road users the room they need. This includes other drivers of cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and semi-trucks.
- Follow the law. Use your blinker, follow the speed limit and never driver while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
These are all great reminders for drivers to again become familiar with before heading out on a springtime road trip so everyone can arrive to their destination accident and injury free.
If You Are in a Michigan Automobile Accident, Follow These 6 Steps
Any time you are in an accident, the first thing you should do is take a deep breath and stay calm. Your actions immediately following an accident are important to ensure you get quick and proper medical treatment if needed and can notice any injury. Additionally, it is important for you to speak clearly so law enforcement can get the correct information as to how the car accident occurred.
Following a car accident, it is important to follow these six steps:
- Check for injuries and seek medical attention immediately if needed.
- Make sure you get out of harm’s way to avoid a secondary accident (move cars out of traffic if possible, use hazard lights, cones, flares and/or warning triangles if available).
- Call the police.
- Gather information that might be needed later, including taking notes, pictures and video of vehicle damage, injuries, or the scene itself.
- Call your insurance company and remember that Michigan is a “No-Fault” state.
- Call a motor vehicle accident attorney at 1-800-LEE-FREE for expert legal assistance.
While at the accident scene, make sure you give the police accurate information and try your best to recall all of the details leading up to the crash and after. Exchange phone numbers and insurance information with the other motorists involved in the accident. And also get the names of any witnesses as well as two forms of their contact information such as a phone number and email.
Popular Michigan Road Trip Destinations with Higher Accident Risks
Naturally, over the past two decades, the highest number of accidents in Michigan sit within popular travel and tourism hubs found in the heavily populated counties of Oakland, Kent, Macomb, Ottawa, and Washtenaw. Other well-traveled Michigan road trip destinations where accidents are known to occur during the warmer months include:
- Bay City
- Grand Rapids
- Traverse City
- Ann Arbor
- Big Rapids
- Battle Creek
- Petoskey Area
- Sault Ste. Marie
And beach towns such as Grand Haven, Holland, South Haven, St. Joseph, Muskegon, and Saugatuck and those within Michigan’s popular upper peninsula communities of Marquette, Menomonee, Ironwood, and Isle Royale will see a generous share of accidents as well, including motorcycle crashes.
The truth still is, negligent drivers can be found anywhere so whether your car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident happened during a trip to Rapid City or another great Michigan destination like Detroit, its likely to have caused the same types of headaches for you or your passengers. It’s important to realize if accident injuries were involved that no one should have to pay the price for the wrongdoing and downright poor choices of another driver. And sometimes, only a lawyer can help gather the evidence needed to prove a driver accountable.
We Can Help with Your Michigan Road Trip Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you or your passengers sustained an injury, we want to hear about it and help. Please call Lee Free and speak to our auto accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your case.
The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following a car accident depends upon what kind of case you’re going to file. If you’re filing a Michigan no-fault case against your own insurance company, you have up to one year from the time you incur the expenses to sue your insurance company. If you’re filing a case for pain and suffering, you have three years to do so.