Many car crashes throughout the state are due to a driver’s careless, reckless, or malicious behavior. For example, many wintertime wrecks occur because a motorist is traveling too fast for the roadway conditions. Similarly, many holiday and summer accidents are the result of drunk or distracted driving.
If you or a loved was injured in an accident, a skilled accident lawyer who is familiar with the common causes for Michigan car crashes may be able to help. No matter the circumstances of an accident, a dedicated and experienced attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could assess the facts, explain your rights, and work to build a claim for compensation on your behalf.
Reasons for Auto Wrecks in Michigan
While some car accidents are the result of another’s negligence, others are due to a vehicle malfunction or a government agency’s neglect to properly maintain a road. Additional reasons include, but are not limited to:
- Drivers who are impaired by drugs
- Inexperienced drivers
- Neglecting to yield
- Vehicle malfunctions or defects—such as brake failure and seatbelt malfunctions
- Collisions with deer
- Changing lanes suddenly
- Improper turns
- Driving the wrong way
- Stalled cars
- Dangerous weather conditions
Another common cause of crashes in Michigan involve distracted drivers. There are many kinds of distracting—and, therefore, dangerous—activities drivers can engage in while behind the wheel. These include eating, drinking, talking to passengers, applying makeup, reading, using a navigational system, watching a video, adjusting the radio, making a phone call, or texting.
For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of injury severity from speeding car crashes in Michigan in 2017. Approximately 30% of accidents end in either a minor or serious injury.
- Possible Injuries: 57.44%
- Suspected Minor Injuries: 29.97%
- Suspected Serious Injuries: 10.63%
- Fatal: 1.96%
Road Rage Accidents
Unfortunately, road rage is a common cause for car accidents on Michigan roads. When people get angry behind the wheel, they are usually more likely to speed, make aggressive maneuvers, tailgate, or even try to run another driver off the road.
Under Michigan Vehicle Code §257.626, this type of angry and reckless driving might result in both a misdemeanor charge, as well as a civil claim if another driver is injured as a result. However, even if a furious driver is not convicted for their road rage, they might still be held civilly liable for a motorist’s injuries if their rage and reckless behavior caused a crash.
Fatigued Drivers in Michigan Crashes
Similar to the effects of alcohol while driving, fatigue causes reduced reaction time, decreases awareness, and impairs a driver’s judgment. Therefore, accidents involving exhausted drivers are not uncommon. While any driver without sufficient sleep can be a danger to themselves and others, there are common at-risk groups for exhausted driving conditions, including:
- Young individuals—particularly males under the age of 26
- Night shift workers
- People working long hours
- Commercial drivers
- Drivers with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders
Due to the fact that drowsy driving is a common cause of fatal car accidents in Michigan, several states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving under these conditions.
However, while the state does not have this law enforced, a victim of a tired motorist’s negligent actions has legal rights to pursue an injury claim for compensation. A well-versed attorney could help a claimant gather the facts surrounding a crash and work to determine driver fault.
Tips for Tired Drivers
Of course, the best way to prevent these kinds of car crashes is to not drive when tired or, once fatigue is felt, to pull over. However, other tips for a driver who becomes tired include:
- If traveling for a long period of time or several miles, schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
- Avoid foods or medications that can cause drowsiness
- Do not start driving after eating a heavy meal
- Take caffeine to stay awake—however, it is important that drivers do not rely solely on a caffeinated product to keep them from feeling drowsy or sleep
Collisions From Changing Lanes
The sudden or improper changing of lanes is another common cause for accidents in Michigan. Often, these wrecks occur on the highway and at high speeds. Furthermore, because of their sudden nature, the innocent driver usually has little or no time to take any preventative or countermeasure before being struck.
These changing lane collisions are addressed in Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §257.648—which states that a driver who fails to see if a lane change can be made safely is in violation of the law—and Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §257.648, which covers how a signal of intention must be given before turning from a direct line. In addition to these specific statutes on changing lanes, claims of general negligence might also be used to pursue compensation from an at-fault driver for improperly changing lanes.
Accidents Involving Deer
Frequently, Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. receives calls about people being involved in an accident with a deer. Due to their unpredictable nature, deer will occasionally jump into the road, or be standing in the middle of traffic when someone drives around a corner.
Because there is no other motor vehicle involved, many victims mistakenly believe that they are not entitled to no-fault insurance benefits. However, crashes involving deer are eligible for a claim. Through this, a driver injured in a collision with a deer might be able to recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, required household services, and other associated costs.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss Common Causes for Michigan Car Wrecks
The experienced attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. are familiar with the multitude of common causes for Michigan car crashes and frequently represent clients injured in auto accidents due to another driver’s negligence. These include sudden U-turns, stalled vehicles, speeding, rear-end collisions, and other reckless behavior.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident due to someone else’s careless or malicious behavior, call a Michigan accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
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