Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Michigan Auto Accident Blog

Cars may be less safe for back seat passengers

Michigan passengers who ride in the back seat of cars may not be as safe as those who ride in the front. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more safety technology needs to be added to back seats as auto manufacturers have added it to front seats.

The issue is not that back seats have become more unsafe but that front seats have grown safer. Front seat safety improvements include adjustments to seat belts that are not standard for back seats. In addition to seat belt reminders, there are force limiters. These allow some expansion in the seat belt so that a person is less likely to get chest injuries from a sudden stop. There are also seat belts designed to work with air bags in the front seat.

Small business owners and property division in divorce

When people in Michigan decide to divorce, the financial impact can be long-lasting and severe. However, business owners may have unique concerns about their particular situation. A small family business may be the largest asset owned by a couple, and it may also provide the bulk of the family income. Some entrepreneurs may worry that their business will fall apart under the weight of a divorce settlement while others may be concerned that they will remain yoked against their will in a partnership with their former spouse.

A successful closely held business is likely to play a major role in the property division process, especially if it also provides a substantial amount of family income. Because Michigan is an equitable distribution state, a company will not automatically be divided in half, even if it was founded after the marriage began. However, in almost all cases, business owners should prepare for some level of division of the business' value. This does not necessarily mean dividing shares in the company or selling off the company to divide the proceeds. People can negotiate an agreement that provides an alternative solution.

Consumer Reports says Tesla Autopilot changes unsafe

Michigan readers may be concerned to learn that Tesla's latest Autopilot software update makes the technology even more dangerous according to a review by Consumer Reports magazine. Autopilot has already been involved in at least three deadly car accidents.

Tesla introduced the Navigate on Autopilot feature in 2018 and updated the software in April. For its review, Consumer Reports tested the technology and found that it did not perform as well as human drivers. The organization also found that the system created dangerous new situations. For example, Autopilot has an optional feature that lets the car decide when to change lanes on the highway without input from the driver. Unfortunately, instead of safely executing this maneuver, the car has a disturbing tendency to cut other vehicles off, particularly vehicles that are approaching from behind at a higher rate of speed. It also passed vehicles in illegal ways. In order to maintain safe control of the car, many drivers have chosen to disable the system.

Things to never say to an insurance adjuster

Several people in Washtenaw County are lucky to survive a serious traffic collision. The incident that took place on May 15 occurred on US-23 when a semitruck driver fell asleep at the wheel, colliding with the next lane of traffic and sending two people to the hospital. 

Suffering an injury as a result of a car accident requires two immediate actions. You need to see a doctor for a medical exam right away and get in touch with your auto insurance provider to inform an agent of the collision. While you are on this phone call, you need to be mindful of what you say. The wrong thing could seriously upend your claim. 

Ignition interlock bill named after Michigan car accident victims

Repeat drunk driving offenders in Michigan are required by state law to have ignition interlock devices fitted to their automobiles. The devices require that drivers take a breath test before they start their vehicles and prevent operation when alcohol is detected. Laws similar to Michigan's are on the books in almost 30 states, but a bill that was submitted on January 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives would go even further.

If it is passed, the Abbas Stop Drunk Driving Act will task the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with drafting a regulation to make ignition interlock devices mandatory equipment on every passenger vehicle that is sold in the US. The bill is named after a Michigan family that lost five members when a drunk truck driver crossed the center line and hit the car in which they were traveling head-on.

What to know about houses and divorce

Deciding what to do with the family home is one of the biggest issues facing most people who get divorced. However, there are questions that Michigan homeowners and others should ask before taking a home in a divorce. The first thing that a person needs to determine is how much equity is in the home. Equity is the amount the home is worth after subtracting a mortgage balance or any other loans associated with the property.

If an individual obtains a home after a divorce, he or she may owe the other spouse a portion of the equity. How the equity is split may depend on state law or the terms of any agreement reached before, during or after the marriage ends. In some cases, it will be necessary to refinance the mortgage so that only the current owner's name is on the loan. This can be done at any time assuming that the new owner qualifies for a loan.

Dangers teens may face on the road

High school graduations mean that there will be millions of teenagers on the road in Michigan and throughout the country. It also means that teens may be drinking alcohol or using drugs while celebrating the end of their high school careers. Therefore, it is important for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of drunk or impaired driving. Teens should also be taught about the potential dangers of driving while distracted or drowsy.

Parents should have this conversation whether or not their children use drugs, drink alcohol or engage in risky behavior behind the wheel. This is because they could be in danger of getting hurt if they are in a vehicle with someone who is drunk or too tired to drive safely. A son or daughter may also unwittingly be a distraction to the person who is driving the vehicle that he or she is riding in.

Rain increases the risk of fatal crashes

Many Michigan motorists drive too fast when it is raining outside. While people might think that driving at or above the speed limit in rain is okay, a recent study found that even light rain greatly increases the chance of fatal accidents.

The study was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Overall, the researchers found that rain, snow, or ice on the roads increased the risk of fatal accidents by 34%. The study was conducted by a data analyst with the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies. The researcher reviewed data from 125,012 fatal crashes in the U.S. from 2006 to 2011.

How long does a personal injury case take?

Personal injury cases range in complexity. A standard injury that occurred as a result of a fender bender should be relatively simple to figure out. However, a litany of factors can drag out the process. For example, recently in Michigan, a group of people assaulted a woman after she was in a car accident. 

Your attorney will be able to tell you all you need to know about your case. Your lawyer will also be honest about how long you can expect the process to take. It may take longer than you anticipated, but it may be necessary for you to get the damages you deserve. 

Root Insurance study: distracted driving is a nationwide issue

Root Insurance, a company that provides insurance discounts to drivers who avoid phone use behind the wheel, has recently unveiled the results of its second annual distracted driving study. What Michigan residents should know is that ignorance is not the reason for high distracted driving rates: Many engage in it while knowing it is wrong.

For example, 47% of respondents said that distracted driving is a top concern for them when on the road, and 99% placed phone use among the top three distractions. Yet respondents admitted to using their phones for an average of 13 minutes each day behind the wheel. In its 2019 Focused Driving Report, Root Insurance found that Generation Z drivers, who are 18 to 24 years old, can be especially distracted, using their phones about 20 times per 100 miles traveled.

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