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Michigan Auto Accident Blog

Advice for driving when its raining outside

Michigan drivers could be at risk of hydroplaning when driving during wet conditions. Typically, the highest risk occurs during the first few minutes of a rain event as oil mixes with water. Those who find themselves to be hydroplaning should stay calm, resist the urge to hit the brake and steer into the slide. Steering into the slide means that the wheel should turn in the same direction as the back of the vehicle.

Drivers should continue to steer into the slide until the tires manage to gain traction again. Once that happens, an individual can choose to pull over to check for damage or to regain his or her composure. There are steps that drivers can take before going out in bad weather to make sure that they stay safe. For instance, it can be a good idea to have tires checked to ensure that they have proper tread depth.

Interactive, realistic elements could boost teens' driver ed

New research suggests that some Michigan teens could benefit from driver education classes that incorporate visits to intensive care units and morgues. The Texas Reality Education for Drivers program is one example of an education supplement that provides interactive, reality-based instruction for teens with poor driving records. A Baylor University study has shown that this program in particular increases risk awareness and can help improve driving behavior.

There were 21 teen participants in the study group. In a questionnaire, most admitted that they had texted while driving on a highway or interstate within the past 30 days. Some were referred to the program by a court or school administrator; others were enrolled by their parents.

$15.5 million in bonds to fund street safety in Ann Arbor

The Downtown Development Authority drew upon data from consultants and the Michigan Department of Transportation to create its new street safety improvement plan. On Aug. 9, a unanimous vote of the Ann Arbor City Council authorized $15.5 million in bonds to pay for landscaping and infrastructure improvements to streets, bike lanes, streetlights and crosswalks.

Council members cited the potential to reduce accidents, especially involving pedestrians and bicyclists, as their reason for approving the projects. Improvements will target multiple streets in the downtown area. To lower the chances of pedestrian accidents, some one-way streets will be converted to two-way traffic. Two-way protected bicycle lanes protected from motor vehicles are also planned for some streets. By making the area more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, city planners hope to improve retail activity.

How to tell if you got a spinal cord injury after a car accident

If you are in a car accident, your spinal cord may suffer damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle crashes account for roughly half of all spinal cord injuries every year. If you get into an auto crash, you may be wondering if you have a spinal cord injury.

It is important to understand the symptoms of spinal cord injuries and get an examination from a doctor. Here are some symptoms to watch out for and information on how a doctor may diagnose you.

Construction worker killed in hit-and-run accident

The dangers faced by highway repair and maintenance workers in Michigan and around the country were brought into sharp focus on the morning of Aug. 21 when a 26 year-old-woman was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver while installing guard rails on Interstate 90 in Pennsylvania. The 19-year-old man thought by police to have been behind the wheel is being held at the Erie County Prison without bond on charges of homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 4.

An eyewitness described the hit-and-run vehicle to police as a tan-colored Buick LeSabre, and a vehicle with a cracked windshield and front end damage was spotted on Route 89 near Wattsburg about 10 minutes after the accident. Pennsylvania State Police troopers took the man into custody after finding his car being towed out of a ditch in Amity Township. Troopers say that the man's breath smelled strongly of alcohol.

Asset division challenges for older divorcing couples

For older divorcing couples in Michigan, needs are often different. Children are usually grown, so child custody isn't usually necessary. Also, so-called "gray divorces" are often less contentious. Some long-term partners simply drift apart. And with divorce rates among adults 50 and over having doubled since the 1990s, there are more older couples dealing with the challenge of dividing assets and protecting retirement savings during a divorce.

Older separating couples are also more likely to have a high asset divorce. Situations like this often involve multiple (401)K plans, IRAs, and pensions. There are certain rules that have to be followed with how such assets are split, which can make it difficult to simply do a 50-50 division. With 401(K)s, some partners overlook the fact that contributions may have come from mutual income. If this is the case, the other party is entitled to part of those assets.

Dealing with complex assets during a divorce

Many high-earning Michigan residents store a substantial amount of assets in 401(k) plans and other forms of retirement funds that can generate additional funds through interest. If these individuals decide to divorce, however, their retirement accounts could be in jeopardy. The financial repercussions of divorce can linger long after the emotional or practical changes that accompany the end of a marriage have faded. Even for high earners, rebuilding retirement funds can take work and planning, especially given the annual cap on contributions to certain qualified plans.

During a divorce, retirement funds are often split in two. This division can come as a psychological blow, even for wealthy couples when both parties will leave the marriage with substantial assets. Unlike homes or joint banking accounts, most retirement funds are held in the name of one person and feel less like joint property. In addition, the process of dividing the funds must strictly follow mandatory rules in order to avoid costly and unnecessary taxes and other fees.

With no supervision, licensed teen drivers more prone to crashes

Teen drivers in Michigan may be at a higher risk for car crashes immediately after, rather than before, they obtain their licenses. This is according to a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University, the results of which were published in July. Researchers analyzed 90 teen and 131 parent participants in Virginia, observing both the drivers and the road via dashcams and using special software to record speed and braking times.

The study period lasted from the time the teens obtained their learner's permits to the end of year one as licensed drivers. Researchers found that the risk for a near-miss or collision with another vehicle went up eight times in the first three months as licensed drivers over the three months prior to that.

Evaluating the risks of driving before hitting the road

Driving or riding in a vehicle is an everyday reality for almost everyone in Michigan, but just because something is routine doesn't mean the risks shouldn't be considered. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of people die in motor vehicle accidents per year in the United States. These accidents are caused by a variety of risk factors, including distracted driving, drowsy driving and intoxicated driving.

Fortunately, there are some tips that can be used to mitigate the risks of driving. Drowsy driving is considered a certain type of distracted driving that's affected by internal factors, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Drivers need to recognize the signs of their own sleepiness and either find a way to stay alert or get off the road. Texting is also seen as a huge problem in terms of distracted driving, which explains why so many jurisdictions have outlawed using a phone while operating a vehicle.

3 tips for getting the best settlement in your divorce

There are many complex components to a divorce. Of course, there is the emotional aspect of accepting the changes in your life. There is also a practical aspect to planning for those changes. One of the biggest parts of a divorce, though, is the financial aspect—you need to be able to afford the impending changes. Negotiating a settlement in your divorce is the best way to ensure your financial stability and security.

How do you ensure that the settlement is a favorable one, though? Divorce can easily destabilize your finances, and you need to ensure that yours remain intact. Here are three top tips to ensure that you get the best settlement possible out of your divorce:

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