Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

April 2013 Archives

Washtenaw County Auto Crashes Increase in 2012

A Michigan State Police report released on March 18, 2013 indicates that auto accidents in Washtenaw County went up by about 3 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year. There were 10,007 auto accidents in 2012 compared to 9,715 in 2011. Twenty-three persons died in 22 crashes in the county in 2012. Despite there being an increase in the total number of crashes, there was actually a decrease in auto accident deaths from the previous year. There were 35 people in Washtenaw County who lost their lives in 2011 compared to the 23 persons who died in 2012. The total number of traffic fatalities in the entire state increased by 5 percent in 2012 compared with 2011. Interestingly, the Michigan State Police report noted that teen fatalities in auto accidents in the state decreased by 14 percent, from 99 in 2011 to 85 in 2012. Additionally, cell-phone involved accidents decreased 9 percent, from 821 in 2011 to 748 in 2012; however, cell-phone-involved fatal crashes increased from 6 in 2011 to 8 in 2012. With the repeal of Michigan's helmet law, it is not surprising that the number of motorcycle deaths increased by 18 percent across the state in 2012. Pedestrians killed by automobiles decreased 5 percent, from 140 in 2011 to 133 in 2012. 

Insurance, Medical, Law-Enforcement and Non-Profit Groups Urge Lawmakers to Repeal the Law that Allows Michigan Motorcyclist to Ride Without a Helmet

About a year ago, April 2012, Governor Snyder signed the law allowing motorcycle drivers to choose to ride without a helmet in Michigan if certain insurance, training, and age requirements were met. Results of a recently released study by the University of Michigan reveal that the fatality rate for helmet-less riders in crashes was nearly three times higher than for those wearing helmets. Further, the study concluded that there would have been 26 fewer deaths and 49 fewer serious injuries in Michigan last year had the helmet requirement still been in place. A total of fifty-five helmet-less riders died in 2012 and 194 were seriously injured. A coalition including Michigan Health & Hospital Association, the Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan Nurses Association, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Michigan Sheriff's Association, AAA Michigan, Allstate, Prudential, State Farm, Nationwide Insurance, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, and other non-profit advocacy groups is requesting that state legislators and the Governor restore Michigan's mandatory motorcycle helmet law in order tosave livesand avoid serious injuries that can be prevented. 

What to Do If You Are First At the Scene of an Automobile Crash

Retired Ann Arbor Police Detective Rich Kinsey recently wrote an article with steps to follow if you are first at the scene of a serious automobile accident. http://www.annarbor.com/news/first-on-the-scene-of-a-serious-crash/ Officer Rich Kinsey recommends the following:(1). Keep yourself safe and park your car well off the roadway with emergency flashes on (far enough that if there is an explosion your car won't be involved);(2). Stay in your car and gather yourself so that your judgment is not clouded by your natural Adrenaline rush;(3). Call 911 and be prepared to give location and description of the accident scene you can see;(4). Before getting out of your car look for secondary threats such as oncoming traffic, traffic from behind, and downed electrical wires. Check your mirrors before opening your car doors;(5). As you approach the crash look for things like fire or ruptured fuel tanks;(6). Look for injured victims and know your own first-aid capabilities and limitations;(7). Speak to injured victims in the calmest, lowest, slowest voice possible telling them to not move and that "help is on the way." Calm the victim by asking the victim questions like "is anyone else in the vehicle." Or ask them their name, age, and other general information about themselves that may be helpful to emergency personnel. (8). Be on the look-out for the walking wounded, drunks, and drugged people that may wander out into traffic. Get them to sit down and stay still until emergency responders arrive on the scene;(9). Call 911 back and update the dispatcher on what you have found at the scene;(10). When the police arrive give them your name and contact information and leave the scene when they tell you may leave;(11). Take care of yourself realizing that you may have trouble sleeping, eating or thinking about the incident. Talk to a crisis counselor if you continue to experience post-accident issues. 

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