Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Car accident fatalities and preparing for winter driving

By Michael Nichols

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2009 shows that an estimated 33,963 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.  This represents a decline of about 8.9% as compared to 37,261 fatalities in 2008.  This is the lowest on record since 1954 according to the NHTSA.  If you live in Michigan during the winter months, motor vehicle accidents caused by icy and snowy conditions will unfortunately always be a part of our statistics.  With the snow and ice covered roads, motor vehicle accidents are sometimes unavoidable.  Of course, the best advice for driving in such conditions is not to drive at all.  But if you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle icy, slushy and/or snowy road conditions.  As everyone here in Michigan knows, our roads and especially the side roads are covered with ice.  According to the MSP, here is a little reminder of what you should do if you find your vehicle sliding on ice or snow:

  1. Don’t panic [although it’s hard not to].
  2. Take your foot off the gas pedal.
  3. Do NOT step on the brake.
  4. Steer your vehicle in the direction that you want the front wheels to go.  In other words, if your back wheels are sliding to the left, steer left.  If they are sliding to the right, steer right.
  5. If you need to use the brakes, lightly pump the brake pedal, unless your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes.  If your car has anti-lock brakes, use a firm, steady pressure without pumping.

And for all of us who think we are untouchable because we drive a 4-wheel drive SUV, remember that a 4-wheel drive SUV does not stop any faster on icy and snowy roads.  Also, as everyone should know by now, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving.  If you are caught, it can mean a civil infraction.  So, stay alert and stay off your cell phone until you are no longer driving.

If you find yourself or a loved one who has been seriously injured in a Michigan auto accident, protect your rights or your loved one’s rights by contacting an experienced Michigan car accident attorney.  Wendy Schiller-Nichols focuses her practice on serious Michigan auto accidents.  Ms. Schiller-Nichols has experience in optimizing results with insurance companies during the difficult times after an automobile accident and protecting victim’s rights.  If you have any questions, you can contact Ms. Schiller-Nichols at 517-432-9000.

Disclaimer: The material in this article has been prepared by the Nichols Law Firm, PLLC for information purposes only and is general information designed to give the reader a basic understanding of the area covered.  It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.