- Here’s to a Safe New Year Ahead: 24 Tips for 2024
Here’s to a Safe New Year Ahead: 24 Tips for 2024
As we look forward to the coming year, it’s a good time to examine some worthwhile ways to help our dedicated readers stay safe throughout 2024. Because, while we’re always ready, willing and able to represent clients who have suffered injuries at the hands of irresponsible drivers, landowners who fail to properly maintain their properties, companies that don’t provide safe working conditions, or insurers who fail to properly protect their policyholders, we’d much rather that no one had to experience such devastating events in their lives. So please take these “24 safety tips for 2024” to heart. We sincerely hope they’ll help you enjoy a safe and injury-free new year.
Six Ways to Stay Safe on Michigan Roads This Year
Don’t even think of touching your cell phone while you’re driving your car. Like most other states, Michigan has enacted a hands-free cell phone law for a reason – it helps prevent innocent people from being injured or killed by distracted drivers. Don’t forever remember 2024 as the year you hurt someone because you were texting a friend about the latest Lions score. Keep your cell phone safely out of reach whenever you’re in the car.
Obey the speed limit. The professional traffic engineers at MDOT and the Michigan State Police troopers who patrol our highways know their stuff. Speed limits for Michigan roads are put in place using a national standard called the “85th percentile rule” – meaning that they’re set based upon speeds commonly driven on a given road by 85 percent of the drivers. If you exceed those posted limits, you can receive costly traffic tickets, have points added to your driving record that can affect your auto insurance rates for years, and you might even find yourself blamed for a deadly accident if you were speeding when it happened Remember – arriving at work or getting to an appointment a few minutes late is far better than never arriving at all!
Watch the weather forecast and stay home if you can when the roads are going to be treacherous. You already know Michigan is considered America’s worst state for winter driving – and has been for years. Why tempt fate? A snowstorm in the forecast is a great excuse to ask the boss for an unscheduled “work-at-home” day! Take advantage of it – enjoy a cup of coffee and warm pajamas as you remain safely on the couch for the duration.
Don’t drive while intoxicated. Alcohol and other intoxicating substances should never be mixed with driving. The state’s penalties for driving under the influence are severe, and you could have to live with a lifetime of regret if you hurt or kill an innocent person while you’re behind the wheel. So please obey Michigan laws prohibiting drunk and intoxicated driving… and you’ll avoid being fined, jailed, or both! You’ll also feel better about yourself every time you get behind the wheel, knowing you’ve done your part to keep our highways sober and safer.
Wear a helmet whenever you’re on a motorcycle. Yes, you’re legally allowed to ride without head protection, but why take that chance? Research shows that while there might be a few less accidents when riders don’t wear helmets, those that do take place are far more likely to result in serious head and brain injuries. So, bite the bullet and put on your helmet. As long as we’re talking about motorcycles, you should also remember that “lane splitting” by motorcyclists is illegal (not to mention unsafe) in Michigan.
Watch out for animals during deer season and all year round. It pays to be on the lookout for deer at any time of year but watch out for signs in place indicating the likelihood of animals crossing roadways. Deer crossing signs are not installed at random – they’re placed in areas where animals are likely to be present based on research and careful observation by wildlife experts, along with real-world accident statistics. For instance, in Washtenaw County deer warning signs are placed in areas where five or more deer-related accidents have taken place over the past year.
Six Ways to Avoid Deadly Slip-and-Fall Incidents in 2024
Wear your glasses or contact lenses. If you can’t see where you’re walking, you’re far more likely to trip on obstacles, slip on icy surfaces, or step into unexpected depressions. Take our advice and watch where you’re walking. Sidewalks where tree roots have caused sections of concrete to rise above the surrounding blocks are especially dangerous, as are such commonplace hazards as potholes in parking lots and torn entrance mats or worn carpets at store entrances. Clearer vision can help you walk more confidently and more safely, so you’ll never find it necessary to call one of our slip-and-fall attorneys. (But if you do, know that we’re always here for you!)
Remember that black ice can be deceptive. You’re likely to encounter slippery surfaces in Michigan six months out of every year, and black ice resembling water – but far more treacherous – can fool even the most cautious pedestrians. Keep your eyes open and stay alert for slick walking surfaces anytime temperatures approach freezing – which can happen here from November all the way into April.
Take your time while walking to your destination. It might go without saying, but we’ll repeat the timeworn phrase “haste makes waste” here. It’s especially apropos if you take an untimely fall when needlessly rushing from one place to another. Plan your travel to give yourself plenty of time to arrive where you’re going without having to race. It’s more enjoyable, more relaxing – and definitely safer – to walk at a calm, measured pace wherever you’re heading!
Watch out for warning signs or cones in areas that have been recently mopped or where liquids have been spilled. Those orange and yellow markers are there for a reason. Take them seriously to sidestep slippery conditions and keep yourself on your feet … and out of the hospital! And be sure to stay alert in other places where moisture is likely to be present – such as below hand dryers in public restrooms, or near rain gutter downspouts or air conditioner drain lines outside where flowing water can freeze on contact with cold sidewalk surfaces.
Pick appropriate footwear. Flip-flops, sandals, or other flimsy foot gear might be comfortable, but they can also lead to unexpected injuries – particularly when conditions are wet or icy. Choose substance over style, and wear shoes that support your ankles to avoid sprains or more severe injuries that can happen if you slip and fall.
Hold onto railings or handrails – and request that landlords install them in potentially hazardous locations. Many slip-and-fall accidents take place on stairways or in bathrooms (especially in showers and tubs). If you’re living in a rental property, ask your landlord – in writing (via email, text, or standard postal letter) – to install safety grab bars in high-risk areas. Keep a copy of whatever you send. That way, if something unexpected happens and the property owner has failed to take appropriate steps to ensure your safety, you’ll have useful evidence proving his or her negligent behavior.
Six Ways to Effectively Deal with Insurance Companies
Pay your premium on time. While you might have a grace period ranging from 7-30 days to buy insurance after you’ve purchased a new (or used) car, there is no mandatory requirement for your insurance company to cover you if you’re late paying for your policy premiums. If you’re not on time making your payment and get into an accident, you’ll most likely be out of luck when attempting to place a claim.
Be honest when purchasing car insurance. If you commute to work five days a week, 20 miles each way, let your agent know. On the other hand, if you use a car only on weekends for pleasure driving, be sure your agent is aware of that, too. Car insurance premiums are based upon many factors like your driving record and the length of your commute, not to mention the type of vehicle you drive; being honest when you apply for coverage is the best way to be sure you’ll be properly protected in the event of an accident where you’ll need to depend upon your insurance benefits for financial protection. If you make untrue statements when you apply for coverage, you run the risk of being accused of insurance fraud and losing your policy’s benefits just when you need them most.
Choose unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. We can’t say this enough. Without adequate benefits to cover medical bills and rehabilitation costs following a serious accident, you’re putting yourself and your family at serious financial risk. Yes, car insurance policies with unlimited PIP benefits can cost a bit more. But you’ll be eternally grateful you have them in place if you’re ever involved in an accident where you’ve been seriously hurt and need extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
Be careful what you post on social media. If you’ve been injured in an accident, publishing photos of yourself subsequently skiing or playing pickleball is probably not the best way to represent the extent of your injuries. Any insurance company is likely to check your social media postings if you’ve made a large claim. So be smart and careful about how you present yourself online. Protect your privacy on social media sites … and you’ll also be protecting yourself from the possibility of losing a personal injury lawsuit by revealing too much about your physical condition!
Be especially careful what you say to insurance adjusters, other insurance company employees, or the attorneys representing them. We always advise our clients to be honest in answering questions, but not to say too much. If a “yes” or “no” response adequately addresses an inquiry, that’s all you need to offer. If you can’t remember the answer to a question, don’t speculate or attempt to fabricate a response. And, while it’s always tempting to reply that you’re “doing fine” if you’re asked how you’re feeling following an accident (after all, that’s how we’ve all been trained to respond to such types of friendly questions!), you’re better off being honest and being brief in whatever you say. Don’t risk sinking your personal injury lawsuit by being too open about your condition to outsiders who might have a hidden agenda.
File a complaint if you think you’ve been treated unfairly. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has a dedicated staff trained to deal with problems you might encounter with your insurance company. Their online complaint form is a handy way to document in writing any issues you’ve experienced for further review by independent authorities. Of course, you can also depend on us to help, and you won’t pay one red cent whenever you call to have your case evaluated by a dedicated Mike Morse Law Firm personal injury attorney.
Six Ways to Find the Best Personal Injury Law Firm to Meet Your Needs
Forget just six! Actually, there are several thousand ways for you to start your search for the best possible legal representation if you’ve been injured anywhere in Michigan. Start by checking the Google reviews of Mike Morse Law Firm, and you’ll be able to read innumerable accounts of how we’ve helped our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Beyond that, there are billions more reasons to choose a Mike Morse Law Firm attorney – starting with the more than $1.5 billion we’ve won for our clients, money that has helped them to not only pay medical and rehabilitation expenses related to their injuries, but also to allow them to live their very best lives despite the harm they’ve suffered.
We’ll close this article with one final piece of advice for the coming year: Put our toll-free number in your smart phone’s contact list right now. It’s 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946). That way, you’ll be ready to get in touch with us instantly if you’re ever faced with an injury resulting from the irresponsible actions of another driver, a negligent property owner, an uncaring employer, an incompetent doctor, a disloyal insurance company, or just about anyone who causes you harm
Content checked by Mike Morse, personal injury attorney with Mike Morse Injury Law Firm. Mike Morse is the founder of Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan. Since being founded in 1995, Mike Morse Law Firm has grown to 150 employees, served 25,000 clients, and collected more than $1 billion for victims of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents. The main office is in Southfield, MI but you can also find us in Detroit, Sterling Heights and many other locations.