Detroit Traffic Accidents & the Marijuana Threat

26
Feb 2014
By: Goodman Acker Law

The fight over medical marijuana in Michigan reached the state Supreme Court recently, with the court ruling that local areas could not ban medical marijuana.  The decision ensures that the statewide legalization of medical cannabis will stand for all residents.  Legalization for medical purposes was approved by 63 percent of voters in a ballot referendum, and the relaxed attitude toward cannabis use is in line with decriminalization efforts nationwide.

While medical marijuana may have health benefits, there are risks associated with the increasing acceptance of cannabis use.  In the past decade, car accident fatalities involving drivers on marijuana have tripled, according to researchers from Columbia.  If the trend continues, drugged driving will overtake drunk driving to become the most common cause of collisions caused by impaired motorists.

The legalization of marijuana for either recreational or medicinal purposes does not relax the laws related to impaired driving. Motorists are still prohibited from driving while on drugs that impair their abilities.  Victims of drugged driving crashes may pursue a claim for damages with the help of a car accident attorney in Detroit. Contact Goodman Acker, PC to speak with an attorney today.

Drugged Driving Crashes Increase Dramatically

Researchers reviewed motor vehicle collision data from 1999 to 2010 in states that test for drugs after driving deaths. More than 23,500 toxicology reports were reviewed involving drivers who died within one hour of a motor vehicle accident.

The data showed that drunk driving deaths have neither increased nor decreased very much over the past decade. The rate of fatal crashes involving drunk drivers has remained relatively steady at approximately 40 percent.  Drugs, on the other hand, increasingly played a role in causing deadly collisions.  In 1999, just 16 percent of deadly collisions involved drugged drivers. By 2010, more than 28 percent of traffic deaths happened in crashes with drugged drivers.

This dramatic increase can be almost entirely explained by looking at the statistics on drivers testing positive for cannabis. In 1999, only four percent of drivers had marijuana in their system after a fatal collision. By 2010, 12 percent of motorists in deadly crashes tested positive for marijuana. This means that one out of every nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana today.

Marijuana combined with alcohol is especially dangerous, because a driver under the influence of both alcohol and cannabis is 24 times more likely to become involved in an accident than a sober person. A driver who has consumed alcohol above the legal limit but no drugs has a 13 times greater risk of a crash as compared with someone sober.

The increase in marijuana-related accidents may be caused, in part, by the fact that there is less stigma associated with driving high rather than driving drunk.  States that have legalized marijuana are having a difficult time determining exactly how to treat drugged driving since there is no test like a breathalyzer to tell if someone is high at the time of the collision.  Marijuana use has also been shown to have increased equally among all age groups and both sexes, which suggests that there is widespread adoption of the drug and simply more motorists on the road who are high.   Drivers who are stoned endanger themselves and others, and should be held responsible for collisions.

A car accident attorney in Detroit can help after a collision.  Call Goodman Acker, PC at 1-866-DONT-LOSE or visit www.goodmanacker.com to schedule your free consultation.

Fall Injuries in Detroit a Growing Cause for Concern

23
Jan 2014
By: Goodman Acker Law

Falls have long been a cause of injury and trauma-related death, especially for senior citizens. In fact, as the CDC reports, an average of 1,800 seniors who live in nursing homes die every year because they suffer fall injuries. Falls are also a major risk for workers as is shown by the data from the NFSI. Falls account for a total of 16 percent of all work-injury claims and 26 percent of total costs associated with workers’ compensation benefits. There is also a risk of fall in public places such as hotels, stores and restaurants, and Consolidated Floor Safety lists fall injuries as a leading cause of harm that occurs to visitors in hotels, stores and restaurants.  

Our Detroit slip and fall accident lawyers note that recent data indicates falls are a growing problem. Because of both the aging population and the fact that cars have gotten a lot safer, falls are on schedule to become the leading cause of trauma-related deaths in the United States. Motor vehicle accidents have long been the top cause of death due to trauma, but safety efforts have been effective at reducing traffic deaths. Now, efforts need to be made to also reduce the risk of fall injuries, especially as people get older and become both more likely to suffer a fall and more likely to be serious injured when they do.

Fall Injuries are Becoming a Major Risk

A recent study published by Pain Medicine News sounded the alarm on the increasing dangers of fall injuries. There has been a 46 percent increase in the rate of deaths due to falls over an eight year period. This has occurred as the population as a whole began to age, and is likely to only get worse as baby boomers get older.  Seniors often suffer a broken hip and other very serious injuries when they experience a fall, and medical professionals are not as equipped to deal with injuries to frail and senior patients as they are to deal with other kinds of trauma like car accident injuries.

The increase in fall injury deaths occurred from 2002 to 2010. In 2002, falls were responsible for six deaths out of every 100,000 people.  In this same year, car accident trauma caused 16 deaths for every 100,000 people. By 2010, however, falls were causing nine deaths for every 100,000 people while the number of deaths caused by auto accidents had declined to 12 deaths for every 100,000 individuals.

This trend is expected to continue and it is important for nursing homes, employers and those who operate hotels, stores and restaurants to take steps to try to make their facilities safer. The steps that will need to be taken vary depending upon the top cause of fall injuries in a particular area, but some of the different possible ways to reduce the risk of fall injuries include:

  • Following all OSHA requirements for employers.
  • Regularly inspecting the premises for signs of hazardous such as broken stair railings or cracked tiles for store owners, hotel operators and restaurant managers.
  • Properly training staff on fall protection methods and ensuring that the nursing home is free from hazardous conditions that could contribute to a fall.

These are just some of the key steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of serious fall injuries. If fall injuries do occur, it is advisable for victims to speak with an attorney.

Contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker in Detroit for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Detroit Traffic Accidents & Risk of Senior Drivers

19
Dec 2013
By: Goodman Acker Law

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced the publication of Older Driver Highway Safety Program Guidelines. The publication is the first of its kind and it is targeted towards helping states deal with an aging driving population.

Senior drivers can be risky on the roads and, other than teenagers, older motorists aged 65 and up are at the greatest danger of getting into accidents. This isn’t because seniors aren’t safe drivers. In fact, the majority of seniors tend to follow best practices and to be the least-aggressive drivers on the road. Unfortunately, the problem is that seniors can experience a decline in cognitive function and in physical abilities, which make it more difficult for them to be effective and safe behind the wheel.

Seniors need to stop driving when it is not safe for them to do so any longer, and most older Americans can benefit from accommodations that give them tools to be safer behind the wheel. Car accident lawyers in Detroit know that the NHTSA’s plan for dealing with senior drivers addresses both technology and assistance for aging drivers. The plan also provides steps that can be taken to identify and help at risk older motorists.

NHTSA Guidelines and Five Year Plan

The NHTSA’s senior driver safety guidelines are designed to help states craft programs and policies that will reduce the risk of dangerous older drivers on the roads. In writing the guidelines, the NHTSA looked at how state across the U.S. are currently dealing with senior drivers, and then adopted best practices from the states with programs and plans in place.

The guidelines encourage the cooperation between different agencies in protecting seniors. NHTSA urges state Departments of Transportation to work closely with medical professionals and with driver’s license officials and providers of elderly services. Together, these groups and professionals can identify and help at-risk drivers to ensure their safety and to avoid accidents that may affect others on the roads.

In addition to creating these new guidelines, the NHTSA has also identified some other things that the agency is considering over the next five years. For example, the NHTSA plans to:

  • Consider adding a new “Silver” category to its New Car Assessment Program. The “Silver” rating will let seniors know which cars have features designed to cater to older drivers.
  • Research technologies that could benefit older drivers. These technologies include crash detection and avoidance technologies as well as vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems. While the new technology would help all drivers, some of the advances will directly address things that make senior drivers most vulnerable.
  • Improve the way that accident data is collected. The NHTSA has data collection systems in place already, but will make modifications that allow for broader collecting of data related to the physical, perceptual and cognitive chances that are associated with aging drivers.

By taking the steps outlined in this plan, NHTSA will prepare for the rising number of older drivers on the roads as baby boomers age.

If you’ve been injured in Detroit or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Child Injury – Detroit’s Winter Weather Changes Car-Seat Fit

22
Nov 2013
By: Goodman Acker Law

Two six-week old Michigan infants died in a car crash this November, with one dying at the crash scene and the other losing his life several days after the accident in a nearby hospital. According to The Detroit News, the accident is under investigation, and police are looking into whether the twins were properly restrained in their car seats.

Car accident lawyers in Detroit know that hundreds of lives are saved each year as a result of safely securing children in car seats. Unfortunately, NBC News 11 reports that jackets can interfere with the effectiveness of car seats. As the weather in Michigan grows much colder and more kids are wearing jackets, parents need to understand the impact that a jacket can have on safety and need to take steps to ensure that their young children are properly restrained.

Jackets Can Make Car Seats Less Effective

According to safety experts, when a child wears a thick coat that has lots of extra padding, the harness straps on a car seat will not be tight enough. Children will not be secured tightly enough in their seats, and if a crash happens, the child could be seriously injured or even killed as a result.

To help ensure that your child is properly restrained and not in danger because of his coat, parents are advised to do a test called the “pinch test.” To do this test, take your child’s jacket off. Then, buckle your child into his car seat while he is not wearing the jacket but without tightening the straps. Use your index finger and thumb to pinch the top of the straps. If you are able to pinch an inch of the strap in between your fingers, the harness is too loose as a result of the jacket. You should tighten the car seat’s harness and try again. Once you are certain that the harness is tight enough for your child, you can put the jacket back on and buckle your son or daughter in for the ride.

While this is an important car accident safety tip that can help prevent children getting hurt throughout the winter, parents also need to remember other key tips for car seat safety as well in order to avoid tragedies like the recent Michigan accident. For example:

  • Car seats should always be in the rear of the vehicle and never in the front seat.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions carefully for securing the car seat. If you are not certain if your car seat is installed correctly, visit your local police station or attend a child safety event where experts will check the seat and make sure it is in the vehicle properly.
  • Always buckle your child into his or her safety seat, even if you are taking a very short trip. Most accidents happen close to home and you never want to leave your child unprotected.

By following these tips, parents can hopefully keep their kids safe through the winter season and beyond.

If you’ve been injured in Detroit or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Detroit Hospitals Layoff Staff: Increase Patient Risks

Hospitals in and around the Detroit area have been slashing jobs this year in response to ongoing financial troubles. The Detroit Free Press reports that Crittenden Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, MI is the latest hospital to make across-the-board layoffs, reducing the workforce by letting an estimated 1.6 percent of  employees go, including both patient care providers and office staff. The Detroit Medical Center also laid off 300 workers earlier this year, while St. John Providence Health System cut 150 jobs.

When hospitals reduce their workforce, demand for medical care services does not necessarily decrease in kind. Unfortunately, this means there may be fewer care providers treating the same number of patients at underfunded and understaffed hospitals. Malpractice lawyers in Detroit know that patients are at greater risk of injury or death in understaffed hospitals, which is especially bad news at a time when revised estimates indicate hospital errors are contributing to the deaths of more patients than previous data had suggested.

Patients Face Risks of Hospital Error & Understaffing Issues

An understaffed hospital is a dangerous place for patients, as medical personnel may not respond to emergencies as quickly; medication errors or misdiagnosis mistakes may be made by overworked professionals; and patients may not be monitored as closely for signs of problems or complications.

The risks of understaffing don’t only apply to hospitals where there are an insufficient number of doctors either. Nurses are the “front line” of hospital care, and a recent Fox News article reports that patients on understaffed floors are two percent more likely to die in a hospital if their nurses are overworked.

While understaffing is just one factor that affects quality of patient care, anything that increases the risk of hospital errors is problematic at a time when revised estimates suggest that anywhere from 210,000 to 400,000 patients die each year in part because of a preventable medical error in a hospital.

The new estimates, reported on in Scientific America, reflect a significant increase in the number of deaths that may be linked to errors made by healthcare providers. Prior studies in 1998 suggested that 98,000 people a year died from hospital mistakes, which means that the number of fatalities caused by medical negligence may have quadrupled in just over a decade.

Can You Avoid Dangerous Hospitals and Protect Yourself from Medical Mistakes?

Patients in the Detroit area who are concerned about the risks in understaffed hospitals have limited options as so many healthcare facilities in the area have experienced dramatic cutbacks. For planned procedures, it may be possible to do research by using tools like Hospital Compare to find facilities that have received positive reviews.

Everyday Health also advises patients to check hospital accreditation results; ask surgeons to mark the site of surgery before  anesthesia is administered; and bring a detailed list of medications to pre-op appointments including natural, herbal and over-the-counter meds.

A malpractice lawyer in Detroit can help those who have been harmed by medical error. If you’ve been injured, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Medical Malpractice Payouts to U.S. Veterans at Record Highs

In Detroit and throughout the rest of the United States, veterans can receive medical treatment and care at VA hospitals. These facilities, like all other facilities that provide medical care, are expected to have safe operating policies and procedures and are expected to have doctors and other staff who offer care that meets reasonable quality standards.

Unfortunately, there have been a variety of lapses in the standard of care at veterans’ hospitals throughout the United States. Malpractice lawyers in Detroit know that those who suffer from inadequate or substandard care are able to take legal action to obtain compensation for their injuries. Many patients have done just that and Bloomberg.com reports that medical malpractice payouts to U.S. veterans harmed in VA hospitals has reached 12-year highs.

Problems at VA Hospitals Lead to Record Medical Malpractice Payouts

According to Bloomberg.com, the U.S. government made more than 400 payments last year to resolve VA medical malpractice claims.  The cases against the VA arose as a result of:

  • Misdiagnosed medical conditions.
  • Unreasonable delays in treatment.
  • Procedures being performed on the wrong body parts.
  • Failure to warn patients and relatives of an outbreak of Legionnaires disease caused by contaminated water systems that killed at least five veterans.

Patients affected by these medical errors suffered a variety of different consequences, including permanent impairment and death.  The lapses have triggered investigations and hearings, including a criminal investigation by the VA inspector general related to the outbreak of Legionnaires disease.

Unfortunately for those who lost family members and for the patients who were injured by the problems at the VA hospitals, their lives will never be the same.

Why Are Medical Errors and Malpractice Payouts Increasing?

Representative Jeff Miller, chairman of the House veterans committee, indicates that “The rapid rise in malpractice judgments against VA mirrors the emerging pattern of preventable deaths and other patient safety issues at VA hospitals.” Miller believes that the problem is not caused by either money nor sufficient staffing at the facilities. Instead, the problem is accountability.

The VA is reportedly failing to hold employees and executives accountable when preventable deaths occur, and in fact, employees are often rewarded even when they make serious mistakes or jeopardize patient health.

For example, Bloomberg reports that department officials reportedly gave bonuses to doctors who left patients unsupervised or who were practicing medicine without a license.  The Government Accountability Office even showed $150 million in bonuses paid out to individuals including a radiologist who was not able to read a mammogram and an emergency room doctor who had refused to see patients.

Unless doctors and care providers are held responsible for their actions and made to live up to the standard of care expected of all medical professionals, patients who receive care at VA hospitals are at serious risk of injury or death due to medical mistakes. Patients and their families should exercise caution when choosing where to get their medical care and should be proactive in ensuring they get the treatment that they need and deserve for medical conditions.

Malpractice lawyers in Detroit  can help those who have been harmed by medical error. If you’ve been injured, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Detroit Doctor Helps Injured Accident Victims at Collision Scene

21
Aug 2013
By: Goodman Acker Law

Recently, a three-vehicle accident occurred on Jefferson Ave in front of the Renaissance Center in Detroit. Four people sustained injury in the accident requiring immediate medical attention. Fortunately, there was a doctor onsite to provide help to victims and get them stabilized.

Our Detroit accident lawyers know that many car accident victims are far less fortunate when it comes to receiving adequate and timely emergency medical care. Unfortunately, not all victims are lucky enough to receive help at the accident scene from a doctor who happens to be passing by.

Detroit Doctor Helps Accident Victims in Three Car Crash

According to CBS Local Detroit, a second-year Internal Medicine resident at Sinai-Grace Hospital was on his way to work in the morning when he came upon a three-vehicle accident in front of the Renaissance Center.

Instead of just calling 911 and going on his way, the doctor stopped to aid the victims of the crash. He used his vehicle to block traffic and triaged the four victims who were injured in the accident, then tending to their injuries.  The doctor reported that he had seen no emergency vehicles on site and that he had undergone some training that he was able to put to use in helping the crash victims.

Other bystanders helped the doctor to treat the accident victims at the scene, including a DMC nurse who provided assistance.  It took approximately 40 minutes for EMS to arrive and the doctor stayed with the four victims during this time until they were taken to the hospital.

A spokesman for DMC issued a statement after the incident, commenting: “Thanks to his [the doctor’s] quick action several victims received prompt medical attention.” Getting such prompt attention may have helped the victims to avoid serious and potentially fatal complications.

Prompt Medical Attention is Essential After an Auto Accident

Of course, a doctor won’t always stumble upon every car accident to render aid to the victims. As such, it is extremely important for everyone who is involved in an auto accident to stop at the accident scene and determine if anyone has been hurt. If anyone has been harmed as a result of the crash, calling emergency personnel should be the first priority that comes above all other concerns.

Victims hurt in auto accidents should not generally be moved until emergency personnel arrive, unless there is a medical professional on the scene and/or unless there is an immediate danger such as spilled gasoline that could lead to a fire.

Those who are involved in an auto accident but who are not certain if they’ve been hurt or who do not believe they sustained life-threatening injuries should still receive prompt medical treatment after all accidents.  Going to a doctor right away is smart because not all injuries have obvious symptoms. Internal bleeding in the brain, for example, might have no initial symptoms but could prove fatal.

Getting medical help right away allows you to get a proper diagnosis, which could save your life. The medical records you obtain when securing treatment can also help you to obtain compensation for your car accident injuries and losses from the driver responsible for causing your accident.

If you’ve been injured in Detroit or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Independent Truckers Warn Increasing Size & Weight Could Risk More Tractor-Trailer Accidents

18
Jul 2013
By: Goodman Acker Law
Currently, federal regulations mandate that the maximum truck weight is 80,000 pounds and the maximum size is five axles. Our Detroit truck accident lawyers know that these large trucks are already much bigger than those that were common when the bulk of the infrastructure in the United States was built.  These trucks are also much larger than passenger cars, as the average passenger car is only around 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.

Now, however, lawmakers are pushing to make trucks even bigger. This could make the roads more dangerous as well as causing significantly higher expenses for owner-operators.  The OOIDA, a professional organization of more than 150,000 truck drivers and motor carriers, has spoken out about the plan, responding to a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) request for comment.

Larger Trucks Could be Riskier on the Roads

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been directed by lawmakers to conduct a study and perform research in order to determine what the impact would be if truck size and weight limits were increased. The directive from lawmakers came as part of a law called Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.

Lawmakers made the request likely because they hope it will provide support for a current proposal to increase the weight limit to 97,000 pounds from 80,000 pounds and to increase the size limit from five axles to six.

The FHWA must report findings to Congress by fall of 2014, so the organization has opened up a discussion and invited the public to submit comments. OOIDA responded, as did three members of the organization who have a combined 80+ years of trucking experience.

Their response was that increased size and weight limits would be dangerous and should not be pursued. Landline Mag reported that OOIDA expressed concern that the change to larger and heavier trucks would place a significant financial burden on owner/operator truck drivers.  OOIDA also warned that the infrastructure throughout much of the U.S. would not be able to successfully accommodate these larger trucks. This could force truckers to significantly change the routes they take, or could result in drivers operating vehicles on roads where it is not really safe.

Aside from these logistical concerns, there was also a major concern about the increased dangers that larger trucks could present.  As a statement by OODIA members indicated: ““Any seasoned driver will tell you that extra weight means extra responsibility and a reduced margin for errors.”

When a driver of a 97,000 pound truck makes a mistake, this could result in his vehicle rolling over and crushing many cars on the roads around him. The larger truck would also result in a longer stopping distance, further increasing the chance of a crash occurring. The dangers to the public are clear and these dangers need to be taken into account as lawmakers consider whether making a change to weight and size limits is a smart choice.

If you’ve been injured in Detroit or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.

Under Increasing Pressure, Chrysler Recalls Jeeps At Risk Of Fire

After nearly a month of defiantly refusing to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUV’s due to fire safety concerns, Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler agreed on Tuesday to issue a recall amid both increasing concerns from customers and government pressure.

The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a report stating that Jeep Grand Cherokee’s from model years 1993-2004 and Jeep Liberty’s from model years 2002 through 2007 presented a serious fire hazard to drivers. The NHTSA said it’s possible that both models were built with a design flaw that could cause the Jeep’s gas tank to rupture in the event of a rear-end accident.

Our Detroit car accident lawyers understand that when a product fails, it isn’t your fault. We understand that car accidents can be stressful enough, and when a vehicle is mass produced with a potentially dangerous product, serious injuries can occur to you and your loved ones. Before the recall, the NHTSA reported 37 accidents and 51 deaths as a direct result of rear-end accidents involving the two models going up in flames. Tragically, this included a 4-year-old Georgia boy who lost his life in 2012.

Chrysler Recall Comes After Weeks Of Denial

As CNN Money reported in early June, Chrysler issued a staunch denial to the NHTSA’s recall demands, claiming that their vehicles were safe. It was the first time since 1996 that an auto manufacturer fully challenged a recall from a government safety agency. While this denial came in light of the statistical evidence provided by the NHTSA, Chrysler argued that the circumstances around many of these deadly rear-end accidents – such as a tractor trailer crashing into the back of a Jeep that was stopped in traffic – was to blame.

The article also supported the notion that a safety recall – and installation of a 3 millimeter steel skid, a fuel tank check valve and better fuel filler hose on every vehicle – would total less than $300 million for the company. Regardless of whether or not the severity of these accidents was due to a defective product or a negligent driver who caused the accident, Chrysler’s decision to comply with a product safety recall undoubtedly shows consumers that the manufacturer is willing to put their best interests in mind.

When a car manufacturer is revealed to have potentially mass produced a dangerous defective product, it’s their responsibility to their customers to address these product defects in a timely manner. Defective products can lead to serious personal injury or death and demand strong legal representation from an experienced product liability attorney.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a product failure, or a loved one was injured or died due to a defective product, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker, P.C. today at 1-866-DONT-LOSE for a free case consultation.

Cell Phones May be Causing More Accidents Than Reported

14
May 2013
By: Goodman Acker Law

According to Michigan Live, there were more than 5,000 car accidents in Michigan last year that involved distracted drivers.  There are lots of different things that could cause a driver to lose focus behind the wheel and become involved in one of these accidents, but one of the most common distractions is the use of a cell phone. Recently, however, the data in Michigan on cell phone crashes has been painting a misleading picture.

Our Detroit accident attorneys know that using a cell phone behind the wheel is really dangerous and can significantly increase the risk of a car accident. Many drivers know this as well, and, as it turns out, there is reason to believe that a lot of cell phone crashes are underreported.

Accident Reports May be Inaccurate About Cell Phone Use

According to Michigan Live, traffic crashes related to the use of cell phones appeared to be at the lowest level in a decade last year, even while there were many more reports of other kinds of distracted driving crashes. The conclusion that many are coming to when looking at this data is not that drivers have given up talking on their cell phones.

Instead, it seems clear that many drivers are not admitting the fact that they were on a cell phone at the time of an accident. When police come to the scene of a traffic collision and write accident reports, they rely on what they are told by the drivers who were involved in the crash. If the accident is a really serious one, they may not be able to talk to all drivers either, as some of those involved may have been injured or killed in the crash.

A driver who has just been in an accident and who seriously hurt or killed someone is unlikely to want to volunteer to the police that he was talking or texting on his phone. After all, it is virtually universally accepted that cell phone use behind the wheel is dangerous, and a total of 39 states have some types of bans or restrictions in place when it comes to talking, texting or both.

A driver who is scared of the consequences of a crash will know that he shouldn’t have been on his phone at the time. As such, the driver is a lot more likely to leave out the cell phone use and to tell the police that something else was the cause of the crash.

This analysis of the Michigan data is supported by a report recently released by the National Safety Council (NSC). The Washington Post reported that the NSC believes that many accident reports on cellphone related fatal crashes are not including details about the fact that there was a phone involved in the collision.

NSC came to its conclusion after reviewing 180 fatal accidents over three years where cell phone use likely played a role. Only around 52 percent of these crashes mentioned the phone, so that means that only about half of all accidents were correctly reported as related to a cell phone.

With cell phone crashes being so under-reported, NSC believes that as many as 25 percent of all car accidents are related to cell phones. This is far more than is projected by NHTSA data, which suggests that only 1.2 percent of all accidents involve cell phone use and that only 10 percent of all accidents total involve distracted drivers.

Whether NSC is correct about the 25 percent number, there does seem to be a lot of reason to believe that cell phone crashes are being underreported both in Michigan and throughout the United States.

If you’ve been injured in Detroit or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Offices of Goodman Acker for a free case consultation. Call 1-866-366-8567.