In Michigan, car and truck accidents occur frequently due to defective equipment. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident because of defective equipment, call the defective equipment personal injury accident lawyers at The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C. Our personal injury accident law firm has successfully handled cases where defective equipment has caused or contributed to a motor vehicle accident crash.
Michigan drivers have an obligation to know and follow the rules regarding the operating of a motor vehicle on public roads and highways. In addition, Michigan owners and drivers also have the responsibility to keep the vehicle in safe operating condition. Michigan police officer can stop a motor vehicle to inspect on reasonable grounds shown (e.g., broken tail light, broken windshield, loud exhaust, head light off) and, if a defect in equipment is found, the officer is authorized to issue the driver a civil infraction. (MCL 257.683(2)). If the police officer finds the motor vehicle’s safety equipment is in unsafe or not working, then the driver may be responsible for a civil infraction punishable by a fine.
What common defective equipment violation contribute to car and truck accidents?
Some very common defective equipment violations include, but are not limited to the following:
Michigan law requires lights on every trailer, pickup camper, or semitrailer having a gross weight in excess of 3,000 pounds, the following (MCL 257.688(d)):
Michigan law requires trailer stop lights on every trailer, pickup camper, or semitrailer weighing 3,000 pounds gross or less, on the rear, 2 reflectors, 1 on each side if any trailer or semitrailer is so loaded or is of such dimensions as to obscure the stop light on the towing vehicle, then such vehicle shall also be equipped with 1 stop light. (MCL 257.688(f)).
Michigan law requires every vehicle with a maximum potential speed of 25 miles per hours, farm tractor and modified agriculture vehicle shall have an equilateral triangle in shape, at least 16 inches wide at the base and at least 14 inches in height: with a dark red border, at least 1-3/4 inches wide of highly reflective beaded material and a center triangle, at least 12-1/4 inches on each side of yellow-orange fluorescent material. (MCL 257.688(g)).
Michigan law requires motor vehicle clearance, marker lamps and reflectors should be equipped as follows:
Michigan law requires whenever the load upon any vehicle extends to the rear 4 feet or more beyond the bed or body of such vehicle there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of the load, at the times required by law, a red light or lantern plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the sides and rear. At any other time there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of such load a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square and so hung that the entire area is visible to the driver of a vehicle approaching from the rear. (MCL 257.693).
Michigan law states that “no person may operate a vehicle on the highway manufactured or assembled after January 1st, 1955, and must be equipped with two brake lamps emitting a red color and working two electric turn signals emitting a white or amber light”. (MCL 257.697a).
Michigan law requires that “all brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall be adjusted in a manner as to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the wheels on the opposite side of the vehicle”. See (MCL 257.705(5)). Vehicles with brakes on all wheels should be able to decelerate 14 feet per second over 30 feet in a vehicle moving at 20 miles per hour. Vehicles that do not have brakes on all wheels should be able decelerate 10.7 feet per second over 40 feet in a vehicle moving at 20 miles per hour. (MCL 257.705(2)).
Michigan law requires a trailer or semitrailer of a gross weight of 15,001 pounds or more when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes operating on all wheels and designed to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. (MCL 257.705(1)(c)).
Michigan law states that “all parking brakes and service brakes should be constructed in a manner that failure of one part does not leave the vehicle without operative brakes”. (MCL 257.705(1)(c)).
Michigan law states that “a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet but a horn or other warning device shall not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle”. (MCL 257.706(a)).
Michigan law states that “a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke. A person shall not remove, destroy, or damage any of the baffles contained in the muffler, nor shall a person use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motorcycle or moped on a highway or street”. (MCL 257.707(a)).
Michigan law states that the “engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke”. (“Michigan Legislature - Section 257.707”).
Michigan law motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a properly operating exhaust system which shall include a tailpipe and resonator on a vehicle where the original design included a tailpipe and resonator. (MCL 257.707(c)).
Michigan law states that “a motor vehicle shall not be operated on the public highways of this state unless it is equipped with a windshield of sufficient dimensions to protect the driver and occupants from insects, other airborne objects, and highway surface water and debris, when the motor vehicle is moving forward (except for tractors and implements of husbandry)”. Under Michigan law the windshield cannot be cracked or shattered. See (MCL 257.708a).
Michigan law states that “windshield on each motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow, or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle. A vehicle licensed as an historical vehicle is exempt from this subsection if the vehicle was not originally equipped with such a device. Each windshield wiper upon a motor vehicle shall be maintained in good working order”. (“Michigan Legislature - Section 257.709”).
Michigan law states “a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with a sign, poster, nontransparent material, window application, reflective film, or nonreflective film upon or in the front windshield, the side windows immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger, or the sidewings adjacent to and forward of the driver or front passenger, except that a tinted film may be used along the top edge of the windshield and the side windows or sidewings immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger if the material does not extend more than 4 inches from the top of the windshield, or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield”. (MCL 257.709(1)(a)).
Michigan requires that “a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with a rear window or side window to the rear of the driver composed of, covered by, or treated with a material that creates a total solar reflectance of 35% or more in the visible light range, including a silver or gold reflective film”. See (MCL 257.709(1)(b)).
Michigan law state that “a person shall not drive a motor vehicle if driver visibility through the rear window is obstructed, unless the vehicle is equipped with 2 rearview mirrors, 1 on each side, adjusted so that the operator has a clear view of the highway behind the vehicle”. (MCL 257.709(2)).
Michigan law states that “a person shall not operate a vehicle on a highway when a tire in use on that vehicle is unsafe due to having a part of the belting material, tire cords or plys exposed, having evidence of cord of tread separations, or is excessively worn down”. (MCL 257.710(f)).
Michigan law states that “a person shall not operate a vehicle where the bumper height exceeds the following legal limits” (MCL 257.710c(2)):
Michigan law states that “any glass sold or replaced on a motor vehicle that is used in doors, windows and windshields must be safety glass”. (MCL 257.711).
Michigan law requires a vehicle or trailer towed or drawn by a vehicle shall be attached to the vehicle with forms of coupling devices in a manner so that when the combination is operated in a linear alignment on a level, smooth, paved surface, the movement of the towed or drawn vehicle or trailer does not deviate more than 3 inches to either side of the path of the towing vehicle that tows or draws it. “The vehicle or trailer shall also be connected to the towing vehicle by suitable safety chains or devices, 1 on each side of the coupling and at the extreme outer edge of the vehicle or trailer. Each chain or device and connection used shall be of sufficient strength to haul the vehicle or trailer when loaded”. (“Michigan Legislature - Section 257.721”). In the case of an implement of husbandry with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, the safety chains or devices required under this subsection shall conform to the federal motor carrier safety regulations requirements. (MCL 257.721(3)).
Michigan law requires all towing or platform bed wreckers or road service vehicles in operation upon the public highways of this state shall have the name, city, and state or the registered logo or emblem of the registered owner of the vehicle, and lessee of the vehicle if the vehicle is being operated under lease, painted or permanently attached on each side of the vehicle in letters of not less than 3 inches in height, not lower than the bottom edge of the door. Michigan law requires that "this information shall be in sharp color contrast to the background”. (“Michigan Legislature - Section 257.723”).
Michigan law requires that “a person shall not drive or move or the owner shall not cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on a highway a vehicle or combination of vehicles that is in such an unsafe condition as to endanger a person”. (“Michigan Legislature - Section 257.683”). "This includes unspecified defective equipment violations such as defective steering or other unmaintained equipment." (“What Are The Penalties For Defective Equipment Violations ...”)
Remember, a driver accused of a civil infraction is not required to admit responsibility and can request a formal or informal hearing before a district court judge or magistrate. In car accident negligence case, civil infractions cannot be used in court proceedings. Under Michigan law defective equipment is considered a non-moving violation that carries no points or license sanctions, but most drivers usually opt to accept responsibility and move on with their life. Before simply electing to pay the ticket at the district court office, drivers should be aware that the civil infraction is waivable if driver or owner corrects the defect and shows proof to the police agency that issued the citation. Michigan law states, “If a person has received a civil infraction citation for defective safety equipment on a vehicle, the court shall waive a civil fine, costs, and assessments upon receipt of certification by a law enforcement agency that repair of the defective equipment was made before the appearance date on the citation”. (MCL 257.907(9)). Unless there is a specific date on the ticket, the appearance date is usually 10 days from the date of citation. As always, drivers should consult with an auto accident defective equipment attorney before taking any legal action to better understand your legal rights.
If you or a loved one have been killed or injured in a car, automobile, motorcycle or truck defective equipment, the truck accident defective equipment lawyers can use any traffic violation of alleged defective vehicle equipment documented in free police report available to you. Call now 248-352-2110 or toll free 866-HIRE-JOE the Michigan lawyers for vehicle defective equipment at The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C., to get a FREE consultation for the smart and strong legal representation you deserve. Do not hesitate to email us for a free consultation to speak to our experienced defective equipment auto accident attorneys. Check Joseph Dedvukaj Firm Better Business Bureau A+ Rating.