In central Michigan and 45 miles northeast of Grand Rapids, three children were recently killed while six others were seriously injured when a motor vehicle operator collided with a horse-drawn buggy. At the time that the accident occurred, nine individuals were riding inside of the buggy. These nine individuals were injured, while the truck’s operator was not injured. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation by Michigan law enforcement, but alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been contributing factors.
The Amish in Michigan
Communities of Amish exist throughout the state of Michigan, ranging from the most southern counties to the Upper Peninsula. There are a variety of trades in the state in which the Amish work including furniture making and textile arts. The Centreville community is the largest group of Amish in the state of Michigan. Branch and Hillsdale counties also have significant Amish communities. Additionally, the Clare Amish community has a number of industries including equipment, furniture, horses, and quilts. Amish communities do not use modern inventions, which is why these communities use horse-drawn buggies. While the Amish sometimes drive these buggies in designated areas, other times the Amish travel on highways and streets in their buggies.
The Dangerous Nature of Amish Buggy Accidents
Because buggies are run by horses rather than an engine, these vehicles travel at a significantly slower speed than vehicles. As a result, an Amish buggy might be traveling at a little over 10 miles per hour, while other vehicles on the road are traveling at 60 miles per hour. In many cases, the motor vehicle operator is the one who causes the accident, but in some situations the buggy driver can be negligent. There are several ways in which buggy accidents are known to occur, including the following:
- Buggies that lack adequate reflective material or signage.
- Buggy operators who are too young and make mistakes while driving.
- Distracted motor vehicle operators who do not maintain a proper look out for vehicles.
- Driving too quickly and too closely behind a buggy.
- Motor vehicle drivers that pass buggies too closely.
- Runaway or upset horses.
Common Elements in Buggy/Automobile Accidents
There are some common elements that exist in buggy accidents, including the following:
- Differences in Speed: Because a buggy travels at a slower speed than a motor vehicle, it can be particularly difficult for motorists to judge the buggy’s speed. In some situations, a motorist will underestimate the speed at which the buggy is traveling.
- Miscommunication: Buggy drivers sometimes fail to signal or do not properly express their intention to other motorists on the road.
- Risky and Careless Behavior: Motor vehicle operators sometimes become impatient with buggy operators and drive their cars in a reckless manner.
Need Help? Contact Us Today
Buggy accidents are frequently catastrophic in nature and almost always involve serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been harmed in this type of accident, the Clare personal injury lawyers at Jay Trucks, PC understands exactly how damaging these events can be and how to best fight to make sure that you obtain adequate compensation. Contact our law office today. Ph: (800) 762-8623.