No less than 112 motorcyclists were killed and 1,930 people incurred injuries in Indiana accidents in 2018. The numbers by themselves may not mean much for the average person. For Indiana motorcycle accident lawyers, however, they mean real people putting up with huge financial and emotional losses. Each case involves huge expenses, tremendous pain and suffering, and, why not, long hours of hard work.
Although there are significant differences from one case to another, there are also common elements. Many of the accidents Indiana motorcycle accident attorneys handle occurred on the same roads and from similar causes.
The Most Dangerous Roads for Motorcycles in Indiana
Motorcycle accidents are frequent on the following Indiana roads:
- U.S. 12
- Indiana 55
- U.S. 421
- Interstate 55
- U.S. 41
- U.S. 20
- Indiana 49
- Interstate 65
- U.S. 35
- U.S. 30
- Indiana 53
- Indiana 2
- Interstate 80/94/90 corridor
Most accidents occur in intersections, tight curves, and on road sections with ongoing construction and repair works. News reports often cover motorcycle accidents in Lake County, Porter County, Indianapolis, Huntington, and Fort Wayne. The consequences of these accidents usually depend on speed, types of vehicles involved, and helmet use.
Helmet Use as a Factor in Indiana Motorcycle Accidents
Indiana law only imposes helmet use for bikers under 18 years of age and those who possess a learner’s permit. However, statistics show that helmet use can save lives and diminish accident consequences.
Sadly, very few bikers wear helmets nowadays. For example, in the accidents occurred between 2014 and 2018, only 31% of all bikers involved were wearing their helmets. Among bikers who died in accidents, the helmet use rate was of only 18%.
Generally, only 51% of bikers aged under 24 wear helmets. The percentage drops to 48% for bikers aged under 21. Helmet use is at its lowest rate, of 20%, among bikers aged between 45 and 54.
Although helmet use can make a difference in case of a motorcycle accident, it does not influence their occurrence.
Common Causes of Indiana Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents in Indiana occur due to driver and biker’ negligence or recklessness. Traffic participants often become victims of distractions, speed, or alcohol. These, in turn, lead to wrong decisions and unsafe maneuvers. Among the circumstances that led to motorcycle accidents in Indiana in 2018, the following were common:
- Failure to yield right of way. Many drivers do not yield right of way to bikers in traffic.
- Tailgating or following too closely. Both drivers and bikers neglect to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. One slam on the brakes is enough to cause an accident in such circumstances.
- Unsafe backing. Objects usually appear closer than they really are in vehicles’ side mirrors. Even so, many drivers fail to notice bikers when backing their vehicles.
- Speeding. Speed not only leads to accidents but also increases impact force and worsens its consequences. Sadly, both drivers and bikers often press the acceleration pedal without worrying about what may happen.
- Disregard for traffic signs. On crowded roads, when driving or riding at high speed, traffic signs are easy to miss.
- Unsafe lane changing. Both drivers and bikers often change lanes without paying attention to the other traffic participants or signaling their intentions. Sometimes, such actions have devastating consequences.
- Improper passing. Motorcycles take less road space than cars. However, this does not mean they should be passed by or pass other vehicles in the same lane. The law actually prohibits such practices but quite a few drivers and bikers disregard it.
- Dooring. Many drivers and passengers open their car doors without watching out for bikers. When the latter ride at high speed, they cannot stop in time. They end up flying in the air or rolling on the carriageway.
The list of motorcycle accident causes may continue. However, no matter why an accident occurs, it is important for victims to know their rights. These include receiving compensation for all their losses, economic or otherwise. The best way to defend these rights is by working with an experienced Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now!
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident, no matter its causes, contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers today! Our Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer can help you find out what your rights are and how to defend them. We will tell you how much your case is worth and how to approach it, all during a free consultation. Schedule it by filling in the contact form or calling our office as soon as possible!