Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle drivers share the road with other vehicle drivers, and are entitled to certain rights as they use their motor vehicles. In the state of Indiana, it is written into law that “[a] motorcycle is entitled to the full use of a traffic lane and a vehicle may not be driven or operated in a manner that deprives another vehicle of the full use of a traffic lane.” However, in addition to having these rights, motorcycle drivers also have laws designed to keep them and other road users safe. Amongst other rules for keeping everyone safe, motorcycles should always properly signal before changing lanes, refrain from weaving in and out of traffic, and remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

A news report revealed that there was a recent fatal crash involving a motorcycle and a car in Clay County, Indiana. The crash occurred at the intersection of N Forest Avenue and Normandy Drive. According to witnesses, a car that had been heading north was stopped and attempting to make a left turn when a motorcycle approached from behind the vehicle and attempted to pass the car on the left side just as the car began to turn. The motorcycle thus crashed into the driver’s side of the car, ejecting the driver and passenger of the motorcycle. The motorcycle ended up in the yard of a nearby house. The motorcycle was driven by an Indiana man who had an expired learner’s permit and no valid motorcycle license. As a result of the crash, the driver was incapacitated and the passenger of the motorcycle passed away. Neither the driver nor the passenger of the motorcycle was wearing any safety equipment at the time of the crash.

Indiana code specifies that only motorcycle passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet when on the road. If someone holds a motorcycle learner’s permit in Indiana, it is valid for one year, and drivers are only allowed to renew their permit once. If the permit holder does not obtain a motorcycle endorsement before the expiration date of the renewed permit, they are required to wait one year before reapplying for a new permit. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reported that in 2019, 30% of motorcyclists did not have a valid motorcycle license when involved in fatal motorcycle crashes. It is likely that a person who does not have a valid motorcycle license may also not have valid insurance. You may have questions about what your next steps should be if you are a victim of an accident involving an unlicensed motorcycle driver. Connecting with an experienced attorney will be helpful.

Motorcycle riding is a popular form of transportation and leisure throughout the country. Insurance companies and the media often portray motorcycling as an inherently dangerous activity. As a result, after an Indiana motorcycle accident, people assume that liability falls on the biker. However, like many other popular-held beliefs, these depictions often unfairly group motorcyclists into a group of reckless and unsafe individuals. In reality, the vast majority of bikers understand the ways to protect themselves and others from harm. Some common forms of protection include wearing protective gear such as element-proof clothing and helmets and practicing defensive driving. However, bikers cannot control the negligent acts of other road users. Moreover, bikers often experience injuries in an accident because of a defective or unsafe issue with their motorcycles or protective gear.

For instance, Indiana news reports recently recounted a tragic fatal Indiana motorcycle crash near the Notre Dame Exit. Investigators explained that the biker was heading east when his motorcycle experienced a potential tire failure. The tire failure caused the biker to lose control of the bike, throwing him and his passenger onto the road. The bike continued until stopping in the median. The bike passenger died at the accident scene, and the operator was transported to the hospital for serious injuries.

As the above case illustrates, motorcycle tire failures can have devastating consequences for bikers, their passengers, and anyone in the vicinity of the bike. In some cases, a tire failure may stem from a gradual leak, and in others, the tire may explode unexpectedly. Loss of pressure in the front wheel may cause an unexpected change in direction or cause the bike to overturn. Similarly, loss of pressure in the back wheel can result in imbalance and cause the bike to veer out of control.

A recent Indiana news report described the increasing rate of motorcycle accidents in the state. Reporters followed up with a woman whose father suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident last month. The man was riding his motorcycle with a passenger when an SUV driver slammed into his motorcycle. Authorities discovered that the woman was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.205%. As such, they charged her with a Level 5 felony causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle. The hospital released the man into a rehabilitation facility; however, he is still experiencing brain bleeds.

That accident only adds to the harrowing number of serious motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in the state. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Bureau of Motor Crash and accident reports reveal that 138 motorcyclists suffered fatal injuries in an accident in 2020, up from 113 the prior reporting year. While motorcyclists account for less than 2% of crash data, they result in over 15% of all Indiana traffic deaths. The disparity in numbers highlights how dangerous motorcycle accidents tend to be for riders and passengers.

The majority of these accidents occur during the summer, where the temperate conditions bring more motorcyclists onto the road. In addition, statistics indicate that an increase in reckless behavior such as driver inattention and speeding all add to the likelihood of an accident. However, drugs and alcohol are the leading cause of fatal accidents in Indiana. In addition, motorcycle riders who do not wear a helmet drastically increase their risk of serious injuries.

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