It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle (or any two-wheeled motor vehicle) can be a dangerous activity, but nobody gets on their bike with the expectation that they’re going to be injured in an accident. Unfortunately, in the state of Indiana, motorcycle and related accidents are not uncommon. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 3,500 motorcycle accidents occur across the state each year, with 70% of those accidents resulting in personal injury.
If you ride a motorcycle, moped, or other two-wheeled vehicle, it’s important that you understand your rights in the event that you end up injured in an accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are several leading causes of motorcycle accidents in the Indianapolis area and across the state of Indiana. The most common cause is that of drivers failing to yield right of way to motorcyclists. This often occurs when the driver of a vehicle is looking to turn left at an intersection and does so without seeing an oncoming motorcyclist traveling straight through the same intersection. Unfortunately, there may not be enough time for the motorcyclist to stop, and the results can be devastating when a motorcycle or moped goes up against a full-sized vehicle.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is that of vehicles following too closely. Drivers should always give at least a few seconds’ worth of space in between vehicles, and this is especially important when following behind a motorcycle. Unfortunately, if a cyclist hits the brakes and the following car doesn’t have enough distance to stop, serious injury or death can result.
Distracted driving is becoming another leading cause of motorcycle accidents in the state of Indiana, despite the state’s strict laws against distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving that often lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- texting while driving
- being distracted by other passengers
- attempting to multitask (eat, apply makeup, etc.) while driving.
Finally, cognitive impairments are also a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Common examples of impaired driving include driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, though fatigued driving can also apply here.
Common injuries related to motorcycle accidents include:
- road rash
- broken bones and fractures
- organ damage and internal injuries
- head and brain damage
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
It’s important to remember that motorcyclists and drivers alike share a responsibility to be safe on the roads. If you’re planning on riding a motorcycle or moped in the state of Indiana, there are several tips worth keeping in mind to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.
First and foremost, wear a helmet! Even though Indiana doesn’t by law require riders to wear helmets, doing so is the best way to avoid head and brain injuries in the event of an accident. This, in addition to wearing other gear that will protect your skin from road rash, is highly advised every time you hit the road on your bike.
Defensive driving techniques are also good to know and implement while sharing the road with other drivers. Essentially, the main principle of defensive driving is to always assume the worst of other drivers. For example, you might think that an approaching car will see that you’re about to merge and will slow down to let you in. But the rules of defensive driving tell you to assume otherwise and to slow down until the vehicle has passed and you can safely merge with no other vehicles around.
Finally, always exercise safe driving practices on the road. This means obeying all posted traffic signs and avoiding dangerous maneuvers, such as weaving in and out of traffic or attempting to pass in between lanes (which, by the way, is illegal in Indiana).
Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle accident and were injured as a result, you may be wondering whether you have grounds to take legal action against the other party. The best first step you can take is to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who knows the relevant law and will be able to apply it to your specific situation. McNeely Stephenson has been representing victims of Indiana motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. We offer free case evaluations and initial consultations with no obligation. Our skilled attorneys will work hard to protect your rights and best interests while pursuing compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injury.
Don’t face the complicated Indiana court system alone. Instead, reach out to our team of professionals today so we can set up your free consultation. Call 317-825-5200 or use the convenient on-line contact form to start the conversation.