3 Causes of Fatal Indianapolis Motorcycle Accidents

July 10, 2016 | Motorcycle Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety[1] Loss Date Institute provides that in 2014 there were 4,295 motorcycle fatalities nationwide. While motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation, these statistics remind us that they are not always the safest way to get around Indianapolis.
Unlike sedans or SUVs, motorcycles do not provide the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Further, they are less stable and less visible than cars, so the risk of death or serious injury is higher in motorcycles than other motor vehicles. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety[2] (IIHS), fatal motorcycle accidents are 37 times higher than that of car crashes.  Aside from its build, there are other factors that contribute to fatal motorcycle accidents including:

Excessive Speeding:  Motorcycles have high-performance capabilities and many riders are prone to speed and quick accelerations. Speeding is a major factor in all motor vehicle accidents but excessive speed in motorcycles can be fatal. Speeding often causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle or render him unable to avoid an obstruction that can lead to a crash. As motorcyclists do not have the benefit of seatbelts or airbags, they can get easily thrown from the vehicle if the motorcycle skids or crashes against an object while speeding. According to the IIHS, as much as 46 percent of the 2,169 motorcycle drivers who were killed in single- vehicle crashes were speeding in 2008.

Driving Under the Influence: Statistics show that many times alcohol plays a role in single vehicle motorcycle accidents and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is especially fatal in motorcycle collisions.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration[3] (NHTSA) revealed that even a blood alcohol content as low as 0.05 percent can significantly decrease the reaction times and increase the likelihood of lane departure which can lead to a collision or off-road accidents.

Failure to Wear Helmets: As motorcycles lack the protection of walls, a seatbelt, or even airbags, often the only thing standing between a rider and death is a motorcycle helmet. Serious head injury is the leading cause of death for motorcyclists so helmet use is important. The use of helmets while riding a motorcycle can prevent brain injuries by as much as 67 percent.  

Many fatal motorcycle accidents are single vehicle crashes and can be attributed to driver error/behavior such as speeding and driving under the influence or the rider’s failure to wear a helmet. However, in the event that a loved one is injured or taken from you in a fatal motorcycle accident due to the fault or negligence of another, it may be possible to file a complaint for personal injury or wrongful death. An experienced Indianapolis motorcycle attorney can review the specifics of your case and obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.  At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., our skilled attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Indiana law.  Lawyer Merry Fountain is an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer who is ready to help you today by meeting in her office or, if you are not able to travel, by meeting in your home.  Call Merry Fountain anytime at 1-888-242-HURT (4878) for a free consultation


[1] https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/motorcycles-and-atvs
[2] http://www.iihs.org
[3] http://www.nhtsa.gov