Bicycle Versus Auto Collisions in Indianapolis Intersections

July 7, 2016 | Bicycle Accidents

On a per capita basis, Indiana recorded an annual average of about 2.0 cyclist deaths per million residents, the 13th highest in the United States. In 2011, there were 11 fatal bicycle accidents in the state of Indiana. The fatalities increased to 15[1] in 2012. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[2] indicates that slightly more than 10 percent of serious bicycle accidents involve vehicles, and they usually result in the most serious injuries to the cyclists.

Indianapolis Intersection Crashes

Although intersections may represent a relatively small portion of a cyclist’s travel route, they are where a cyclist is most at risk of getting hit by a car or otherwise involved in a car accident. Only 11% of bicycle accidents involve a collision with a car but of these, 45% take place in intersections.

In order to minimize the risk of intersection accidents with cars, cyclists need to maximize their visibility, understand the rules of the road, learn to recognize some of the most dangerous intersection hazards, and take safety precautions when approaching and riding through an intersection.

How to Avoid Bike Accidents in Indianapolis Intersections?

Intersections pose a special risk to bicyclists for many reasons:

-Car drivers often underestimate the speed of a bike

-Car drivers often do not expect bikes to be on the road so car drivers are not watching for bikes

-Even if cars drivers are on the lookout for bicyclists, they sometimes do not see them because bikes are smaller and can blend into the background based on the biker’s clothing, the sun, as well as other factors.

Cyclists should keep this in mind and take extra precautions to avoid accidents at intersections by:

-Increase the visibility of the bike and cyclist with front and rear lamps, reflective clothing, and brightly colored clothing. It may seem silly, but bikes are small and easy to see through even during the day. Yellow or orange reflective vests really make a big difference as do reflective leg bands.

-Be on the lookout for vehicles, road debris and other dangers

-Ride defensively

-Learn to execute emergency maneuvers to avoid collisions

-Do not pass on the right. It is important as a bicyclist not to overtake slow- moving vehicles on the right as doing so makes you invisible to left-turning motorists at intersections.

Who is at Fault in Indianapolisthe Bike or the Car?



Legally speaking, in the state of Indian, a bicycle is considered to be a “vehicle” and therefore, just like motorists, cyclists must follow the rules of the road[3]. When it comes to collisions occurring at intersections, liability usually boils down to who had the right-of-way between the car or the bike.




No traffic signals: When two vehicles approach an intersection not controlled by a traffic signal, the vehicle arriving first has the right-of-way. If the vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way.

Traffic signals: The right-of-way at intersections controlled by signals is determined by the traffic signal. If a signal sensor is unable to detect the presence of a bicycle, the cyclist can position the bicycle closer to the sensors embedded in the road or wait until it is safe to cross at the crosswalk.

Call an Indianapolis Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured or even killed as a result of a bicycle versus vehicle collision, it is imperative to talk to an experienced Indianapolis bicycle accident attorney to review the case and collect all of the compensation to which you are entitled. At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., our skilled bicycle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Indiana law. Lawyer Merry Fountain is an experienced bicycle accident attorney 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.