Summer is close. We are seeing a lot more motorcycles riding along the lake front. Here are a few safety tips for avoiding accidents.
Motorcycle crashes are filed and prosecuted under Indiana's negligence law. To prove negligence, a victim of an accident has to prove four things: (1) duty (2) breach (3) causation and (4) injury.
Every driver on the road in Indiana has a duty or responsibility to look out for motorcycles. If you are driving, Indiana law requires you to act reasonably. This is called the “duty of ordinary care.” Essentially, this means that you must drive and operate your vehicle in a manner that is safe and in a manner that avoids injury and damage to others on the roads. This duty extends to pedestrians, motorcycles, other cars and bicycles. The duty of ordinary care has several components including the duty of:
Keeping control over your vehicle;
Watching out for other vehicles on the roadway, including motorcycles and bikes;
Changing how you drive because of the current weather conditions or lighting conditions; and
Anticipating potential dangers – that's right – defense driving!
If a careless driver breaches his or her duty of ordinary care, they are negligent. And, if their negligence causes an accident, then that careless driver will be liable for all resulting injuries and damages.
Tips for the motorcyclist include:
Wear your helmet – even though there is no helmet law in Indiana;
Wear protective clothing — leather clothing, boots and gloves for safety;
Ride with your lights on — believe it or not it matters;
Wear bright colors;
Anticipate other driver's actions during rush hour;
Be more careful at night;
Follow the rules of the road;
Start from the point of view that other drivers cannot see you.
Avoid blind spots especially with semis;
Ride in groups if you can;
Alcohol and drugs don't mix well with motorcycles.
Remember there are more motorcyclists on the road now that the nice weather is here;
If you see a motorcycle, keep an eye on the biker;
If you saw a motorcycle a minute ago and then they're gone – the bike is probably in your blind spot.
Avoid the knuckleheads on bikes who are riding dangerous and weaving in and out of traffic;
Leave room for motorcycles in front of you, because they are more susceptible to losing control if they hit road debris or gravel, this will give more room to stop if the bike in front of you loses control because of the roadway.
If you have any questions about a motorcycle accident on I-94 or along the lakefront, Contact Guy DiMartino Law and we will explain your legal rights.