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Jeffersonville: 812-406-0076Louisville: 502-251-4649
Jeffersonville: 812-406-0076
Louisville: 502-251-4649
Personal Injury Overview

Jeffersonville Personal Injury Law Blog

Why bikers should be wary of distracted drivers

Every time you take to the road on your motorcycle in Indiana, you do so with the expectation that you can share it safely with other motorists. Your bike offers you a lot less protection than cars and trucks. If an accident happens, you could potentially end up with life-threatening injuries. 

Distracted drivers are becoming more of a hazard to bikers. They are not giving the roads or the vehicles around them their full attention. Instead of operating their vehicles safely, they use distractions to maintain some focus while keeping them occupied. This dangerous behavior puts riders at a severe disadvantage while they are on the roads. Here are some ways motorcyclists can avoid distracted motorists. 

Drunk driving deaths spike in Indiana

It should be no surprise to anyone in Indiana that grabbing a set of car keys and getting behind the steering wheel after drinking alcohol is dangerous. For several decades you have likely heard advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving or law enforcement entities highlight these risks and raise awareness about alternatives to getting home. Sadly, too many people continue to disregard what is a known fact - that drinking and driving is a deadly combination.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects and reports data on fatal collisions and the various factors involved in them. The information from 2016 shows a tragic and sobering trend in the state of Indiana. While overall traffic deaths increased by only four people, the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents rose by 39 from 2015 to 2016. Last year, there were 211 lives losts in wrecks involving alcohol. That represents 26 percent of all vehicular fatalities statewide.

Speeding a factor in fatality jump

Indiana residents may well be excited to hear about advances in automotive technology designed to improve safety. Things like forward collision warning, backup cameras and more are meant to help prevent accidents. Other technologies like airbags focus on reducing the severity of injuries to people if an accident does in fact occur. However, despite all of these types of advances, not only do accidents still happen but more people are dying in car crashes than in prior years.

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States experienced a dip in the number of vehicular fatalities recorded in 2014. Since then, however, the subsequent two years have seen year-over-year increases. The death toll from 2016 was actually 5.6 percent higher than in 2015. Last year more than 37,460 people lost their lives on American roads and highways.

Are pitbulls inherently dangerous?

If you are like most people in Indiana, you have heard more than your fair share of stories about a pitbull attacking a person. In some of the most extreme situations, humans including children and elderly people, have been killed by these dogs. But, is it right for people to think that all pitbulls are bad? How much responsibility does a dog's owner have in these situations?

According to one dog information website, Cesar's way, pit bulls were at once considered some of America's favorite dogs for pets. However, it appears some things started to change in the 1980s and multiple things contributed to this. One of these was the resurgence in dogfighting as an activity. Pitbulls were used and prized specifically for this purpose which naturally would exacerbate any aggressive behaviors.

Bus hits, kills pedestrian

Most Indiana residents take basic actions like crossing the street on foot for granted. These things are in many ways simple and should be easily done. However, because cars can be on the roads at the same time, pedestrians have to be ever aware of the risks they face. Even if a pedestrian is crossing in the location and at the time they should, they can still be struck by vehicles because not all drivers are appropriately aware or safe.

Sadly, one college student who was only 18 years old was recently killed when attempting to cross an intersection in Indianapolis. Reports indicate that the student, who was attending Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, was walking across the street legally and with the full right of way when a school bus hit her. It is not known whether or not the bus driver violated any traffic laws such as failing to abide by traffic signals or speeding although the driver appears to not have ceded appropriate right of way to the pedestrian.

Pedestrian safety laws in Indiana

Whether walking or running for exercise or simply on foot when going between cars and offices, shops or homes, pedestrians in Indiana must navigate and share the roads with cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles. Every state has its own laws designed to provide appropriate safety for pedestrians while also keeping in mind traffic flow considerations. Knowing the laws in Indiana is important for pedestrians and motorists alike.

As explained by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Indiana does not mandata drivers to stop their vehicles for pedestrians. The state does, however, legally require drivers to cede the right of way to pedestrians in specific situations. These include if the pedestrian is walking toward the direction of the vehicle from the opposing side of the street or if the pedestrian is in the same half of the road as the vehicle at the time. Drivers must also cede the right of way if a traffic sign indicates they are to yield.

Key mistakes to avoid after an accident

If you received injuries from a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you may qualify for compensation. However, some mistakes may hinder you from receiving the full compensation you deserve.

Many individuals end up paying, literally and physically, for these pitfalls. Make sure that you avoid these key mistakes after your accident.

What to do when a dog bites

Most dogs provide warning signs that tell people not to approach or touch them. However, for those in Indiana who do not have the option to leave, such as letter carriers, or those who do not understand dog body language, there is potential for a bite. 

According to The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, 99 percent of incidents either involve aggressive behavior without skin contact or contact without breaking the skin. In either of these cases, factors such as rambunctiousness or fearfulness may have caused the dog to snap at someone. However, it is essential for the dog to receive bite-inhibition training and learn control. If a person sustains a puncture wound or cut that does not penetrate deeper than half the length of the canine teeth, the dog may be rehabilitated by rigorous training, but the element of danger is not eliminated. 

High school student killed by drunk driver

The thought of any person on foot being hit by a vehicle can be enough to make anyone in Indiana shudder. When the person hit is a child with their whole life still before them, the tragedy can feel even worse. Grieving parents and fellow students at schools are left wondering why such a thing could be allowed to happen. This would be a natural thing to feel and may well be what many in the case of an accident that happened in Homer City last year may have experienced.

A boy who was only 16 was said to be along the side of a road in some grass when he was hit by a drunk driver who could not accurately make a left turn. The driver was not even operating the vehicle at an excessive speed as reports show the vehicle's speed to be a maximum of 36 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The boy was taken by air to a hospital but died en route. The intoxicated driver's blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit at 0.16 percent.

What should bicyclists do after a crash?

Following the rules of the road on your bicycle in Indiana should be as natural as when you are driving your car. Just like when you are in the car, though, this does not always protect you from the vehicles around you. If you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle, you should call law enforcement and file a police report the same as you would after any other traffic crash. 

According to Bicycling magazine, law enforcement officers do not always approach a bicycle-vehicle collision with an unbiased view. In fact, many cyclists claim they have been the victim of road rage or carelessness, and have still been blamed for the crash by the responding officers. Although bicyclists have the same rights on the road as motorists, authorities often have the opinion that the motorist is in the right before they even take statements. Frequently, their reports reflect this prejudice.