Failure to Yield: A Leading Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

With warmer weather on the horizon, motorcycles will soon be back on Indiana’s roads in greater numbers, meaning drivers everywhere are urged to take special notice of their presence.

Unfortunately, for Boulton Law Group and attorney Matt Boulton, it means we will be turning our attention to Indiana motorcycle accidents and liability investigations.

As such, we thought it would be an appropriate time to highlight a leading cause of Indiana motorcycle accidents: Failure to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist.

However, before we look at an example of a failure to yield motorcycle case, we have first put together an overview of Indiana motorcyclist crash statistics.

Indiana Motorcycle Crash Statistics

According to Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s 2019 data, the Hoosier state accounted for 228,713 motorcycle registrations, which typically places us in the top 15 in terms of the total number of motorcyclists in the U.S.

During that same year, Indiana saw 2,579 collisions involving motorcycles, leading to the following fatality and injury totals:

  • 106 motorcycle operator deaths
  • 1,607 motorcycle operator injuries
  • 6 motorcycle passenger deaths
  • 211 motorcycle passenger injuries

Liability investigations into all crashes involving Indiana motorcyclists revealed that failure to yield the right of way was the leading cause of attributable circumstances when another vehicle was involved.

Failure to Yield to Motorcycle Accident Case

Each year, Matt consults with Indiana motorcyclists who were injured by an inattentive driver who claimed they “didn’t see the motorcycle.” As a result, this often leads to a failure to yield accident, such as in the following example:

The diagram below outlines an Evansville motorcycle accident case that occurred at Morgan Avenue and Morgan Center Drive.

motorcycle accident report diagram

Evansville Accident Report Diagram

According to the officer’s narrative, the motorcyclist was westbound on Morgan Avenue approaching Morgan Center Drive. The driver of the car was south on Morgan Center Drive, turning eastbound onto Morgan Avenue. The driver of the car told officers that she “looked both ways and thought it was clear,” at which point she pulled into the path of the motorcycle.

The investigating officer marked Failure to yield as the primary cause of the accident.

Additionally, the police report also indicates the accident happened at 1:56 p.m. in the afternoon during dry weather conditions and on a “Straight/Level” roadway. Despite having clear sightlines, the driver of the car still did not see the motorcyclist.

This accident confirms the fact that drivers of automobiles must exercise the utmost awareness with regard to motorcyclists. Otherwise, the consequences can be fatal.

Fortunately, the motorcyclist survived this collision, however, he did suffer incapacitating injuries that required emergency medical care.

Safely Share the Road with Motorcyclists

To help reduce the chances of striking a motorcyclist, drivers should take the following steps:

  • Look twice for motorcycles at intersections. It is harder to judge a motorcycle’s speed and distance due to its small size. As such, it is possible the driver in the accident report above could have avoided the collision had she looked both ways twice.
  • Use your turn signal and check your mirrors twice before changing lanes or merging with traffic. Close to 40% of a car is covered with blind spots, which remains a leading cause of auto accidents throughout the U.S.
  • Motorcycles face different obstacles when traveling on roads and make stops quicker than expected. For this reason, give motorcyclists plenty of room by following at a greater distance.
  • Motorcycles have the same right of way as any other vehicle on the road: Always give them the full lane width.
  • Under no circumstances should you ever drive distracted or impaired.

If you are a motorcyclist that was injured in a “failure to yield accident,” we recommend that you contact an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney to help ensure your rights are protected.

Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years of experience helping injured Hoosiers with their personal injury claims, including motorcyclists who were injured through no fault of their own.

Matt offers a Zero Fee Guarantee to bikers and their families so that everyone has equal access to professional representation. This means you will never pay for a consultation and you owe Boulton Law Group nothing until your case is won.

If you have questions about your motorcycle accident, contact Matt for a free, friendly consult. You can reach him directly at 317-350-2680, or send him your story via our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews all contacts received at the firm.

How Can We Help You?

Contact attorney Boulton for a 100% free case review. No matter the size or type of case, our clients never pay a fee until after we win their case.
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