Indianapolis Car Accident Causes & Stats: Which Roads are Dangerous?
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization IMPO) has recently published a 101-page document identifying various hazards facing motor-vehicle drivers/passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists throughout Central Indiana.
Boulton Law Group has reviewed the IMPO’s Safety Action Plan report and highlighted some key insights below.
Indiana Auto Accident & Crash Statistics
The Indiana State Police Automated Reporting Information Exchange System, commonly referred to as ARIES, is a database used by Indiana’s officers to document and collect information related to accidents and crashes throughout the Hoosier state.
In their recent report, IMPO specifically analyzed a five-year set of Indiana ARIES data (2016 through 2020) for the following 8 Central Indiana counties:
During this time period there were a combined total of 290,218 reported crashes. Of this total, 3,177 qualified as a “severe crash,” meaning there was an incapacitating injury or fatality sustained in the accident.
Understanding what causes these severe car accidents is one step toward making any needed safety changes.
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What Causes Indiana’s Severe Accidents?
Indiana auto accidents have the potential to lead to a variety of injuries, such as a soft-tissue injury or concussion, however, severe crashes are those that involve incapacitating injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Using ARIES 2016 – 2020 data, IMPO was also able to identify Indiana ‘accident types’ as well as the ‘primary cause’ of the accident marked on the Indiana police reports.
During this 5-year time period, 3 crash-types in ARIES database accounted for 76% of all Indiana’s severe crashes:
- Ran Off Road Crashes
- Right Angle and Left Turn Crashes – Right angle crashes occur at intersections when vehicles arrive on perpendicular roads and collide, such as ‘failure to yield after stopping or passing a signal/stop sign without stopping.
- Rear End Crashes
Investigating officers marked the following 3 factors as the primary cause of Indiana’s severe crash accidents:
- Following Too Closely
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
- Unsafe Speed
Interestingly, “Distracted Driving” is not listed in the top 3 of the primary causes despite it being an ongoing danger facing all Hoosier drivers.
Boulton Law Group believes it’s important to note that in the overwhelming majority of cases (almost always), Indiana’s officers arrive at the scene of an accident after the collision, meaning ‘crash scene evidence’ and ‘initial statements’ are the only insight as to what they believe caused the accident.
Attorney Matt Boulton’s experience with ongoing Indiana car accident investigations has revealed the primary cause of an accident is sometimes revealed later in the case, or there is a contributing factor which comes to light after additional analysis.
For example, an officer may determine that “Following Too Closely” caused a serious car accident based on the position of the vehicles and driver statements, however, it may also be possible the defendant driver was on their mobile device, ultimately leaving them distracted.
What Dangers Do Hoosiers Believe Affect Indiana’s Roads?
The IMPO report also contains a section which includes results from a public survey of local Central Indiana residents and visitors who provided their thoughts on road safety and concerns about specific dangers.
A list of ‘accident causes’ and ‘safety concerns’ were given to respondents in which they were asked to rank on a 1-5 scale (1 meaning strongly disagree, 5 meaning strongly agree) each contributes to Indiana’s road dangers.
Boulton Law Group has listed each of the cause/safety factors below from biggest to smallest in terms of the respondents’ danger ranking:
- Speeding – 4.4
- Distracted Driving – 4.4
- Runing Red Lights – 4.1
- Roadway and/or Intersection Design – 3.8
- Driving Under the Influence – 3.2
- Poor Lighting – 2.8
- Traffic Signal Operations – 2.8
Again, this survey represents the combined results of opinions from Indiana citizens, not data from the ARIES database.
In addition to Boulton Law Group’s post-crash investigations finding evidence of ‘distracted driving,’ respondents also believe it to be one of the biggest safety concerns, tied with ‘speeding.’
Lastly, respondents were given an open-format question in which they were simply asked what they felt were the contributing factors to making certain Indiana roads unsafe. With over 1,000 individual answers given, there were a number of familiar suspects leading the way:
- Speeding – 216
- Roadway Design – 182
- Other Behaviors – 175 (Boulton Law Group is assuming ‘distracted driving’ is included among here.)
- Insufficient Bike & Pedestrian Facilities – 144
- Intersections – 110
- Poor Signage – 87
- Pavement Issues/Road Surface Conditions – 56
- Lighting – 25
With ‘Insufficient Bike & Pedestrian Facilities’ receiving such a large number of replies, it’s important to take a closer look at what exactly residents believe would help prevent many of these types of accidents.
Indiana’s Bicyclist & Pedestrian Safety Concerns
A number of safety-related concerns were expressed by respondents focusing specifically on bicyclists and pedestrians.
In short, the vast majority of respondents would feel much more comfortable (safer) on a separate multi-use path or facility for bicyclists and walkers that has something, e.g., a barrier, between them and the roadway.
Given the large number of Indiana bicycle and pedestrian accident cases Matt has investigated, we found the results of this section to be in line with our own experience and beliefs.
Where are Some of the Most Dangerous Roads in Indianapolis?
Now that we’ve summarized some of the types and causes of severe Indiana crashes, we want to review a listing of the IMPO’s High Injury Network (HIN) findings and identify some of Central Indiana’s most dangerous roadways.
The HIN highlights Central Indiana corridors, meaning “sections of roadway” with the highest frequencies of accidents that result in severe injury and/or fatalities per centerline mile.
It’s important to note this data was also collected from ARIES 2016 – 2020 database, however, due to limitations of the 8 counties included in the IMPO’s study, the HIN does not include INDOT-owned routes (such as interstates, state routes, and numbered US routes) or residential/neighborhood streets.
County Line Road
W 10th Street
R. Reagan Pkwy
High School Road
Smith Valley Road
New York Street
MLK Jr. Street
Old State Road 67
E 96th Street
Fall Creek Pkwy/Binford
Hazel Dell Road
Dan Jones Road
Oak Ridge Road
County Line Road
County Line Road
Five Points Road
Porto Alegre St
Smith Valley Road
Smith Valley Road
New York Street
Black Rock Road
R. Reagan Pkwy
Indianapolis’s Severe Crashes & Accidents on the Rise
Last, Boulton Law Group thought it was important to note the number of Central Indiana accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists has been on the rise over the last several years.
According to ARIES 2012 – 2020 accident data, the number of accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities has seen a year-over-year increase in almost every category:
Number of Central Indiana Accidents involving Incapacitating Injury* or Fatality
Next Steps for Injured Hoosiers
If you or a loved one have had the misfortune of being involved in a serious auto, bicycle, or pedestrian-related accident, it’s important for you to understand your legal options and rights.
Indiana has very specific laws regarding accident victims’ rights, and these laws are always changing or being amended. Not being aware of any single rule can prevent you from seeking compensation that will cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
For example, there are very strict time limits (statute of limitations) regarding the time Hoosier accident victims have to settle a claim or file a lawsuit. If the time allowance is missed by a single minute, you forfeit your right to seek any future compensation.
That said, an accident victim’s first priority should always be their health. If you sustained an injury, the insurance company will require proof of same, thus it’s important to have a doctor examine your bodily injuries as well as follow-up with any appointments or post-care instructions they give to you.
If you’ve never been involved in an accident and have questions, you may benefit from having an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney review your potential case and provide you with their thoughts.
About Boulton Law Group
Founded by attorney Matt Boulton, Boulton Law Group is sought after by injured Hoosiers throughout the state for the firm’s unique approach to client service, custom legal strategies, exclusive focus on personal injury, and ultimately, winning results.
Matt has 25+ years’ experience in helping Indiana accident victims who have sustained injury in a variety of incidents, including:
- Car accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
- Negligent security
Additionally, we want every client to feel safe and comfortable. In addition to treating each client like their family, Boulton Law Group offers everyone a Zero Fee Guarantee.
Our Zero Fee Guarantee means there is never a charge for a case review, and the firm doesn’t receive a dime unless you win.
If you’d like for Matt to review your potential accident claim, you can send him your story by using the firm’s confidential and free contact form.
As always, please stay safe out there!