Winter weather does not stop motorcycle aficionados from riding here in Indiana and Illinois. Today’s weather in Indianapolis is sunny with highs in the 60s: perfect riding weather, right?
Sure. And this brings us to this week’s news reports, serving as a reminder of the very real danger of riding motorcycles on our roadways.
Rising Number of Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana and Illinois
Our part of the country has seen motorcycle accidents happening with shocking regularity this month. It’s disturbing. After all, this is February.
Is it the pleasant weather? Are our mild days and snow-free nights encouraging motorcyclists to drive more? The Indiana State Police suggest this is the case.
Another factor: the economy. The Illinois Department of Transportation suggests that cost is a factor in rising motorcycle traffic. It’s cheaper to drive a bike than other motor vehicles.
Whatever the reasons, the reality is motorcycle accidents, from minor crashes to fatal accidents, are popping up in recent news stories much too often.
And if it feels like there’s a new story of a motorcycle crash every day? Well, that might be because it’s true.
Over Five Motorcycle Accidents in the Past Week
Consider the following (and these are NOT the only local motorcycle accidents reported in the past seven days):
Two days ago, an Indiana police officer was injured in a motorcycle crash. According to news reports from Fox59, the accident happened in the Range Line Road and Carmel Drive roundabout in Carmel, Indiana.
A Ford E-350 van allegedly veered into the police officer’s Harley Davidson as he rode alongside the van. The driver of the van was changing lanes, and hit the bike.
Result: The motorcycle crash resulted in the motorcyclist being taken to St. Vincent Hospital for medical care. Fortunately, this was not a fatal motorcycle crash.
On Monday, the Daily Herald reported a fatal motorcycle accident on Schmale Road near Fullerton Avenue in Glendale Heights. The police news release explained that the crash happened around noon as a car collided with the motorcycle.
Result: the motorcyclist was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he passed away later that day from injuries sustained in the motorcycle crash.
That same day, another fatal motorcycle crash happened in Illinois. The State Journal-Register reports that a motorcyclist crashed after losing control of his motorcycle on Sunday night. It was a serious crash, as the motorcyclist was found on a roadside retaining wall having been thrown from his motorcycle in the accident.
Result: The coroner pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene, and investigators are working to determine the reason why the rider lost control of his bike.
Last week, at the Vigo County intersection of North Range Line Place and U.S. 150, a sedan was moving down the street when it hit a motorcyclist riding his Kawasaki. According to reports by WTHI-TV, the sedan was turning eastbound to enter US 150 when it collided with the motorcycle as it headed west on North Range Line Place.
Result: The motorcyclist was thrown from his motorcycle. Indiana State Police officers told WTHI-TV that they credited his helmet and protective clothing with keeping the motorcyclist safe from more serious injuries.
Two days earlier, another motorcycle accident occurred on East Ireland Road near York Road in South Bend, Indiana. A car collided with the motorcyclist but little else is known about what happened here – news reports are limited at this point.
Result: it is known that the motorcyclist was transported from the accident site to the hospital for medical treatment.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
It is a horrible thing, to lose a loved one in a motorcycle crash. Even when justice is served, and the law works to provide support and help to the accident victim, it’s never enough. Lives are lost and no matter how large the verdict or recovery, the tragedy remains.
Traditionally, May is “National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” That’s when the spring weather invites motorcyclists out onto our roads.
Each year, there is a national public awareness campaign to educate and inform both motorcyclists and other drivers of the dangers of motorcycle crashes and how to avoid a motorcycle accident.
We participate in this campaign; see our May 2016 post for details, “May 2016 is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”
However, there is a shocking increase in the number of motorcycle accidents in the winter months, here in Indiana and Illinois. It’s important that we all stop and consider motorcycle accident prevention now.
For ways that you can protect yourself while riding your motorcycle here in Indiana and Illinois, check out the tips and information provided in our post, “Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana and Illinois: How Great is the Danger?” Let’s be careful out there!