A fatal accident that recently occurred on a highway in Northern Indiana highlights some of the dangers faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on rural roadways.
A report in the local news describes how an SUV hit two bicyclists from behind on Indiana State Road 13. One bicyclist was unhurt, but the other passed away from his injuries.
Accidents on rural roads
A 2010 report posted on the website for the Federal Highway Administration states that roughly 25% of accidents involving death or injury for bicyclists and pedestrians occur on rural highways.
The following are potential contributing factors to these collisions:
- Lack of sidewalks and bike lanes.
- Poor street lighting (for instance, this recent crash in Northern Indiana occurred before dawn, and it isn’t clear if the highway was well-lit).
- Vehicles may be going at higher speed, particularly if drivers assume that the roads are relatively empty.
- In some situations there may be various obstructions along the road, such as trees and shrubs, that make it difficult to see what’s ahead as the road curves.
Along with these potential problems, there’s also human error and negligence to account for. While a great responsibility falls on drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users, in the aftermath of an accident, investigators will also scrutinize the behavior of the bicyclists and pedestrians involved. Better education about road safety and more cautious road use are needed to lower the rate of accidents.
Be sure to contact experienced Indiana injury lawyers after a collision. Especially if you were riding your bike or walking at the time of the crash, you’re more likely to suffer debilitating injuries that exact steep costs. Injury attorneys can help you handle medical bills, lost wages, and significant lifestyle changes as a result of the damages from the crash.