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Motorcycle Break Lockup To Blame For Kokomo Man's Injury

Jason Reese

Earlier in March, 51-year-old Douglas Vanata from Kokomo, was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital after crashing his motorcycle and severely injuring his head.

Vanata’s 2006 Yamaha motorcycle’s brakes locked and as the cycle slid, he was thrown to the street onto his head, according to an accident report. First responders say Vanata was unconscious and bleeding from the head on arrival and then transported to Community Howard Regional Health and later airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.


Most motorcycle riders explain the exhilarating feeling they get from riding down the open road but most never discuss or realize the challenges that can arise in controlling a motorcycle and how dangerous they can be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and six times as likely to be injured.

Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, good judgment, and keeping the regular maintenance of the vehicle. But at times, the many parts of motorcycles can become defective or improperly handled and cause accidents. Some of these most important parts of a motorcycle are the brakes. Brakes allow a motorcyclist to slow down or stop to avoid hazards and maintain control on turns. Without working brakes or understanding how to control them, most motorcyclists would be in big trouble and likely end up crashing, causing serious injury to themselves or others.


Motorcyclists need to get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle, or mastering the skill of using the front brake, by riding the bike in a controlled area before hitting the roadway with other drivers. The front brake is one of the most powerful yet difficult pieces to master of a motorcycle. It can control the speed even more than the engine. If the front brake is too uncomfortable, motorcycles with an antilock braking system can make riding safer. The rate of fatal crashes is 31 percent lower for motorcycles equipped with optional ABS than for those same models without ABS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2013). With ABS, riders can brake fully without fear of locking up and ultimately being involved in a wreck. The antilocks automatically reduce the brake pressure when a lockup is about to occur and increase it again after traction and normalcy is restored.

In addition, before every ride take time to identify any maintenance issues or parts that may not be working. Hand and foot brakes should all be checked as well as tire pressure and tread depth, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels. Most important though is to always wear a motorcycle helmet. It’s the best protection against a traumatic brain injury if a crash were to occur.

We wish Mr. Vanata a full, healthy recovery.

If you have been injured because of brake failure on your motorcycle, or involved in a motorcycle accident, our Indianapolis-based motorcycle accident attorneys at Wagner Reese will fight for justice and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for your FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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