Open Accessibility Menu

Indiana Sees Large Year Over Year Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities

Jason Reese


  • After a two year drop in motorcycle crash fatalities, a recent report by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute has emerged that shows a rise in motorcyclist deaths after the state’s year-over-year percentage increase ranked highest in the nation.
  • The Governors Highway Safety Association blames intoxicated driving and a lack of rider training among top reasons for the hike in motorcycle crash deaths last year.
  • Safe motorcycling takes training, practice, balance, coordination, good judgment and experience but officials also say lack of safety equipment, such as a helmet, could factor into the jump in motorcyclist deaths.
  • Although minors and those who have a motorcycle learner’s permit are the only groups required by Indiana law to wear a helmet, the life-saving equipment is also the best protection against a traumatic brain injury if a crash were to occur.

Drunk Driving and Inexperienced Operators to Blame for Indiana’s Hike in Motorcycle Deaths

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute monitors state crash statistics to identify ways to keep roads safer. After applauding a nearly two-year drop in motorcycle fatalities, recent released data shows a scary trend in motorcycle deaths that safety officials will continue to track closely. The Governors Highway Safety Association report mimics a similar concern after noticing the rise of 144 motorcycle crash deaths in 2017 vs. 100 fatalities in 2016, and the most motorcyclist deaths in Indiana since 2012. It’s the year-over-year percentage increase in motorcyclist fatalities from 2016 to 2017 that was most alarming as it reached rates highest in the nation. Report analysts say motorcyclists comprise a relatively low number of deaths when it comes to the state’s total motor vehicle fatalities at just 12.3 percent.

Inexperienced Drivers and Drunk Drivers Contribute to Rise in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

With motorcyclists being 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles, it’s without a doubt the need for better awareness in safe motorcycling remains important. Officials believe intoxicated driving (both of motorcycle operators and drivers of motor vehicles) and a lack of rider training were among the top reasons for last year’s rise in fatal crashes. That involves proper motorcycle handling and training, balance, coordination and good judgment. State officials have made the suggestion that crashes specific to older, more experienced riders may result from a loss of skills and the lack of ability to be familiar with the increased power and accessories of motorcycles made today. In addition, we should all know by now that alcohol reduces the function of the brain, impairs thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. These are all of the abilities essential to operating any type of vehicle safely. Don’t drink and drive!

Motorcycle Helmets Remain Best Defense Against Traumatic Brain Injury

Safe motorcycling takes good judgment and experience but officials also say lack of safety equipment could factor into the jump in motorcyclist deaths. Cyclists need to know their bike, recognize their rider strengths and weaknesses, and always wear the right gear. That gear includes a motorcycle helmet. More than half of the riders killed in 2017, 89 people (the highest number since 2014), were not wearing helmets, according to the annual traffic safety report. A helmet is the best protection against a traumatic brain injury if a crash were to occur. In Indiana, helmets are only required by law for minors and those who have a motorcycle learner’s permit.

Indiana Drivers Need to Wise Up

If tragedy strikes and you or someone you love is injured in a motorcycle related driving accident, please call the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese for a free consultation. We put decades of experience to work for you, and we won’t collect any fees unless your case is settled or won.

Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.


Request Your Free Case Evaluation

Fill out the form below to get started or give us a call at (888) 204-8440 to speak with our legal team directly.

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Our Locations

  • Indianapolis Office: 201 N. Illinois St.,
    16th Floor - South Tower

    Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • Carmel Office: 11939 N. Meridian St.
    Carmel, IN 46032
  • Evansville Office: 815 John St. Suite 110
    Evansville, IN 47713
  • Fort Wayne Office: 3201 Stellhorn Rd
    Fort Wayne, IN 46815
  • Champaign Office: 701 Devonshire Dr., Suite C17
    Champaign, IL 61820