Home / Blog / Motorcycle Brake Mistake Causes Death of Henry County Rider

Just after the Christmas holiday, a tragic accident report from Henry County emerged and highlighted one motorcyclist death and serious injuries to two other riders traveling the same stretch of road. The early evening crash took place on State Road 38 near South County Road 600 East, about 4 miles east of New Castle.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Department said a preliminary investigation indicated a total of four motorcycles were traveling together and westbound on State Road 38 when one motorcyclist from New Castle “stopped to pick up a hat that had blown off another rider earlier.” The stopped cyclist had his cruise control set when his brakes became locked and caused his bike to slide sideways and clip the back of another group rider’s motorcycle. The crash impact threw the cruise-controlled rider off his bike and into an oncoming Dodge Ram Pickup. His injuries were life-threatening and ultimately caused the rider’s death. Two other motorcyclists in the group were also injured. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.

Everyone at Wagner Reese has those involved in this motorcycle accident on their minds, reminding us of just how tricky operating a bike and accompanying features can be.

Safe Motorcycling Involves Controlled Handling of All Features

Riding a motorcycle is a risk within itself. To minimize extra riding risks balance, coordination, good judgment, and keeping the regular maintenance of the vehicle is necessary. But even so, motorcycles can become defective or improperly handled and cause accidents. Some of the most important driving skills of a motorcycle driver involves knowing how to use cruise control, which will allow an operator to avoid speeding, and the brakes, especially if antilock, to avoid hazards and maintain control in an emergency situation. Without understanding how to control these features, most motorcyclists will quickly encounter trouble and likely end up in a wreck, causing serious injury to themselves or others as we saw in the recent Henry County crash.

Motorcyclists need to be accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle and mastering the skills of using the 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, choosing motorcycles with an antilock braking system (ABS) may make riding safer. With ABS, riders can brake fully without fear of locking up and ultimately being involved in a wreck. The antilock automatically reduces the brake pressure when a lockup is about to occur and increases it again after traction is restored. A federal safety agency is recommending that all new motorcycles built for road use in the U.S. have anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control as standard equipment after 5,286 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2016.

In addition to understanding how all parts of a bike works, knowing the rules behind participating in a group ride is another skill motorcycle enthusiasts should spend time mastering. All too often groups aren’t prepared to safely ride together or know how to ride in a staggered formation. Riding in a staggered formation can increase the line of sight for all drivers since it moves bikes out of line with each other, allowing for driver error to recover with less risk.

Seek Help From An Experienced Indiana Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

Wagner Reese has a team of experienced Indiana motorcycle accident injury attorneys here for you. We are the best choice to represent you in your claim for damages to your bike or yourself. We are in the business of bringing justice to those injured on Indiana roadways, and want to assist you on your road to recovery by lightening the load of medical bills and other expenses incurred by this accident.

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.