Merrillville is situated in Lake County, Indiana, which borders both Lake Michigan and Illinois. Lake County is only the twelfth largest Indiana county by area, but it is the second most populated county, boasting about 496,000 Hoosiers.
Along with a high population density, there is also a high density of motorcycle enthusiasts in the area. Lake Michigan provides beautiful scenery, and the expansive flat lands make for great motorcycle riding. However, these flat lands have the potential to promote fast speeds and dangerous driving. This can make the roadways hazardous for motorcyclists.
How can you stay safe while riding your motorcycle in Merrillville? Here are a few safety tips.
1. Wear a Helmet
According to Indiana’s Annual Traffic Safety Report, there were 108 motorcycle fatalities across the state throughout 2015, down from 124 in 2014. However, the report stated that 63 of the 108 riders in fatal motorcycle accidents were not wearing helmets.
Even though Indiana law does not require riders to wear helmets if they are over the age of 18, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group would like to urge you to wear a helmet while riding. We have seen far too many motorcycle accidents right here in Merrillville, Indiana, that have resulted in fatalities, and many of those fatalities may have been prevented if the rider had been wearing a helmet.
2. Don’t Split Lanes
Lane splitting is the act of driving between two lanes of traffic, typically along the dotted white lane that splits the lanes. Although a motorcycle may be able to fit in this area, lane splitting is against the law in Indiana. It’s also illegal in Illinois and Michigan, so even if someone from Merrillville decides to ride across state lines, they shouldn’t split lanes.
Lane sharing, however, is legal in Michigan and Indiana. Lane sharing is when two or more motorcycles ride side by side in the same lane. In Michigan and Indiana, lane sharing is limited to two motorcycles, and they must both consent to sharing the lane. In Illinois, lane sharing is not mentioned in state motorcycle laws.
Lane splitting is dangerous especially in Merrillville because of the highways that cross through the town. Someone may not be tempted to split lanes on a country road, but on US 30 or I-65, a motorcyclist might think that the lanes are wide enough for him to split. However, lane splitting is dangerous no matter what road you’re riding on. Other motorists won’t expect anyone to ride outside of their lane, so you’ll put yourself at a greater risk for an accident if you split lanes. Plus, lane splitting is illegal in Indiana no matter how wide of a road you’re on, so you’ll risk legal ramifications as well.
3. Invest in Anti-Lock Brakes
Hoosiers across the state of Indiana are used to getting crazy weather, but people in Lake County in particular get the worst of it due to their proximity to Lake Michigan. Merrillville residents are no strangers to lake-effect snow and all of the challenges it can bring to one’s travel plans.
That’s one reason why Merrillville residents in particular should consider investing in anti-lock brakes. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) can sense if a wheel is going to lock up and decrease brake pressure to regain traction. ABS is standard on most passenger vehicles, but may be extra when you purchase a motorcycle.
ABS is great for areas like Merrillville where the roads are often wet with rain or slick with snow and ice. The best part is that ABS doesn’t engage on a motorcycle unless absolutely necessary. That means that it won’t take over if you’re comfortably in control of your vehicle. It’ll only take over when a lock-up is imminent.
How a Merrillville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Merrillville motorcycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We’re available to discuss your situation and what the best option is for you moving forward. You should know that you’ll never owe us anything unless we help you get a settlement. We strictly work on a contingency fee basis and are committed to getting money for you before we get paid. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.