Indy Motorcyclist Loses Life In Utility Pole Accident

A motorcyclist without a helmet tragically died in Indianapolis in the early morning hours on July 23 when he crashed into a light pole. According to witnesses, the man, 42, was going about 100 mph on Madison Avenue when he lost control. He died at the scene. Police indicated that alcohol did not appear to be a factor.

Whether a helmet could have saved the man’s life at that rate of speed is unknown, but in general wearing a helmet can provide a certain degree of protection against catastrophic motorcycle accidents and injuries. A helmet that meets the basic standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a good place to start.

In addition to observing the speed limit and always wearing a helmet, the Indiana State Police recommends wearing a long-sleeved jacket, sturdy gloves, and over-the-ankle boots. For greater roadway safety, the Indiana personal injury lawyers at Young and Young also recommends that all motorcyclists participate in a motorcycle training course such as those sponsored by ABATE prior to operating on the road.

Incidentally, on August 13,  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will participate with ABATE in the Governor’s 6th Annual Charity Motorcycle Ride benefiting the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund, August 13. More information can be found on the ABATE website. The free event open to all motorcyclists will wind through the scenic roadways of northwest Indiana.

Drunk Driver Sentenced To Prison Stretch

A state motorist recently became subject to the full legal consequences of his involvement in an alcohol-related fatal accident in Gary, Indiana. The motorist, a 41-year-old man from Portage, received a 14-year sentence, the maximum allowable under Indiana law, as a result of crossing the center line and crashing head-on into a car driven by a mother of two from East Chicago, Illinois. The man registered a BAC of more than twice the legal limit according to authorities. The woman tragically died at the scene of the accident that occurred about one year ago.

Last month, the driver pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and for being a habitual substance offender. The court formally imposed the prison term on Monday. He may also face a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court arising from the same horrific car wreck.

We’ve issued this warning over and over. For your sake, and for the sake of your family, as well as innocent drivers and passengers in other cars, if you choose to drink, do not, under any circumstances, try to drive. To make matters worse, repeat offenders, in particular, account for a huge number of drunk driving accidents on our roads. If you need to get into an automobile after having one too many, use a designated driver or call a cab.

Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

As we have discussed previously, drivers must be extremely vigilant to avoid traffic accidents when the warmer weather brings out more motorcycle enthusiasts. Recently Indiana fatalities have established that point unfortunately. By the same token, for enhanced roadway safety, motorcyclists must also take care to operate their choppers safely and legally.

The Indiana State Police offers these suggestions to motorcycle owners to avoid the possibility of a highway accident:

  • learn to operate a motorcycle (or an all-terrain vehicle) from an accredited vehicle
  • practice on private property
  • watch for “objects” (e.g., potholes, pedestrians, traffic) on the road
  • do not follow too closely
  • avoid sudden swerving
  • watch for loose materials on curves and hills
  • practice breaking with booth brakes simultaneously
  • reduce speed on wet pavement, loose gravel, and before curves
  • know how to lay down the motorcycle in case of emergency
  • always wear a helmet, shield, or goggles, long-sleeved jacket, sturdy gloves, and over-the-ankle boots (applies also for all-terrain vehicles)
  • don’t ride if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs
  • fasten loads tightly to the rear
  • pass with caution
  • double check blind entries
  • wear brightly colored clothing
  • signal clearly

Enjoy your motorcycle, but as the ISP recommends, drive defensively for your sake and for the sake of others on the road; it can be a matter of life and death.

What Causes Car Crashes on Indiana Roads?

Especially (but not only) when highways are clogged with vacation traffic, it is crucial to drive defensively and stay alert. Following the rules of the road all year round makes an essential contribution to traffic safety. While a motorist has no control over the behavior of others, a driver has complete responsibility for his or her own actions behind the wheel. It has been said that for most citizens, the greatest safety threat comes from traveling in a vehicle rather than from violent crime or terrorism.

According to the Indiana State Police, the following consists of the top causes of crashes on state roads:

  • following to close
  • failure to yield
  • unsafe lane movement
  • driving too fast for weather conditions
  • running off the roadway
  • over-steering or over-correcting
  • driving at an unsafe speed
  • falling asleep at the wheel
  • distracted driving

If you or a family member have been injured in a highway accident by someone who drove negligently or recklessly in this way, it is important to retain legal counsel with the experience and skills needed to obtain full compensation for your injuries. The Indiana personal injury lawyers  at Young and Young in Indianapolis have represented thousands of Hoosiers with serious auto accident injuries. We have more than 55 years of experience waiting to help.

Indiana Amends Move Over Law

Hoosiers need to always give first responders a wide berth on state roads so  they can do their jobs safely without creating an add-on highway accident in the process.

In 1999, Indiana became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law (Indiana Code section 9-21-8-35) requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles–including but not limited to police cruisers on construction details–with lights flashing. Emergency vehicles under the state’s  "move over" law include police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and rescue vehicles, highway incident response vehicles and highway work vehicles, tow trucks, and utility service vehicles.

Two changes to the law took effect at the beginning of this month:  Motorists must reduce their speed by 10 mph under the posted speed limit if they cannot move to an adjacent lane safely. Secondly, the law now includes the aforementioned utility service vehicles. Indiana State Police and Transportation Department officials warn against coming to a stop on the road rather than slowing down. Stopping could lead to chain-reaction traffic road accidents.

Local media appropriately notes the following in the context roadway safety and the move over law: "During this time of year highway work crews are out in road construction zones repairing Indiana roadways. Always use extra care and reduce your speed in these zones."

Indiana Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Salutes MADD

John P. Young is your Indiana drunk driving accident lawyer.  Mr. Young practices out of Indianapolis with his partners at Young & Young.  Young & Young was founded in 1954 with the sole purpose of assisting Hoosiers injured in accidents including drunk driving accidents.  For over 56 years Young & Young has been hard at work using the law to help Hoosier families get back on their feet with the aid of fair compensation for their injuries.  We have been studying the medicine involved in accident cases for those 56 years.  We have learned from local, national and international experts in medicine all about the medicine necessary to treat serious personal injuries.  Knowing this medicine assist us in teaching jurors all about your injuries, what it will take to heal your injuries and why you deserve fair compensation for those injuries.

At Young & Young we respect organizations which work tirelessly to educate the    public about the dangers of drunk driving.  We salute Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  MADD was started by a grieving mother whose child suffered a wrongful death at the hands of a drunk driving accident.  At that time society looked the other way when it came to the crime of drunk driving.  We seemed to think hey everyone does it, it is not so bad.  Losing a child is the most traumatic event a person can live through.  Worse yet, to know that a drunk driver was responsible is worse yet.  Thank you to the people dedicated to educating the public that have led to stiffer penalties and intolerance in society.

We have frank discussions with our children about the dangers of alcohol.  Part of those discussions are that if you have chosen to drink, do not, under any circumstance try to drive.  Call us, we will come pick you up.  We will discuss, the next day, their choice to drink, but we will never find fault with the call that keeps them from getting behind the wheel.  You can find ideas about how to talk with your children by visiting the MADD website.

Preventing Drunk Driving Accidents is everyone’s business – it is in all our best interests, it may be our child lost to the drunk driver.  Let’s put a stop to it.

Young and Young Sponsor Brain Injury Association of Indiana

John P. Young, your Indiana brain injury lawyer, and his partners at Young & Young, practicing in Indianapolis, Indiana since 1954, is proud to announce that Young & Young is now a Corporate sponsor of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana. The Brain Injury Association of Indiana serves over 155,000 Hoosiers living with brain injury, in addition to their families, and the researchers, clinicians, and professionals who provide treatment, rehabilitation and long term care. The goal of the Brain Injury Association of Indiana is to be the direct entry for Hoosiers and their families, dealing with Brain Injury for resources, education and support.

John P. Young has served the Brain Injury Association of Indiana in various leadership roles over the last 15 years. Mr. Young has served on the Board of Directors, as Chair of the Board of Directors, and as Emeritus member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Young has been in attendance at multiple fund raisers and educational seminars. Mr. Young has represented Hoosiers dealing with brain injury for the entire 22 years he has been practicing law. Through his experience, he knows what is necessary to support and assist families to lead enriching lives after brain injury.

Young & Young is proud to partner with the Brain Injury Association of Indiana.

Bicycle Safety Tips–Part 2

Continuing our discussion of bicycle safety for you and your family…the Indiana State Police reminds bicyclists that they have to take the initiative to make themselves visible to motorists, especially after dark. Never assume that motorists sharing the road with you can see you. According to the ISP, sufficient visibility to avoid traffic accidents includes the following considerations:

wear bright colored clothing, particularly with fluorescent colors

at night, wear light colored clothing with reflective patches and wristbands

bikes should have reflectors on the front and rear, and on pedals and wheels

use bright, white headlight(s), preferably with a range of 500 feet

Bicyclists are smaller and slower than vehicles, obviously, so they need to be even more alert than drivers in terms of roadway safety. You should have an awareness of passing pedestrians, too (pedestrians have the right of way).

In sharing the road with cars and people safely, here are some additional thoughts:

ride far enough away from the curb to avoid running into parked cars

always check behind you when changing lanes

watch out for litter, potholes, gravel, storm grates, or other hazards

securely attach any items to your bike or carry them in a backpack

use bells or horns to alert pedestrians and other vehicles

Before getting out on the road, the ISP recommends that you engage in due diligence: simply put,  learn to ride your bike in a safe and controlled manner first. Makes good sense, doesn’t it? Among other things, controlling your bike means that you can look behind you safely and as well as being able to ride with one hand while signaling. No one wants to spend their summer vacation in the hospital recuperating from an avoidable road accident.

Bicycle Safety Tips–Part 1

Bicycle Safety Tips #1

For bicycle enthusiasts, we’ve blogged previously about the importance of roadway safety, a responsibility shared by the person on the bike as well as motorists in cars and trucks, especially now in the midst of  the warm weather and vacation season. When they are out and about on Indiana roads, bicyclists should never assume that motorists see them. Bike defensively and alertly to avoid getting into a vehicle accident.

We’ve also noted that wearing a helmet all the time should be a priority for cyclists to minimize the potentially devastating consequences of a road accident. The Indiana State Police says that your helmet is as much a part of your bicycle as the handlebars or tires.

To avoid bike/car traffic accidents, the ISP also offers some specific recommendations for bike safety. These include the following:

  • Your helmet should meet the safety standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Always ride with the traffic
  • Know your local traffic laws (e.g., some Indiana towns require lights on the front and back of the bike to improve night visibility)
  • Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings
  • Signal in advance of a turn, using the proper hand signals
  • Yield to pedestrians and other vehicles as appropriate
  • Make sure your bike is the correct size and that it gets regular maintenance
  • Never wear headphones while riding a bike

We’ll continue this discussion in a follow-up posting.

Indiana Truck Accident Attorney

John P. Young is your Indiana Truck accident attorney.  Mr. Young works out of the Indianapolis law firm of Young and Young.  Young and Young has been in continuous operation since 1954, more than 56 years! Mr. Young and his partners have combined legal experience of more than 100 years.  Mr. Young represents Hoosiers injured in every type of truck accidents including SUV collisions, pick-up truck crashes, box trucks, step vans, right on up to semi tractor-trailer accidents.  Mr. Young deals with drunk driving accident cases and any highway accident.  Mr. Young studies and understands the rules and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which can be accessed on the web at  These rules and regulations apply to operators, vehicles, transportation of hazardous materials, companies and more.  Adherence to these rules and regulations is what keeps our highway systems safe for passenger cars to travel alongside the big rigs.  Almost any big truck collision can be contributed by human error, mostly in violation of the safety rules.  Reasonable responsible companies follow the rules.  Those that don’t cause accidents and injury.

In an unfortunate crash over the weekend a small child, a baby, was critically injured in an SUV crash on Interstate 65 in Clinton County. Justice Hans was taken to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, IN after the collision.  She was listed in critical condition.  Justice was thrown from the vehicle when the accident occurred at about 2:00 pm, Sunday July 11, 2010.   The SUV in which Justice was a passenger  was south bound on I-65 when the driver lost control and the SUV rolled several times.  Justice’s mother, Kia Tonge-Goliday was also thrown from the vehicle, but was not reported as injured.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Justice for a complete and speedy recovery as well as to Kia, in what must be a very difficult experience.

If you, or a loved one, has been injured in a truck accident, and the accident was another person’s fault, call John P. Young toll free @ 1-888-639-5161.  You may also contact Mr. Young on the web at Mr. Young guarantees there will be no fee unless you receive just compensation.  Be careful on our roads.

Indianapolis Injury Attorney on Fireworks Safety

John P. Young, your Indiana Injury Attorney, practicing out of the Indianapolis law firm of Young and Young wishes you a very happy Fourth of July. Remember to fly your American Flag proudly. Remember to honor our country and her defenders, even if you do not agree with everyone, for all her faults America is a sweet dream and a wonderous country. Honor your parents if they have sacrificed for you, if they have not, honor those who have. Celebrate with fireworks, but honor those who have to work early on Monday.

Be Careful:

No booze and fireworks, let your designated fireworks handler light the fuse.

Getting hit with a fireball hurts, only light on a solid surface.

Kids want to look over the top of a shooting firework if they think it takes too long to shoot, keep them back.  An eye is a terrible thing to lose.

Water is the wicked witch’s enemy but it your friend, keep one handy for the duds.

I am sure you like your house, and so do the neighbors, don’t let the ashes fall on the houses.

Fireworks are beautiful for an instant, burns hurt forever.

Celebrate A Safe Independence Day Weekend

Getting behind the wheel after having one too many is always a bad idea, but especially during a holiday weekend when traffic accidents are more likely. Already one of the most heavily traveled holidays, the AAA Hoosier Motor Club forecasts a nearly 18 percent increase nationally in July 4th-related car travel from last year it this time. And Indiana state troopers along with local police will step up their patrols during this year’s long weekend. The federally funded Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) will put about 150 more state police officers on Indiana highways during the statistical counting period for America’s birthday celebration that starts midnight Friday and ends midnight Monday.

According to Indiana State Police records, last year there were 83 alcohol-related crashes in Indiana that injured 41 people and killed one person. Overall, alcohol apparently was a contributing factor in 13 percent of the July 4 period crashes that resulted in injuries in 2009.

State police say their weekend crackdown will concentrate on stopping drunk or impaired drivers hopefully before a highway accident happens. Troopers will also be on the lookout to enforce child seat belt laws.

Additional roadway safety tips from the state police include getting plenty of rest if you plan on any long-distance driving, avoid tailgating, and call 911 if you see any suspicious or reckless driving activities.

Social drinking may be commonplace during holiday parties for some people, but please take sensible precautions. For example, leave the car in the garage if you can, or make sure that your family has a designated driver who stays sober at the picnic, party, lake, or other get-together.

Best wishes for a safe and happy July 4th holiday from Young and Young.

Indiana Trooper In Near Fatal Accident During DUI Stop

An officer with the Indiana state police miraculously avoided the fate that recently befell a trooper in Massachusetts who was killed by a drunk driver during a DUI traffic stop.

Indiana State Trooper Christopher Townsend had just arrested a man early Saturday morning on suspicion of DUI on I-65 northbound in Indianapolis when his cruiser was rear-ended by an SUV. The trooper’s car was parked on the shoulder at the time and had its emergency lights going. The cruiser was totaled in the crash; fortunately, the trooper only suffered a cut on the head and similarly his prisoner only received minor injuries.

"Once I got the subject, the drunk driver, into my car, I seat belted him in, and when I got in my car, it wasn’t five or six seconds after that before I was struck in the rear by another truck," Trooper Townsend told the news media. The trooper also said that he probably would have been killed if he was standing outside his vehicle.

The driver of the SUV was charged with DUI and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Police say he was traveling at 70 mph.

As we approach the long July 4th weekend, every Hoosier must get the message loud and clear: Please don’t drink and drive. You could ruin your own life as well as those of the innocent victims of your irresponsibility.

If you or a family member have been injured in a highway accident by a driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, it is important to retain legal counsel with the experience and skills needed to obtain full compensation for your injuries. At Young and Young in Indianapolis, our Indiana person injury lawyers have represented thousands of Hoosiers with serious auto accident injuries. We have more than 55 years of experience waiting to help.

Indiana Truck Injury Lawyer on Speed Limits

John P. Young has been practicing Indiana Truck Injury law for 22 years.  He recently assisted a Hoosier injured in a semi tractor trailer accident.  The facts of the case shed light on the speed limits on our interstate highway system.  Speed limits on the highway system are regulated by Indiana statutory law.  This simply means that the Indiana legislature passed a law which controls speed on our highways. The numerical designation for the statute is I.C. 9-21-5-2.  The “I.C.” stands for Indiana Code.  This is how law enforcement refers to the statute passed by the Indiana legislature. I.C. 9-21-5-2 deals with speed limits for more than just semi tractor-trailer trucks or other large trucks. It also deals with more than just the Interstate highway system.  However for purposes of this blog, we will cite only to the sections applicable to large trucks and semi tractor-trailers, and the Interstate highway system. The statute states:

Sec. 2. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with section 1 of this chapter, the slower speed limit specified in this section or established as authorized by section 3 of this chapter is the maximum lawful speed. A person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of the following maximum limits:

(2) Fifty-five (55) miles per hour, except as provided in subdivisions (1), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7).

(3) Seventy (70) miles per hour on a highway on the national system of interstate and defense highways located outside of an urbanized area (as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101) with a population of at least fifty thousand (50,000), except as provided in subdivision (4).

(4) Sixty-five (65) miles per hour for a vehicle (other than a bus) having a declared gross weight greater than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds on a highway on the national system of interstate and defense highways located outside an urbanized area (as defined in 23 U.S.C. 101) with a population of at least fifty thousand (50,000).

(6) On a highway that is the responsibility of the Indiana finance authority established by IC 4-4-11:

(A) seventy (70) miles per hour for:

(i) a motor vehicle having a declared gross weight of not more than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds; or

(ii) a bus; or

(B) sixty-five (65) miles per hour for a motor vehicle having a declared gross weight greater than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds.

This is the statement of the maximum speeds.  As you have noted on the highways, trucks with a weight over 26,000 pounds have a lower speed limit than do passenger cars.  Now we all know about the maximum limit, but there is also a minimum speed limit on our interstate highway system. Truckers know this, it is part of their training.  The minimum speed limit is controlled by another Indiana statute.


9-21-5-8 Minimum speed limits

Sec. 8. Whenever the Indiana department of transportation within the department’s jurisdiction or a local authority within the authority’s jurisdiction determines, based on an engineering and traffic investigation, that slow speeds on a part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Indiana department of transportation or local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which a person may not drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. A limit determined under this subsection and declared by appropriate resolution, regulation, or ordinance becomes effective when appropriate sign or signals giving notice of the limit of speed are erected along the affected part of a highway.

The minimum speed limit on Indiana highways is 50 miles per hour.  In the case referenced, the injured Hoosier was traveling 55 miles per hour when a truck behind him moved into the passing lane to pass him.  Just as the truck was passed him, a second truck, which was exceeding the speed limit and not paying attention hit the Hoosier in the rear and hurt him badly.

I hope this is a wakeup call to truckers to maintain proper speed, and look out while on Hoosier roads.

NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.