We are saddened to report that another fellow Hoosier cyclist lost his life while riding his bicycle. A resident of Middlebury, Indiana in Elkhart County, Elmer Miller, was riding his bicycle on the shoulder of U.S. 20 near the town of Middlebury, Elkhart County, on July 24, 2013 around 4:30 a.m. when he was struck by an SUV. The Elkhart Truth reported that a 20 year-old man was driving the SUV and left his lane, striking Elmer Miller in the process. Elmer Miller even had flashing lights on his bicycle as required by Indiana bicycle law at the time of the collision.
Some people may be wondering: is it legal for a cyclist to ride on highways in Indiana? Indiana Code 9-21-11-2 provides that a bicycle can be operated on any Indiana roadway. Indiana’s definition of “roadway” (found under Indiana Code 9-13-2-157) does include highways; further, Indiana law specifically sets forth that bicycle riders who operate on highways must abide by all relevant Indiana bicycle laws (Indiana Code 9-21-11-11). Therefore, the answer to previously posed question is YES – cyclists have every right to ride on highways. It is important to note that every Indiana municipality can enact its own ordinances related to bicycle safety. If you have a question about your municipality’s bicycle ordinances, Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
In addition to the fatal bicycle accident involving Elmer Miller, a pedestrian in Indianapolis was struck by a vehicle around 6:07 a.m. on July 23, 2013 on the southwest side near the 8600 block of Cox Road. That same day, at 6:13 a.m., a bicyclist was struck at the intersection of Harding and Morris in Indianapolis. To top it off, a different pedestrian was struck by a motor vehicle in downtown Indianapolis at 6:25 a.m. near the intersection of Washington Street and Capitol Street. These pedestrian vs. motor vehicle and bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents all caused injuries. Fortunately, none appeared to be life-threatening.
At Caress Law Group, our Indiana Bicycle Collision Lawyers help clients involved in bicycle and/or pedestrian accidents in Indiana. These accidents occur far too frequently. We would encourage anyone on a road, whether a cyclist, pedestrian, or automobile, to check your mirrors before turning and to leave 3 feet of space when passing a cyclist or pedestrian. Accidents are bound to happen, but we can minimize these often-deadly bicycle accidents if we take the proper precautions.
Caress Law Group’s bicyclists send our very best to the family of Elmer Miller. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all that knew him. We will continue to advocate for bicycle safety so that devastating accidents like the one involving Elmer Miller can have a better chance of being avoided altogether. If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to call us at 317-255-5400 or by clicking Contact Us to submit an online, confidential, and free inquiry.