What is Indiana’s Dead Red Law for Motorcyclists?

What is Indiana’s Dead Red Law for Motorcyclists?

Depending on which state you live in, it is sometimes legal to run a red light in specific situations. You may have heard about the Indiana dead red law, which allows motorists to proceed through a red light after two minutes pass.

Even though driving laws are meant to keep those on the road safe, they can sometimes cause confusion. Or there are instances where other drivers are negligent, and either aren’t paying attention or aren’t aware of the rights granted under these laws.

At Sevenish Law Firm, we have been fighting for over 35 years on behalf of our clients. We are fierce protectors of the injured and fight for the best results, so get in touch to speak with an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney.

Understanding Indiana’s Dead Red Law

The Indiana dead red law is something that also applies to 15 other states in the US. This law only applies to motorcycles and bicycles, allowing them to go through a red light in certain instances.

The dead red light law in Indiana only applies if they have stopped at an intersection for two minutes without the red light changing. They must treat the red light like a stop sign, yielding to traffic in motion and only continuing if it is safe.

The motorcycle red light law in Indiana is helpful for a few specific instances. Motorcyclists and bicyclists can sometimes get stuck at an intersection if the sensor does not detect their presence. In areas with low traffic, there might not be a heavier vehicle that stops behind the rider and triggers the sensor. The red light may not change for quite a while, which can be an inconvenience at best, and a risk of being rear-ended at a red light at worst.

Even though bicycles and motorcycles can legally go through red lights in Indiana with this law, they mustn’t assume the right of way. Everyone still needs to be aware of other vehicles on the road to prevent collisions.

Common Causes of Red Light Collisions

It is not uncommon for there to be intersection accidents at red lights. If you are trying to prove who is at fault, you will need to understand what can cause these accidents.

The dead read law can make proving fault a little more difficult since the collision itself doesn’t always indicate this. Because of that, you need to collect other forms of evidence to prove that the other driver was somehow negligent.

Here are some examples of negligence that lead to red light accidents:

  • Trying to beat a red light: When drivers see a yellow light, they may start speeding to try to get through it before it turns red. This can cause severe collisions if they do not make it through in time and collide with someone else who has the right of way.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers looking down or off the road while operating their vehicle may not see a motorcyclist while going through a red light.

How to Prove Fault in Red Light Cases

If you or a loved one was following the Indiana dead red law but were still hit by another driver, you will want to prove who is at fault.

Sources of evidence can come from:


A very strong type of evidence to support your case is witnesses who can testify on your behalf. Witnesses include bystanders and other drivers who were at the scene of the accident and saw what led to it.

Having witness testimonies strengthens your case since these are uninvolved parties who can back up your statement. You will want to get the contact information of these witnesses at the scene if possible, but the police will also include this information in their report.

Police report

The law in Indiana requires drivers to report a vehicle accident if it resulted in more than $1000 in damage or if someone was injured or killed in the accident. It is also a good idea to call the police as an additional way of documenting the accident.

When the police arrive, they will investigate the scene of the accident and compile a police report. This report can include vital information for your claim, such as witness statements, citations the other driver got, and information about the scene of the accident.

Visual evidence

Another type of evidence to support your red light collision claim is any kind of photo or video evidence. Most intersections have surveillance cameras that help collect footage that your lawyer can access for your claim. There may also be security cameras outside of nearby businesses that may have captured the collision from a different angle.

The police report will include photographs at the accident scene, and you can also take your own photos. Ideally, you should photograph damage to your motorcycle or bicycle, any bodily injuries, and the surrounding scene of the accident if at all possible. Indicators like skidmarks, vehicle damage, and the intersection layout can all help indicate who is at fault.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Indianapolis at Sevenish Law Firm

If you are a motorcyclist, you need to be familiar with the Indiana dead red law, which allows you to go through red lights in certain instances. Even though this is entirely legal, there is always the risk of a collision if other drivers aren’t paying attention or are driving negligently.

If you have been in a motorcycle crash, our motorcycle accident attorney at Sevenish Law Firm can help you build your case. Contact us today by filling out our contact form or call us at 317-720-3229.

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