Louisiana Motorcycle Safety
Louisiana can be a beautiful place for a motorcycle ride. Unfortunately, due to the nature of motorcycles themselves, there is a higher risk of serious injury or fatality when involved in an accident. Louisiana state laws create a set of guidelines for motorcyclists to follow in order to promote a higher level of safety when enjoying a ride. As an attorney based in Monroe, I want to help you understand these laws.
Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana
When looking at recent traffic accident statistics in Louisiana, it becomes evident that, despite making up a relatively small percentage of total vehicles in the state, motorcycles are involved in a disproportionately high number of injury and fatality accidents. Here are some surprising numbers about motorcycle accidents here in Louisiana in 2018:
- There were 1,645 reported accidents involving motorcycles
- Of those 1,645 accidents, 1,190 accidents resulted in injuries
- 87 fatalities resulted from motorcycle-involved accidents
The startling conclusion to draw from these numbers is the fact that 72.34% of all motorcycle accidents resulted in injuries to those involved. This means you have less than a 28% chance of walking away from a motorcycle accident unscathed. These figures make the case for motorcycle safety loud and clear.
Louisiana Motorcycle Safety
While Louisiana law does provide regulations for operating a motorcycle, the fact remains that—as in many states—Louisiana motorcycle laws tend to be somewhat less restrictive than laws regulating other vehicles on the road. That being said, here are some of the laws Louisiana motorcyclists need to know when on the road:
- Wear a Helmet — Helmets are required when riding a motorcycle in Louisiana, and the chinstrap must be fastened any time the motorcycle is moving.
- Use Eye Protection — Whether utilizing a windshield installed on your motorcycle or goggles or a visor on your helmet, you must have eye protection.
- Follow Lighting Regulations — Modulated headlights may be used only during the day, and only a standard headlight can be used at night.
- Use Both Hands — State law requires that both hands be free to operate the motorcycle at all times.
- Pass Only on the Left — State law only allows motorcycles to pass traffic while on the left side of other vehicles.
- Follow Handlebar Height Limit — Handlebars on your motorcycle must be at a height at or below your shoulders.
- Do Not Split Lanes — Though it is allowed in some states, Louisiana law prohibits motorcycles from driving between lanes of traffic.
- Follow Passenger Age Limit — Any passengers riding with you on your motorcycle must be 5 years old or older.
Additional precautions—such as wearing proper attire and avoiding distractions and reckless driving habits—can be taken to improve overall safety and protect against injury in the event of a motorcycle accident.
How is Fault Determined?
Louisiana uses what is referred to as a “fault-based” system when it comes to establishing responsibility in the event of a traffic accident, and this system applies to motorcycles just as it does to other vehicles. If a motorcycle accident case goes to court, a judge or a jury will determine who is “at fault” for the accident, and that individual will be considered liable. Liability can, however, be shared in an accident. As an example, if you are in an accident and are determined to be 25% at fault, then any compensation you are seeking could be reduced by that percentage.
If you are a motorcyclist and you are injured in a traffic accident, you will need to prove that another party is fully at fault in order to receive the full compensation amount you seek. Failure to adhere to Louisiana motorcycle laws—like those listed above—will hinder your ability to win full compensation. For this reason, and for your own protection and well-being, following Louisiana motorcycle laws is always in your best interest.
How Can a Monroe, Louisiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me?
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, there are a variety of consequences you may have to deal with, including physical pain and injuries, medical bills, potential inability to work, and property damage. That’s a lot to have on your plate, so you shouldn’t have to add dealing with insurance companies and fighting to receive compensation. Leave the legal matters to a professional. I will fight for your rights and help you pursue a fair payout.
I’ve been practicing law in the Monroe, Louisiana area long enough to see plenty of traffic accident cases, and many of them involve motorcycles. If you have suffered a personal injury in a motorcycle accident and need to consult with an experienced attorney, contact me at the Bruscato Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.