The danger of Louisiana roads for motorcyclists

Motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular with people in Orleans County, partly because they are relatively cheaper to maintain than a passenger vehicle and partly because people of all ages are discovering the joys associated with them. However, with that increased usage, the numbers of motorcycle accidents are also rising.

The numbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that since the year 2000, the number of people who have died in motorcycle crashes has increased by 55 percent. Numbers for 2010 show that nationwide, over 4500 people died in motorcycle accidents.

Louisiana crash data reports shows the following statistics for motorcycle crashes in 2012:

  • 74 people were killed in motorcycle crashes; this includes drivers and passengers
  • 149 people were severely injured
  • 686 people were reported with moderate injuries

While these numbers are a bit lower than 2011 numbers, there is still much that motorists and motorcyclists can do to make Louisiana roads safer for everyone.

Need for increased motorcycle awareness

Recently, a 24-year-old man was killed when a 63-year-old woman steered her vehicle into the same lane the biker was riding in according to Fox 8. The biker had moved into the left lane of the road in order to avoid hitting the woman's car when she proceeded to back out of a driveway in front of him. The man flew 75 feet after his bike collided with the car's left side and he died at the scene.

The death of this motorcyclist is a painful reminder that more awareness is needed on the part of motorists. Motorcycles move and are operated in a manner that is very different from a passenger vehicle. For example, their smaller size makes them more maneuverable so that they can disappear into a car's blind spot. Their smaller size also means that motorcyclists need to often change from one side of a lane to the other, especially if they are in traffic, in order to have a better visibility of what is going on.

Motorcycle safety a concern

Government agencies and other groups are working to improve safety for motorcyclists by pushing legislation requiring the wearing of helmets. Louisiana requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. The CDC also encourages motorcyclists to wear clothing that can provide some protection against injury while also featuring reflective or bright material to make the biker more visible to other drivers on the road.

When motorcyclists are involved in an accident, they can sustain serious injuries that leave them permanently disabled or may require months of medical treatment and therapy. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident you should discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney.