The Guide To Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana
Riding a motorcycle can present unique challenges in any state. But, motorcycle accidents in Louisiana are particularly common. Often due to the poor condition of many Louisiana roads as well as the lack of awareness from our drivers. However, there are other contributing factors, too. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have seen these issues play out over and over again in Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes. Find out more from our professionals and learn more about the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Louisiana.
The Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Sudden Stopping – Vehicles following too closely behind a motorcyclist can cause deadly accidents and injuries after sudden stops. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common occurrence.
Motorcycle Maintenance – Many motorcyclists do their own maintenance work or entrust it to someone without insurance or formal training. Even worse, sometimes maintenance is put off until it is too late. As a result, many motorcycle accidents occur due to poor maintenance.
Motorcycle Manufacturer Defects – Just like cars, motorcycles often receive recalls for manufacturing defects. If one of these defects causes an accident, motorcyclists are entitled to compensation.
Dangerous Road Conditions – Especially in Louisiana, hazardous road conditions contribute significantly to the number of motorcycle accidents.
Unsafe Lane Changes – Sadly, it is common for vehicles to change lanes in an unsafe manner. This often occurs when a driver does not properly check their blind spots. When they hit another vehicle, it does damage but is rarely dangerous. But motorcycles don’t offer the same protection. These collisions can easily lead to life-threatening circumstances.
Vehicle Doors – Driving or parked, a vehicle with an open door creates a hazard for an oncoming motorcycle. An open vehicle door can easily cause an accident for a motorcyclist trying to park.
Driving Under The Influence – Driving under the influence is the cause of many motorcycle and automobile accidents. The individual driving under the influence is much more likely to be involved in, or at fault for, an accident.
Lane Splitting – In Louisiana, lane splitting is illegal. This occurs when someone, often a motorcycle, is driving between the area that separates two lanes. It is especially dangerous for inexperienced riders but is not permitted for anyone.
How Many Motorcycle Accidents In Louisiana?
According to Louisiana Crash Data Reports, motorcycles made up only 0.53% of all accidents in the state in 2019. That was 1421 reported accidents, which was almost certainly an underreporting of the total. Of those, 72 were fatal. This means 8.58% of all fatal accidents involved motorcycles. The data shows that riding a motorcycle puts you at enhanced risk for being involved in a fatal accident in Louisiana.
Most of these accidents involved individuals between the ages of 20 and 35. Surprisingly, more than 86% of motorcyclists involved in accidents were wearing helmets, which may have helped decrease the injury and fatality rate. But, even with helmet use, the inflated rate of serious injury or fatality still exists.
Where Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
Contrary to popular thinking, the vast majority of these accidents occur on city/local roads or state roads. While interstates are dangerous due to high speeds, most wrecks do not happen there. Most of the motorcycle accidents in Louisiana also occur in high population parishes. This means motorcycle accidents occur mainly in Orleans and East Baton Rouge Parishes, with Jefferson, Lafayette, and Calcasieu Parishes rounding out the top five.
No one should have to lose a loved one or suffer an injury just because of the type of vehicle they drive. That’s true whether the vehicle is a minivan, a motorcycle, or a sports car. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Baton Rouge or another Louisiana parish, you need an injury attorney you can trust. Contact WCW as soon as possible for legal protection.