A previous post on this bog talked about how motorcyclists who travel on Louisiana's roads are more likely to be involved in a serious or even fatal accident than are people who drive in other vehicles. Family members can easily lose a loved one in a serious motorcycle accident.
People in Louisiana probably know intuitively that motorcyclists are at a greater risk of serious injury or death in a collision. After all, the sheer difference in size between a motorcycle and even a small car means that the relatively unprotected motorcyclist will get the worst of it in an impact.
There is a heavy emphasis among both lawmakers and safety experts on urging motorcyclists to wear helmets in order to protect their heads and necks. This is very good advice, as helmets do indeed prevent many fatalities and catastrophic injuries caused as a result of motorcycle accidents.
Recent statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that many motorcycle accidents happen at intersections when a motorist makes a left turn in front of a motorcyclist traveling straight, thereby failing to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. These are potentially deadly motorcycle accidents because the rider will either strike the side of the car turning left, possibly flipping the bike over the car, or will need to make a very risky maneuver to avoid doing so. Such emergency swerves often end poorly for even the most experienced motorcyclist.
The common rule that many drivers in Louisiana follow is what is referred to as the two-second rule. Basically, if a driver arrives at the same spot as the car in front of him in two or more seconds, he has a safe following distance.
A Louisiana man driving a moped in a town north and west of Houma died in an accident after being thrown from his bike.
When the sun is shining, and the autumn temperatures are pleasant, that is enough of a reason for motorcyclists to take a ride. However, riding a motorcycle is not without its risks. Of course, motorcyclists can wear helmets and carefully follow the rules of the road to keep themselves safe. Unfortunately, what they are not safe from -- no matter what precautions they take -- are motorists who are not practicing motorcycle awareness and are not looking out for motorcycles in their vicinity. When a motorist does not pay attention to motorcycles on the road, they could strike one, causing serious injuries or even death.
Some residents may view motorcyclists as reckless risk-takers, but in reality, most motorcyclists are responsible and just want to get from Point A to Point B safely. Unfortunately, if a motorcyclist is in a crash, the laws of physics are not on their side. Therefore, it is important for all motorists to practice motorcycle awareness, so they can avoid these types of collisions. The following are some duties motorists have towards the motorcyclists they share the road with.
Most states, including Louisiana, have laws on when a motorcyclist is required to wear a helmet. It is well recognized that wearing a helmet can save a motorcyclist's life in a motorcycle accident. In fact, motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury in a crash, and many bikers lose their lives after injuring their head in a collision.
Motorcycles can be fun vehicles to operate, but most motorcyclists respect the fact that there are dangers associated with motorcycling. While a motorcyclist can take every safety precaution -- wearing a helmet and protective clothing, riding defensively and following traffic rules -- there is still the possibility they could be involved in a fatal crash.