Earlier this year, the Louisiana State Legislature considered a bill that would repeal the mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Supporters of the bill said that it would give adult riders a “personal choice” about whether to wear a helmet. Louisiana has required the use of helmets by riders of all ages since 2004.
At about the same time the Legislature was considering the bill, early numbers showed a jump in motorcycle rider deaths in 2015. In fact, the number of deaths jumped by 10%. For only the third time in our country’s history, motorcyclist deaths topped 5,000 in one year.
Helmets save lives, but some states have repealed helmet laws anyway. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “estimate[s] that helmets saved the lives of 1,630 motorcyclists in 2013.” The Governor’s Highway Safety Association estimates that the motorcycle death rate is “26 times higher than passenger vehicles” for each mile driven.
Fortunately, there are steps riders and other drivers can take to avoid motorcycle crashes. Regardless of the law, motorcyclists can choose to wear a helmet that complies with U.S. Department of Transportation standards. These standards require a thick inner helmet liner and a sturdy chinstrap. They also weigh more than those that do not comply with DOT standards.
Motorcyclists can also increase their visibility by wearing bright clothing rather than traditional riding gear. Motorcyclists should obey all laws, including speed limits and impaired driving laws.
Drivers of other vehicles can also help. Drivers have a legal duty to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles, and this includes motorcycles. Drivers should also obey traffic laws, as this reduces the risk of being in an accident.
At the Wright Pichon & Gray, we would prefer that motorcycle wrecks not happen at all. But when they do, we fight for our client’s rights. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to money damages. Contact us today for a free case review: . We will help you get back on track.