Motorcycles have been cruising American roads since the late 19th century, and biker culture helped form the spirit of freeways in the mid-20th century. Freedom and risk are staples in the American dream, which is why we are proud to stand by bikers when they are injured in accidents. The other reason we are happy to represent bikers is that they are rarely the ones at fault.
The demographics of motorcycle riders are shifting, as are attitudes towards bikers. The percentage of bikers that are women is the highest it’s ever been at 19% in 2018, as is the percentage of household with motorcycles in them (8%), both nationwide. 24% percent are college graduates, up from 17% in 2012, and 68% are married. As younger people gain interest in motorcycles, responsibility among riders goes up. 69% of millennial bikers showed an interest in electric bikes, citing fuel efficiency and environmental concerns. The motorcyclists of today are moving away from the reckless stereotypes of the past, which we are happy to support.
The freedom of the motorcycle is what makes it so enticing, but also so dangerous. Unlike in a car where the driver is surrounded by metal and strapped to their seat, bikers have nothing to keep them in place during a collision. To make things even more dangerous, motorcycles are less visible than cars and often go unnoticed in the rear- and side-view mirrors. This is the reason for 78% of all car-motorcycle accidents which are from the front.
Front-facing accidents are the most common and most fatal for motorcyclists. The most common cause for the collision is the car either not noticing the bike or misjudging the time and distance between them and the bike. An example of this would be in a car is making a left turn at an intersection and the motorcycle is going straight in the opposite direction. Another example is when cars fail to see bikers passing and cut them off or begin encroaching on their space. These mistakes could be minor to significant property damage if occurring between two cars but are often fatal or catastrophic for bikers.
No one group of motorists is perfect, and bikers are sometimes at fault during collisions. Bikers, like most other drivers, have a tendency to speed and aren’t always as observant of their surroundings as they should be. We treat bikers like we do all other drivers in these cases, and we do not represent drivers who were shown to be at fault. However, we do recognize the nuances of every case and are happy to review your case.
Bikers in Louisiana should be aware of the laws of their state. They are there to keep everyone safe and are the best way to ensure any vehicular collision case goes in favor of the motorcyclist.
First off, lane splitting is illegal in the state. Bikes have to wait in traffic just like everyone else. This law keeps bikes from getting cut off by negligent cars when flying through traffic.
All bikers are required to wear helmets secured with chin straps and some form of eye protection. A helmet might not prevent all catastrophic injuries during a collision, but it will help prevent some catastrophic brain injury. Eye protection just helps bikers see and helps them avoid getting bugs, wind, and debris in their eyes.
If bikers choose not to wear helmets, they are required to have at least $10,000 in bodily harm damages covered in their insurance. If a biker is found with neither a helmet or sufficient insurance, they will be fined $50.
Children under the age of 5 are not allowed to be passengers on a motorcycle. They are too small.
All motorcycles are required to have at least one mirror, which should be located on the left side of the bike. Modulating headlights are allowed for day-use.
Handlebars are required to be located below the driver’s shoulders. Make sure your choppers are up to code.
Motorcycle licenses from other states are valid in Louisiana.
The law allows bikers to ride side-by-side in a single lane. The law limits the number of side-by-side bikers to 2 bikers per lane.
Biking is a high-risk high reward lifestyle, but much of the risk isn’t the fault of the biker. When a car is negligent and ends up injuring a motorcyclist, we will stand by the biker. The outdated stereotype of bikers being reckless is damaging and dangerous for a diverse demographic of drivers who have fewer protections than those in cars.
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured due to a negligent driver, contact us for a consultation.
Parker Layrisson Law Firm