Louisianans who get around via bicycle are saving money, helping the environment and keeping themselves in shape. It can be hard to envision how there can be negatives associated with the activity and its accompanying benefits, but people who head out on a bicycle in the state should be aware of the dangers. According to a recent analysis, Louisiana is second in the U.S. for fatal bicycle accidents.
The most recent statistics are consistent with those from 2015 when Louisiana came in third. A biking advocate in the state attributes the high numbers to drivers of conventional vehicles being hostile to riders. In 2015, the Department of Transportation and Development said there were 93 bicycle fatalities in the state. Overall, in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration counted 840 bicycle rider fatalities across the nation.
Fatal bicycle accidents most commonly occurred from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the most common victims being males. The majority of deaths were for those in the range of 55 to 59 years of age. Prominent people have died in bicycle accidents in recent years including a local politician and an award-winning college professor.
Attempts by legislators to increase the penalties for drivers who are found guilty of committing offenses that lead to a cyclist or pedestrian dying have fallen short of passage. There are current laws designed to increase rider safety such as drivers needing to stay a minimum of 3 feet away from the bike when passing. Other laws to protect riders include mandating against harassment, taunting and throwing items at them. From 2007 to 2016, there were nearly four bicyclist deaths for every 100,000 people.
The emotional impact of an unexpected and unnecessary death can possibly cause long-term issues. That is even before thinking about the lost wages, loss of companionship and more that comes along with a fatal bicycle accident. Having legal assistance from a law firm that is experienced with bicycle accidents can assist with a wrongful death lawsuit.