Louisiana Ranks 49th in Bicycle Safety
Bicycle Safety Statistics in the United States
In 2012, federal statistics show that there were 722 bicyclist deaths in the United States- an increase of 6 percent from 2011 and 16 percent from 2010. The state of Florida takes the top spot as the most dangerous place for cyclists, recording an annual per capita average of cyclist deaths as 5.7 per million residents. This exceeds the national rate of bicyclist fatalities, which was 2.3 deaths per 1 million.
Louisiana is the 2nd Deadliest State for Bicyclists
Louisiana claims the number 2 spot as the deadliest state for bicyclists with an average per capita bicyclist fatality rate of 3.8 per 1 million residents; an average of 17 deaths per year.
While fatalities related to cyclist crashes seem to make the activity very dangerous, let’s put it into perspective. There are no hard numbers on how many people are actually riding bicycles or how far they are riding. That makes it impossible to gather complete data, particularly regarding the percentage of bicycle riders that have fatal accidents. However, even one fatality related to bicycling is one too many.
While the statistics paint a grim picture about bike riding, it is still a fun activity with many health benefits. It is important for both cyclists and drivers to take necessary precautions when they are on the road. Drivers need to be vigilant and avoid distractions such as cell phones and texting while driving.
Safety Recommendations for Louisiana Bicyclists
Cyclists can take certain precautions to minimize their risk of accident. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers some recommendations.
Wear a helmet
Wearing a bicycle helmet while you ride will reduce your risk of brain and head injuries if you are in a crash. No matter your age, you can benefit from wearing a helmet. According to Louisiana bicycle laws, anyone under the age of 12 is required to wear a helmet. These laws have been proven effective in reducing bicycle-related injuries and deaths to children.
The more visible a bicycle rider is, the less likely he or she is to be hit. The use of active lighting and clothing that makes the rider highly visible has been shown to be effective in reducing bicycle-related injuries and fatalities. Some ways that a cyclist can be more visible include:
- Wearing clothing that is fluorescent during the day will make the cyclist more visible at greater distances so motorists can see them from further away.
- At night, cyclists should wear retro-reflective clothing in order to be more visible.
- Active lighting is very effective at night but can also help visibility during the day. Using white lights on the front of the bike, red lights on the rear, or other types of lighting on the bike or the cyclist will make them more visible to motorists.
Use Bike Lanes
Many areas are installing bike lanes on their roadways. This gives cyclists a safe place to ride. There are several organizations that work to encourage areas to install bike lanes. You can get involved by searching for an organization in your area.
Bicycle accident injuries can be very severe, even debilitating. The rider is essentially unprotected and no match for a car or truck. A bicycle accident can cause long-term injury or even permanent disability. Often people who have been injured in a bicycle accident in Louisiana have trouble finding legal representation that is knowledgeable in the state’s bicycle laws. These cases can be quite complex and you need an attorney who has experience in bicycle law and specializes in handling cases that involved catastrophic personal injury, especially those sustained in a bicycle accident.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, call our office and schedule a consultation so we can discuss your case. Our caring, committed, and knowledgeable staff will be there every step of the way for you to help you get the justice that you deserve.
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