Motorcycles account for only about 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. However, motorcycle riders are involved in around 15 percent of traffic related fatalities. And recent studies show that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than passenger vehicle drivers.
These numbers are scary statistics for bike riders. Indeed, Louisiana news outlets frequently report on lives lost in tragic motorcycle accidents.
Thankfully, the Louisiana motorcycle laws are designed to keep bike riders safe. If cyclists in Louisiana understand the Louisiana motorcycle laws, they will be better able to try to avoid a serious accident on the road.
6 Things to Know about the Louisiana Motorcycle Laws
1. Cyclists are Entitled to Full Use of Traffic Lanes
The Louisiana motorcycle laws give motorcycle riders the right to full use of traffic lanes. The laws specifically prohibit motorists from operating their cars or trucks in a way that deprives cyclists of full use of the lane.
If an accident happens because a car or truck driver refused to give a cyclist full use of the lane, it can be strong evidence that the vehicle operator should be responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
2. Some Driving Behavior is Illegal
A number of behaviors are specifically made illegal by the Louisiana motorcycle laws:
- Motorcycle riders cannot ride with more than two bikes side-by-side in a lane;
- Bike riders cannot pass a car or truck in the same lane occupied by the car or truck;
- Bike riders are prohibited from carrying anything that prevents them from having both hands on the handlebars; and
- Motorcyclists cannot drive between lanes of traffic or between rows of vehicles.
3. There are Requirements for Passengers on Motorcycles
There are several requirements if you’re going to carry others with you on your motorcycle:
- Passengers are only permitted on motorcycles equipped for more than a single rider;
- Passengers must ride on permanently fixed seats, either a single seat made for two people or an individual seat for a passenger;
- If you have a passenger on your bike, your bike needs to have a footrest for the other rider;
- You cannot carry a person on your bike (and no bike passenger shall ride) in any way that interferes with the operation of the bike or your view;
- You cannot carry a child who is required to be in a forward or rear-facing car seat; and
- You can carry a child who is five or older, but only if the child is wearing a helmet and is properly seated.
4. Helmets are Required
Motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets fastened with a chin strap while the bike is moving. Helmets must have padding, lining, a chin strap, and a visor.
5. Eye Protection is Required
Motorcycle riders are required to wear eye protection when operating a motorcycle and cannot use tinted eyewear at night. However, this requirement does not apply if the bike has a windshield that is sufficiently high.
6. There are Limits on Handlebar Height
Louisiana laws require that the handlebars on a motorcycle be no higher than a driver’s shoulders. In other words, when sitting on your bike and holding the handlebars, your hands should not be above your shoulders.
New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Even though the Louisiana motorcycle laws protect bike riders, accidents still happen. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, call a New Orleans personal injury attorney at (504) 564-7342. The Mahone Firm is here to help.
There is no charge unless your personal injury case is successful, so call today for a free consultation.