Every car driver in Louisiana, as well as in the entire United States, is expected to adhere to the traffic laws under all circumstances. Law-abiding and safe driving is considered a primary responsibility of all drivers. This is especially true in cases in which other drivers are operating small cars, motorcycles, scooters or bicycles. An accident involving a car and a smaller type of conveyance can lead to serious or even deadly injuries. These may include traumatic brain injuries, internal and external bleeding and fractures, among others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report which mentions that Louisiana ranks third in the country for reported bicyclist deaths. It was reported that many car accidents that resulted in the bicyclist dying not only occurred on busy streets but also in lanes exclusively designated for the bicyclists.
According to the president of a Louisiana bike advocacy group, one of the major problems that leads to so many auto accident-related bicyclist fatalities each year is that many drivers do not take seriously the amount of responsibility involved in operating a motor vehicle. In far too many cases, bicyclists' deaths are preventable as car drivers are negligent or reckless. They may violate traffic laws by texting and driving, driving while speaking on the phone or driving under the influence. In any event, the results can be devastating.
Even on roads that do not feature a designated lane for bicycles, every car driver is required to leave a minimum of three feet of space for adult bicyclists to ride their bicycles. In addition, drivers must exercise caution when passing bicyclists and always watch for bicyclists and other pedestrians when turning. Unfortunately, not every car collision can be stopped; however, driver awareness is key to preventing more unnecessary deaths on Louisiana's roads.
Source: The Acadiana Advocate, "La. ranks 3rd in nation for bicyclist fatalities," Maya Lau, Aug. 17, 2015