Motorcycle Safety in Louisiana
A motorcycle is a great option for anyone in need of a bit of extra adrenaline and fresh air during their daily commute. We know when we are riding in a vehicle we should be wearing a seatbelt, but there are also traffic laws that apply and safety measures that should be followed when operating and traveling via motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle in the busy areas of Louisiana like Baton Rouge and New Orleans can be dangerous in itself, let alone with other reckless drivers on the road. It is important that you are aware of the motorcycle safety laws and practices that should be followed in Louisiana in order to avoid accidents and to safely share the roads with other vehicles.
Secure Your Motorcycle Endorsement and Complete Motorcycle Safety Courses
If you are looking to use a motorcycle as a means of travel, or simply for recreation, it is important that you receive your motorcycle license in Louisiana. Before being permitted to drive a motorcycle on the road in Louisiana, you must show you have the sufficient skills and knowledge to do so and have successfully completed the necessary training.
In order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement, you must complete the following:
- A vision test;
- A written test;
- An on-cycle skills test; and
- A road skills test.
The on-cycle skills test includes the following requirements:
- Current driver’s license;
- Ownership of a motorcycle;
- Proof of insurance;
- Inspection sticker;
- License plate; and
- A helmet.
The Louisiana OMV provides a number of practice tests for your motorcycle endorsement on their website. The on-cycle exam is not required if the applicant has completed a state-approved motorcycle safety course, such as the one offered by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.
Wear Your Helmet and Other Protective Gear
While in New Orleans, motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet. Specifically, Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190 governs the safety helmet requirement and states: “No person shall operate or ride upon any motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle unless the person is equipped with and is wearing on the head a safety helmet of the type and design manufactured for use by operators of such vehicles, which shall be secured properly with a chin strap while the vehicle is in motion.” Additionally, Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190.1 requires riders to wear eye protective gear such as goggles, face shields, or safety glasses which are approved by the Secretary. The statute also mandates that the eye protective devices not be tinted if being used at night.
Be Careful and Stay Focused
First, it is important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles while riding on a motorcycle. The injuries will be much more severe to a motorcyclist in a rear-end collision. It is also important that motorcyclists remain focused on the road and do not become distracted by the controls on the bike, or even worse– by their phone. Becoming distracted while operating a motorcycle can lead to severe injuries, or even death.
Lastly, it is incredibly important that motorcyclists follow the laws of the road. In doing so, they should first be sure that their bike is road-ready, meaning it is in good repair, the tires are inflated, and all the headlights, brakes, and signals are operating properly. You should continue to check these components of your bike regularly. Next, they should always remain alert to the potential dangers on the road.
Other safety measures while driving a motorcycle include:
- Refrain from lane splitting.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars at all times.
- Only permit passengers to ride on motorcycles made for more than one rider.
Motorcycle Safety During Winter Weather
With the temperatures dropping outside, there will usually be a rise in cases of motorcycle injury in New Orleans. If you ride your motorcycle on a daily basis, you will have to figure out how to drive safely during the colder parts of the year. Without the right type of preparation and equipment, you will be putting yourself at risk of motorcycle injury in New Orleans.
First, keeping your head and hands protected from the cold winter weather should be one of your main concerns. Without the right type of helmet and gloves, you may become dangerously cold and lose focus on the road. You can easily keep your hands warm and protected by wearing gauntlet style gloves.
Next, get your motorcycle winterized. In order to keep the engine on your motorcycle running efficiently during the winter months, you will need to get it serviced. It’s important to make sure you’re using the right oil weight and your cooling system is running smoothly. A motorcycle mechanic will be able to offer you guidance on what needs to be done to winterize your bike.
Lastly, during the winter months, there will usually be ice on the road. If the tires on a motorcycle are not in good shape, the vehicle itself will have less traction. This will make it very hard for you to bring the motorcycle to a stop in a hurry. The best way to avoid these problems is by having the tires on your motorcycle checked and changed by a professional. They will be able to let you know when the existing tires have completely worn out and can quickly install new tires.
Call Our Office if You Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may need the help and guidance of a Louisiana motorcycle accident attorney. At Cueria Law, our team of attorneys will protect your rights and assure you receive the highest amount of compensation available based on your injuries and damages. Call our office today for a free consultation.