Bicycle deaths in Louisiana are an ongoing problem. During the years of 2010-2012, Louisiana ranked second in the United States per capita in bicycle deaths. There were 18 recorded deaths in 2011 and 23 recorded deaths. The climbing numbers of bicycle deaths may be due to the growing number of people who are choosing to forego traditional vehicles. A growing number of younger people choose to ride bicycles as a means to save money and be more environmentally conscious. This rising number of people is putting more bikes on the road, something drivers may not be expecting. When cars and bikes collide, cars usually win.
According to statistics from Bike Baton Rouge, more bicyclists on the road create a safer environment for bicyclists. They contend that an increased frequency of bike riders makes drivers more aware of them and more cautious. Increased numbers of bicycles on the road gives drivers more practice at sharing the road with bike riders.
New Orleans ranks fifth in the country for bike commuters per capita. According to recent census bureau data analyzed by the League of American Bicyclists, 3.6% of New Orleans residents make their daily commutes via bicycle. Despite the large number of bicyclists, the number of riders may not have reached the level in New Orleans where drivers have come to expect them. Baton Rouge appears to have seen an increase in the number of commuters who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation as well.
As drivers become more accustomed to bicycles on the road, the environment will become safer, but Louisiana has a long way to go. Bicycle riders have as much of a right to the road as vehicle drivers and much less protection. Vehicle drivers must learn to share the road and bicycle riders must obey the rules of the road. In time, the two will learn to coexist.
Lambert Zainey represents victims of bicycle accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident and sustained injuries you can call the Lambert Firm today for a case evaluation.