What Gear Do You Need to Ride a Motorcycle?

by Dudley DeBosier | October 12th, 2020

You may have seen some motorcyclists riding in shorts and a t-shirt, while others dress like they are ready for the track in head-to-toe leather. So what’s the right balance? What do you really need to wear to ride a motorcycle safely?

At Dudley DeBosier, we embrace the ATGATT philosophy: all the gear, all the time. And that means the following.

Motorcycle Helmets

All motorcycle riders, including passengers, are legally required to wear helmets on Louisiana roads. And it can’t be any old helmet either; it must be a helmet made specifically for motorcycle use. The law defines motorcycle helmets as having a chin strap, a liner and padding, and a visor. Riders who ride with visors open are still required to wear goggles or safety glasses to protect their eyes.

While helmets can occasionally be uncomfortable or inconvenient, it is important to always wear one every time you ride (and not just because you risk a ticket otherwise!). Helmets can prevent traumatic brain injuries, injuries to the eyes, teeth, and face, and significantly increase your risk of surviving a serious crash. 

Helmets can also keep your head dry in rain, reduce road noise, and protect you from everyone’s least favorite aspect of motorcycle riding: bugs in your mouth or eyes. Many modern helmets also come with built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to listen to music, make phone calls, and get GPS directions. 

Motorcycle Gloves

When you fall from a bike, your natural instinct will likely be to extend your arms to try to catch yourself or protect your head, which means your hands can take a lot of damage in a crash. Riders have even been known to lose fingers!

A sturdy pair of motorcycle gloves is essential for any motorcyclist. Gloves should cover all skin on your hands (no fingerless gloves!) and extend past the cuffs of your jacket. Many motorcycle gloves also include reinforcement along the knuckles. The fit should be snug, but flexible enough to allow you full range of motion in your hands.

Other benefits of gloves include increased grip (ideal for hot, muggy days in Louisiana when your palms may be sweating) and protecting your hands from sunburn or becoming wind-chapped. 

Motorcycle Boots

Motorcycle boots are vital. You may wonder how many injuries your feet could suffer on a motorcycle, and the answer is “a lot.” Your bike could tip and trap your leg, debris from the road could be kicked up by a vehicle ahead of you and strike your leg, you could put your foot down to try to prevent a skid, or you could crash and scuff your ankle along the asphalt.

For these reasons and more, motorcycle boots typically include multiple layers of material, extra padding, or armor, and always extend past the ankles and often up to the shins. They should also have oil-resistant, non-skid soles.

Style and comfort are important considerations as well, because you will typically be wearing these boots all day, even when you take your jacket, helmet, and gloves off, so make sure to try on several brands and varieties of boots until you find one you like.

Motorcycle Jacket

Your jacket may be the most expensive purchase of all your motorcycle gear, but after your helmet, it’s easily the most important. Not wearing a jacket or wearing an inadequately protective jacket could put you at risk of severe road rash in a crash, which is far more unpleasant than the name sounds. Road rash can remove skin, leaving muscle, bone, and nerves exposed.

While most people associate leather jackets with motorcycle riding, not all leather jackets are created equal, or with motorcycle riding in mind.  Don’t consider a fashion leather jacket adequate protection. Look for a jacket intended for motorcycle riding, whether it’s made of leather (which is often more durable) or textile (which is typically more comfortable and weatherproof).

Good motorcycle jackets are form-fitting to prevent wind from catching and billowing the fabric, may feature zippers at the hems to attach to gloves or motorcycle pants to prevent riding up and exposing skin, and often incorporate body armor for extra protection.

Motorcycle Pants

Motorcycle pants may be the least used piece of motorcycle gear, but they are still important and should be worn on every ride. Your legs are just as vulnerable to road rash in a crash as your torso, hands, feet, and face.

Many riders make the mistake of thinking jeans are adequate protection in a crash, but this is untrue. Can you remember a time you tore a hole in the knees of your jeans as a child when you tripped and fell on grass? Now imagine how your jeans will hold up against pavement at 60 MPH! Denim is after all simply a sturdier weave of cotton.

However, while leather or textile riding pants are the safest options, there are jeans designed for motorcycle riders that incorporate Kevlar panels that are safer than normal jeans and more fashionable than other types of motorcycle pants.

All the Gear Can’t Always Protect Against Negligent Drivers

All the gear, all the time is the best way to protect yourself from excessive injury or death in a crash, but it can’t protect you from being in a crash at all, especially ones caused by other people.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries, and our motorcycle injury lawyers can help. Call Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers today to learn why riders trust our firm to get them compensation.

What Statistics Say About Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana

by Dudley DeBosier | March 16th, 2020

Motorcycles offer a lot—fuel efficiency, convenient parking, unforgettable experiences on the open road. Unfortunately, these freedoms come with risks.

Motorcycle safety advocates are quick to note that, per mile traveled, the number of crash-related deaths on motorcycles is almost 27 times greater than it is for passengers in cars. That statistic should grab everyone’s attention, whether they ride a motorcycle or not.

All motorists share the road with motorcyclists, so it’s important that we all know how motorcycle accidents happen. We’ve put together a helpful infographic to highlight the top causes of motorcycle accidents in Louisiana and across the U.S.

Motorcycle Crashes in Louisiana

Looking at data from Louisiana State University, we can learn how common motorcycle crashes are in the state.

2019 Statistics

  • There were 1,568 motorcycle crashes in Louisiana.

This is the lowest number of motorcycle crashes in Louisiana in recent years. Although the lower rate is good news, the fact that so many motorcycle crashes happen every year tells us that we can do more to protect motorcyclists.

  • In those crashes, 84.9% of motorcycle riders wore helmets.

Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injury by 69%. Protective helmets save lives every year.

  • 81 people died in motorcycle crashes in Louisiana in 2019.

That’s an increase from the number of fatal crashes in 2018. Alcohol was involved in one-third of these fatal crashes. As a motorcyclist, it’s important to remember that riding while impaired is just as and potentially even more dangerous than driving while impaired.

What Can We Learn from These Stats?

First, the number of deaths compared to the number of crashes indicates that motorcycle helmet laws are saving lives. Second, although we can be optimistic about the safety of motorcyclists on Louisiana roads, motorcyclists are still at risk of dying due to preventable accidents every time they ride, whether on their own part or due to careless motorists. 

As you see in the above infographic, non-motorcyclists often fail to give bikers the space they need. Louisiana can do better. We believe that raising awareness about the importance of safely sharing roads with motorcyclists will help. But we’re realistic, too. We know that holding careless drivers responsible for their actions is essential to making our roads motorcycle friendly.

Let Dudley DeBosier Hear Your Story

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash in Louisiana, know that you should always consider your options and what your injuries are worth before accepting a check from the insurance company. Sadly, insurance companies aren’t known for offering a fair deal without a fight, especially when it comes to motorcyclists.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from our guide. If you’d like to learn more about your legal options, give the Louisiana motorcycle accident attorneys at Dudley DeBosier a call to schedule a free case review.

What to Expect: Motorcycle Accident Claims

by Dudley DeBosier | July 24th, 2019

If you were recently involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be severely injured and unable to work. It’s important to get an experienced Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer on your side during this time to protect your rights to compensation. However, you may be hesitant to get a lawyer, especially if you’ve never needed one in the past.

At Dudley DeBosier, we take the stress of accidents off our clients’ shoulders. You’re going through enough already with your injuries and time away from work. The last thing you want to deal with are phone calls and letters from the insurance company while trying to prove you weren’t at fault for your injury. When you hire us, you’ll be able to focus on your recovery, because we’ll handle every aspect of your claim on your behalf.

It’s Our Goal to Get You Maximum Compensation

When filing a claim, many motorcycle accident victims discover that insurance companies are biased against them. It’s already difficult for injury victims to get compensation for accidents that weren’t their fault, but it’s even more of an uphill battle when insurance companies have made up their mind about claims before they even get the facts. In order to get the compensation you need to cover all your injury-related expenses, we recommend hiring an experienced attorney to fight for you rather than filing a claim on your own.

Our legal team believes that motorcycle accident victims deserve the same rights as other injured victims. That’s why we work hard to build claims that insurance companies can’t ignore.

Here’s how we do it: we start by collecting crash scene evidence, interviewing witnesses, and scouring police reports to prove the other party was at fault. Next, we analyze medical records to calculate your damages. We then begin negotiations with the insurance company and review settlement offers with you.

Don’t Hesitate to Get Experienced Legal Representation

After a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you need a law firm that will stand up for your rights. Your injuries may require expensive medical treatments, and you may be unable to go back to work for weeks, months, or even years.

We’re here to make the legal process as easy as possible for you. When you get in touch with our attorneys, we’ll start working on your behalf while you focus on getting better and spending time with your family. We always go the extra mile to build a claim that maximizes your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. That’s the Dudley DeBosier Difference.

Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out how we can go to work for you and your loved ones.

3 Ways to Share the Road Safely With Motorcycles

by Dudley DeBosier | May 29th, 2019

Because motorcycles lack the safety features and external protection of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. Protective gear such as helmets, riding pants, boots, and gloves can help reduce the risk of injury during a motorcycle accident, but even the most durable gear can’t prevent another driver’s negligence.

That’s why it’s important for everyone on the road to be aware of motorcycles when they’re driving. In early 2019, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reported an increase in motorcycle accident fatalities. Motorcycles are much smaller when compared to cars, trucks, and SUVs, but they deserve the same respect as vehicles.

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we’re likely to see more motorcycles on Louisiana’s roadways. Here are three ways drivers can share the road safely with motorcycles:

  1. Don’t follow too closely. Give motorcyclists—and yourself—enough room to stop in the event of an emergency.
  2. Always check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning at intersections.
  3. Always use your traffic signals when merging into traffic or changing lanes.

These tips not only reduce the risk for motorcyclists—they also help prevent crashes with other vehicles.

Louisiana Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

At Dudley DeBosier, we know how devastating motorcycle crashes can be. Victims often face life-threatening injuries and expensive medical bills, and it’s our goal to help them get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was harmed in a motorcycle crash, contact our Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free case review.