Motorcycles can provide a great sense of adventure and fun for those who ride them, however, they can also be very dangerous. May is motorcycle awareness month, and it is important to raise awareness about motorcycle safety. Being aware of motorcycle safety, statistics and laws will aide in making the roads safer for motorcyclists and others.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has resources in place that aim to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle crashes. There are training courses for beginner and more advanced riders that focus on mental and physical skills, which are important when operating a motorcycle. These courses are a combination of classroom instruction and practical exercises. It is a good idea for both beginners and advanced riders to stay up to date on motorcycle safety and these resources can help. The application for the motorcycle training courses can be found at the following website: www.lahighwaysafety.org.
Motorcycle safety is crucial because each year riders are killed and seriously injured due to crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,976 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2015. This is an 8.3% increase from 2014. Also, due to the nature of riding a motorcycle versus in a passenger vehicle, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured.
In Louisiana, any person operating a motorcycle must wear a safety helmet that is secured properly with a chin strap while the vehicle is motion. All safety helmets must consist of lining, padding, visor, and chin strap and shall meet other specifications that are established by the commissioner.
Lastly, it should go without saying, that both motorcyclists and passenger car drivers should avoid drinking and driving, and distracted driving (e.g. texting while driving). Following motorcycle laws will make the roadways safer for motorcyclist and other drivers. For a more complete set of motorcycle laws, please visit: www.americanmotorcyclist.com
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