Cycling is a very healthy form of exercise and also a low-cost form of transportation. Adults in Louisiana might choose to bike as they prepare for a race, like a triathlon, or as a convenient way of running local errands.
While cycling is certainly a health-conscious decision, as it provides excellent, low-impact cardiovascular exercise, it increases someone’s chances of a serious injury in traffic. When motor vehicles hit cyclists, the person on the bike is likely to suffer severe or even fatal injuries, while the motorist will probably walk away completely unharmed. Unfortunately for avid or even casual cyclists in Louisiana, their risk of such crashes is higher than almost anywhere else in the United States.
Louisiana ranks third for cyclist fatalities
According to data gathered in 2018 and 2019, Louisiana has the third-highest rate of cyclist fatalities in the United States. That is actually an improvement, as research in prior years has put Louisiana in the top spot of that ignoble list. When looking at crashes that lead to injury as well, not just fatal crashes, Louisiana also ranks high on the list. Overall, Louisiana is the fourth most dangerous state for cycling because of the high number of crashes that occur. Even when cyclists survive collisions with motor vehicles, they may require extensive medical support to recover and could lose out on income during their convalescence.
Who pays after a cycling crash?
Many cycling collisions are clearly the fault of someone in a motor vehicle, and therefore the driver who strikes the cyclist will typically be legally and financially responsible for the injuries that they cause. Unfortunately, the insurance required in Louisiana is not nearly enough to reimburse someone for long-term hospitalization and surgical costs, let alone months of lost wages or a lifetime of lost income after a fatal collision. Some cyclists hit by those in vehicles will need to pursue a lawsuit, and the same is often true of grieving family members who lost a loved one in a preventable cycling collision.
Knowing who to hold accountable is often the first step an injury victim can take in reducing the financial impact of another person’s unsafe or illegal conduct in traffic. Unfortunately, Louisiana cyclists have to make this determination far more often than they should.