On sunny Louisiana days, you may feel tempted to cast your helmet aside and take off on your motorcycle to enjoy the breeze. While this may seem like a good idea, neglecting to wear a helmet or the proper protective gear is very dangerous to yourself and others surrounding you on the road in the event of a motorcycle accident. In 2021 alone, 1,147 people in Louisiana were injured or killed while riding motorcycles. You can help decrease this statistic by adhering to the rules of the road and following the motorcycle safety laws.
Why are motorcycle helmets necessary?
There can be dire repercussions to not wearing a helmet in the event of an accident. Common injuries after motorcycle crashes include
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to full or partial paralysis
- Internal injuries, such as organ failure, torn ligaments, and blood loss
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Traumatic brain injuries
However, taking preventive measures like wearing a helmet and safety gear reduces the risk of brain injuries by 67% and deaths by 37%, as reported by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
Breaking Down Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws
All Motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet while on the road. According to the Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190, driving or riding a motorcycle or any motorized cycle is illegal without wearing a safety helmet secured by a chin strap. This law also states that the helmet and protective gear must be specifically designed for the type of cycle you drive and approved by the commissioner. You will receive a $50 penalty if you violate this rule.
Other Safety Laws Motorcyclists Should Know
Other than wearing a helmet, there are other safety protocols that motorcyclists in Louisiana have to follow. If you plan to drive a motorcycle or are a passenger, here are the laws you should know.
- A child who still uses a car seat cannot ride on a motorcycle.
- You cannot transport cargo that restricts the use of your hands.
- If your motorcycle does not have a high windshield or enclosure, you must wear safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield.
- You cannot wear tinted eyewear at night.
- Everyone must be on a permanent seat, straddling each side of the motorcycle.
Exceptions to the Helmet Law
There are a few circumstances where the law allows an individual to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. These exceptions are very explicit, and you must thoroughly understand them before attempting to ride without the proper safety gear.
Partaking in Public Events
If you are a part of a public event and have an exhibition permit from the police, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. A prime example of an event you could go helmetless at is Mardi Gras parades that are popular in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Having Proper Modifications
Another way to legally forgo wearing a helmet is to have the correct modifications. For example, if a motorcycle has additional safety features like a roll cage that can provide more protection than a helmet would, the rider can opt to wear it.
Consult with the Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Gordon McKernan
Sadly, motorcycle accidents in Louisiana happen all the time, and the aftermath often negatively impacts victims and their families. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident and are left to deal with costly hospital bills and unfair expenses, consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. We believe that you should get the compensation that you deserve so you can begin your road to recovery as peacefully as possible. Let us be the shoulder you lean on during this time, and give us a call today for a free consultation.