What Are the Laws Governing Motorcyclists in Louisiana?

Many people love the thrill of riding a motorcycle on the open road. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as the experience is, it’s also dangerous. Motorcyclists are at risk of serious injury or death if they get involved in a crash.

That’s one of the reasons why there are laws in place to govern the behavior of motorcyclists in Louisiana. You can’t determine how other road users behave but you can make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

Let’s look at some of the things you should do to stay within the law and reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident

Get a Motorcycle Endorsement

It is illegal to ride a motorcycle in Louisiana without a motorcycle endorsement on your license. You need to visit the Office of Motor Vehicles and book an appointment to take the motorcycle knowledge exam and a practical test. The knowledge test features a series of questions about what you would in certain situations on the road. Meanwhile, the on-cycle skills test requires you to show you can control a bike and avoid crashes. You can skip this if you complete a motorcycle safety course offered by the Department of Public Motorcycle Safety, Awareness, and Operator Training Program. 

A lawyer sitting with a client.

Wear A Helmet Every Time You Get on Your Bike

Some motorcyclists hate to wear helmets. However, it protects you both physically and legally if you get involved in a crash in Baton Rouge. If you fail to comply with the law, you could be liable for any head injuries you suffer in an accident. 

Use Protective Eyewear

It is also mandatory that you protect your eyes when you hop on your bike. This gear will help you to avoid damage caused by wind, debris, and pebbles. If you’re riding at night, your protective eyewear should not be tinted.

Have Proper Seating

Under Louisiana Revised Statutes Section, 32:191 (A) bikers and their passengers must ride on permanent seats. One leg must be on each side of the vehicle to ensure you can maintain your balance and maneuver adequately.

Don’t Get Distracted

Motorcyclists must have both hands free to control the motorcycle. Taking your hands off the handles to grab your phone or even take a drink of water can be dangerous. If you don’t keep your hands on the wheel and you get into an accident, you could be deemed liable.

Don’t Transport Kids Under the Age of Five

Motorcyclists are prohibited from carrying children under the age of five on their bikes. If you violate this law, you could be held liable for any injuries the child suffers. This can happen even if you were not at fault for the accident. Even the best vehicle accident attorney in Louisiana may not be able to get you off.

Don’t Ride More Than Two Motorcycles Abreast

Only two bikes should ride side-by-side in the same lane. If you violate Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 32:191.1(D) and get into an accident, you will likely share liability.

Don’t Lane Split

Motorcycles take up less space than other vehicles. However, bikers are still not allowed to ride between lanes or overtake cars in the same lane. They must use the left lane to overtake or wait until they can do so safely on a single-lane road. It is also unlawful to drive between lanes. If you lane split, there’s little you can do to avoid liability.

Use Modulating Headlights Only During the Day

Modulating headlights help you to save power but they aren’t safe at night. The law prohibits bikers from using them during the day since they may not be visible from a distance.

Get Help from Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Today!

If you get into a motorcycle accident, you need to hire an injury attorney in Baton Rouge. Although violations of the law could be used against you, you can still recover damages under Louisiana’s laws. As long as you were not completely at fault, you can get compensation. 

However, you must discuss your case with an attorney. Your lawyer will find out exactly what happened during the crash and look at all your options. Even if you were 90 percent at fault, you may be able to recover damages. However, at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we will do everything possible to reduce your share of liability. We may even be able to show that the accident would have occurred even without your negligence. 

Call us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you recover your losses. You may be able to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and more.