Louisiana is one of the few states which have shown a decrease in fatal motorcycle accidents over the past few years rather than the average nine percent increase across the United States as a whole. Predictably, there are more motorcycle accidents when there are more motorcycles on the road and there are more motorcycles on the road when gas prices increase as they have done over the last decade. One phenomenon seen over that same decade is an increase in older motorcycle riders—and subsequently an increase in accidents, injuries and fatalities among the “over-forty” crowd. Historically, the primary age group for motorcycle accidents was 16-24.
2008 saw a decided shift as more than half of all motorcyclists killed in a motorcycle crash were over the age of forty. A mere ten years earlier, that number was less than a third of the total motorcyclists. Changing demographics appear to be responsible for this shift in the age of motorcyclists. Motorcycles are increasingly being purchased by affluent professionals who many believe are baby boomers that may have spent several decades away from motorcycles and are now returning. Perhaps the mortgage is paid off, the children have left the nest and there just happens to be extra disposable cash just waiting to be spent on youth’s last hurrah.
Is There a “Typical” Motorcycle Owner?
Today’s “typical” motorcycle owner is over the age of forty, married, earns more than $50,000 per year in a career which is likely to be professional, technical or managerial. In the 70’s, the “typical” motorcycle owner was twenty to twenty-four years old and earned less than $17,000 per year. It would seem that the increasing age of motorcycle owners would result in fewer fatal accidents, but that does not seem to be reflected in the statistics. Instead, older motorcyclists are more likely to forego helmets and protective gear and more likely to be exceeding the speed limit. The older motorcyclist may be chafing at the confines of a predictable life. This can make motorcycle ownership seem fun, exhilarating and a bit daring, offering a sense of freedom which cannot be gained elsewhere. Those who spend considerable time commuting may simply find that a motorcycle takes some of the drudgery out of their daily trip to and from work.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana?
Approximately 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, most commonly a passenger vehicle. In an overwhelming number of motorcycle accidents the driver of the automobile is found to be violating the right-of-way of the motorcyclist or fails to see the rider. Automobiles changing lanes may not see the motorcyclist, resulting in a side-swipe accident with serious or fatal consequences. Underestimating the speed of an oncoming motorcyclist causes drivers to make left intersection turns in front of the cyclist while other drivers back out of driveways or parking lots without looking for the smaller motorcycle. Motorcycle riders who take to the roadways without proper training are common as riding a motorcycle requires a completely different skill set than driving a car. These inexperienced drivers can hurt themselves and others due to this lack of skill and experience. Finally, all motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to potholes in the road, inclement weather, uneven pavement, animals in the road or branches and other debris scattering the road.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Attorney in Louisiana?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, whether due to the negligence of another or your own inattention, it is imperative you contact an attorney from the Koederitz Law Firm. Following a motorcycle accident—and no matter which age group you fall into—you could be dealing with ever-increasing medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. Gary P. Koederitz has extensive experience with motorcycle accidents, and will work hard to ensure that you receive an equitable settlement for your injuries. Mr. Koederitz is also an experienced motorcycle rider, and he understands the challenges motorcycle riders face. Call the Koederitz Law Firm at (225) 295-9494 to have a comprehensive evaluation of your case by an attorney who is both experienced and knowledgeable with regard to motorcycle and other accidents, and whose primary concern is the protection of your rights.