The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released reports documenting the number of fatal traffic accidents in Louisiana from 2004 to 2008. These reports include some surprising statistics regarding the frequency and type of Louisiana motorcycle accidents during these 5 years.
Unfortunately, Helmets Can’t Always Help
Louisiana helmet laws require that all motorcyclists wear helmets when operating or riding a motorcycle. Helmets are an excellent source of protection in a Louisiana motorcycle accident, but they aren’t foolproof.
The majority of fatal Louisiana motorcycle accidents involved helmeted riders; 48 of the 80 reported in 2008. This means that even while the rider exercised good safety measures by wearing a helmet, the motorcycle accident was so severe that it caused fatal injuries even with safety protection. Because of the size of the vehicle and lack of protection surrounding the rider, Louisiana motorcycle accidents have a higher potential of fatality.
Motorcycle Crashes Account for 8-10% of Fatal Accidents
For the 5-year period, between 8 and 10% of all fatal auto accidents were Louisiana motorcycle accidents. These crashes typically involved persons aged 20 to 29. The highest year for fatalities was 2006, with 95 reported deaths.
Louisiana motorcycle accident statistics are impacted in a large part by the number of registered motorcycles. In the 5-year period, the number of reported motorcycles rose steadily from 55,800 in 2004 to nearly 70,000 in 2008. This has caused a steady increase in the number of fatalities as well, simply because of the increase in the number of motorcycles on the road.
As expected, most Louisiana motorcycle accidents occurred near heavy traffic cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Calcasieu, Lafayette, and Jefferson parishes reported the highest number of fatalities in 2008 with 6 to 15 incidents per parish.