Know how the law affects cyclists in Louisiana

| Dec 29, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Louisiana has plenty of people who like to go cycling, but the reality is that they’re at risk if they’re on the roads. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t give cyclists enough space, and their actions could lead to bike crashes.

Louisiana has specific state laws to address how to overtake a bicyclist as well as what to do to avoid dooring and other kinds of accidents.

What are Louisiana’s bike laws?

To start with, there is a safe passing law. With the safe passing law, any driver who is passing a cyclist who is heading in the same direction needs to keep a safe distance between themselves and the cyclist. In the state, a safe distance is defined as three feet.

Louisiana also has a law that protects vulnerable road users (cyclists, in this case) from harm. The law prohibits others from harassing, throwing objects at or in the direction of, or taunting a person who is riding their bicycle. This is designed to prevent crashes related to flying objects and debris or physical actions against a cyclist.

When it comes to using bike lanes, that’s something else to talk about. Drivers should be aware that cyclists aren’t required to use them if they don’t want to. However, cyclists should be riding as close to the right side of the road as possible unless they’re preparing to make a left-hand turn, are avoiding hazards in the roadway, are overtaking another vehicle or cyclist, are approaching a right-hand turn, or when there are two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

The state recognizes that you’re using a vehicle

Louisiana recognizes that bicycles are vehicles. Cyclists have all the same responsibilities as drivers do, except for those that cannot apply to a cyclist due to the nature of the vehicle. As a result, cyclists are expected to obey the traffic laws just as drivers are.

If you are struck while riding your bike, remember that you may have a right to claim. You can seek compensation for what you’ve been through and have a right to hold a dangerous driver responsible for their actions.