Posts by Jenn Fusion

Boating Under the Influence in Louisiana: Risks and Penalties

November 3, 2017 Maritime 0 Comments

Small motorboat docking at the marina with sunsetWe all love a pleasant day out on Bayou State waters. Despite the freedom you feel in the open waters, it’s important to obey maritime law and avoid operating a boat while drinking. According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boat accidents – even greater than operator inattention, driver inexperience, improper lookout, speeding, and machinery failure.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported:

  • Last year, alcohol directly contributed to 282 accidents, 264 injuries, and 87 deaths.
  • More Americans died in boating accidents than any time in the past five years.
  • There were 701 boating fatalities in 2016 – up 12 percent from the previous year.
  • The number of non-fatal injuries increased 11 percent as well.

Locally, there have been over 53 Louisiana boating accidents, resulting in 27 serious injuries and 10 fatalities in 2017, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in June. In 2015, there were 113 Louisiana boat crashes, resulting in 62 injuries and 19 fatalities.

Boating under the influence is no joke in our state. Many boaters do not realize that the penalties are even stiffer for boating DWIs/DUIs than for driving.

What is considered boating under the influence in Louisiana?

Louisiana law prohibits anyone from operating a water vessel with:

  • A Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or greater (21+).
  • A Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.02% or greater (under 21).

The law also punishes the vessel’s owner (or the person in charge of the vessel) from knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to operate the vessel. Anyone who is boating on Louisiana waters gives consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if arrested by law enforcement personnel.

What are the penalties for boating under the influence of alcohol?

Operating a Louisiana vessel while intoxicated or under the influence includes a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both. Arrests for boating DUI/DWI can result in suspension or revocation of boating AND motor vehicle licenses. That is simply for the charge of “boating under the influence.”

Often, the charges pile up in these cases. For instance, a Texas man faced five charges in a Louisiana DWI boating accident that killed an 8-year-old boy in a southwest Louisiana river. If convicted, he would face five to 30 years in prison with hard labor and a fines of $2,000 to $15,000.

Hazards of boating under the influence include serious injury

Boating injuries include:

  • Drowning Deaths
  • Lacerations, Scrapes & Bruises
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Bone Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Electric Shocks
  • Hypothermia & Shock
  • Internal Organ Injuries
  • Concussions
  • Burns & Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Ligament Tears, Sprains & Strains
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

For the best boat accident attorney Lafayette has to offer, contact Bart Bernard

If you’ve been involved in a serious boat accident, contact Bart Bernard, the experienced boat accident attorney Louisiana residents trust. Recently, Bart Bernard secured an award of $23 million for a client seriously injured in a local boating accident. While past results are no guarantee of future outcomes, it costs you nothing to call for a free case review. Legal representation is provided free of charge until a successful jury award or settlement offer is received.

Additional “Boating Under the Influence in LA” Resources:

  1. Louisiana Boat Education Handbook – Alcohol & Drugs,
  2. US News & World Report – Texas Boy, 8, Dead in Boating Accident, Texas Man Jailed,
  3. US Coast Guard – Recreational Boating Statistics 2016,

Lafayette, Louisiana Car Crash Statistics

June 7, 2017 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Low angle shot of a car driving on the road

Did you know that Louisiana ranks #1, tied with Texas, for “Worst Drivers in America”? This title was based on NHTSA data on fatal crashes, including failure to obey traffic laws, careless and distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving. Here in Lafayette Parish, most drivers are careful, attentive and law-abiding, with excellent safety records. That said, calls from car accident victims and their families are still among the most frequent type of call we receive at the offices of Lafayette attorney Bart Bernard.

Car crash stats for Lafayette, LA

In 2014, Lafayette saw:

  • 17 fatalities, involving 22 vehicles and 27 people
  • 6 fatal drunk-driving accidents
  • 6 fatal car crashes involving pedestrians

From 1994-2014, the highest number of Lafayette car accidents were recorded:

  • In the month of July (64)
  • Sunday mornings (69)
  • Friday evenings (59)

In 2006, Lafayette fatal car crashes were above the national average, but we’ve had a lower number since then. In 2014, Lafayette had 13.1 percent of accidents/100,000 people, compared to 16.1 percent/100,000 people statewide.

Lafayette’s most dangerous intersections

According to KATC News, the following intersections had the most accidents from January 2012 to October 2013:

  • Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Kaliste Saloom Road: 152
  • Johnston Street near College Road: 113
  • Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Johnston Street: 108
  • Johnston Street near Camellia Boulevard / Rena Drive: 104
  • Pinhook Road near Kaliste Saloom Road: 97
  • Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Robley Drive: 93
  • West Congress Street near Guilbeau Road: 84
  • Willow Street near Evangeline Thruway: 74
  • Ambassador Caffery Parkway near Congress Street: 66
  • West Willow Street near Ambassador Caffery Parkway: 65

“The biggest offender is people going through red lights on left turns,” Lafayette Police Corporal Paul Mouton said.

Louisiana crash data reveals alarming trends

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director John LeBlanc says Louisiana roads and highways are safer than they were in 2007, when there were 900 crashes and 993 fatalities — due to increased use of seat belts and stricter enforcement of impaired driving laws. However, the numbers are starting to creep up again.

LeBlanc points to the following alarming trends among Louisiana drivers:

  • The fatality rate among 18-20 year olds increased in 2014.
  • Alcohol-related crashes in this group increased for the first time in five years.
  • More single vehicle crashes in late-night and early-morning were reported.
  • Reports of riding without a seat belt and aggressive driving are up.

Louisiana drivers see huge auto insurance spikes

More crashes mean higher insurance premiums. Typically, auto insurance premiums creep up about 1 percent a year. But Louisiana auto insurers have been operating on very slim profit margins (as low as 3-4%) in recent history. Insurers have justified raising their rates as much as 13.5 percent a year by arguing that their pockets have been gouged by newer cars with more expensive-to-repair safety features combined with the uptick in distracted driving.

“I’d say over half of the wrecks we see people bringing in — they won’t admit to it — is from distracted driving. And distracted is usually their phone,” said Jerome Wiley, general manager of Gordon & Sandifer Auto Service Inc. in Baton Rouge.

Here are some Louisiana auto insurance statistics to consider:

  • Louisiana auto insurance rates are rising 25 times the national average.
  • Distracted driving accounts for at least 20 percent of Louisiana’s fatal crashes.
  • In Louisiana, the number of miles driven dipped from 2014-2015, but accidents increased over 7%.
  • The number of Louisiana car accidents has gone up 12.4% from 2011-2015.
  • The cost of insurance claims during that period increased from 67.4% to 76.7% of premiums collected.

Drunk driving in Louisiana

Louisiana has the 13th highest number of DUI arrests in the nation. According to the CDC:

  • 3,046 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Louisiana from 2003-2012.
  • 5% of Louisiana motorists admit to driving drunk, compared to the national average of 1.9%.

The NHTSA further reports there were:

  • 737 fatal motor vehicle accidents in Louisiana in 2014, with 192 (34%) caused by an intoxicated driver.
  • 12 out of 31 Lafayette Parish traffic deaths were alcohol-related.

Teen car accidents in Louisiana

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission worries that distracted teen drivers are responsible for a disproportionate amount of accidents. While deaths of drivers in the age range of 15-20 dropped 49% from 2003 to 2012, motor vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death for that age group.

  • In 2012, teens accounted for 6% of licensed drivers, but 9% of drivers in fatal crashes.
  • 13% of drivers in accidents that caused injuries were teenagers.
  • Drivers between 16 and 19 are 3x more likely to be involved in a preventable fatal crash.
  • Louisiana saw 7,166 reported crashes involving distracted teens in 2012 alone.

Seek legal representation from the best!

Lafayette car accident attorney Bart Bernard has an extensive network of experts who can investigate and bolster your lawsuit. As a member of the Elite Lawyers of America and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, he has won millions of dollars on behalf of his auto accident clients. One of his clients recently received $4.2 million in compensation after the other driver was found negligent. Call 900-9000 from anywhere in Louisiana for a free legal consultation. No attorney fees are due unless Bart Bernard wins your case!

Additional “Lafayette, Louisiana crash stats” resources:

  1. KPLC – Louisiana, Texas drivers tie as worst drivers in America,
  2. KPLC – Louisiana is 13th for DUIs,
  3. KATC – KATC Investigates: Most dangerous intersections in Lafayette,
  4. NHTSA – State Motor Vehicle Crash Data,
  5. The Advocate – Know why Louisiana car insurance rates might be skyrocketing? Blame it on your phone,
  6. The Advocate – Distracted Teen Drivers’ Crash Stats Alarming,
  7. CDC – Impaired Drunk Driving in LA,
  8. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures For Louisiana,
  9. Shreveport Times – Crashes and Fatalities Higher in LA,

May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 5, 2017 Motorcycle 0 Comments

motorcycles on the roadMay is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a public safety campaign that urges both motorcyclists and motorists to exercise caution when sharing the road. The warmer, sunnier days lead to more motorcycles on the road – and more motorcycle accidents.

Top causes of Louisiana motorcycle accidents include left hand turns, driver inexperience, alcohol use, speeding, and traveling during rush hour. No matter what type of vehicle you’re driving, understanding how to reduce these risks is necessary to prevent serious, life-threatening injuries from occurring.

Louisiana motorcycle accident statistics

Louisiana State University data analysis from 2015 found that:

  • Of the 159,265 licensed motorcycle drivers in Lafayette Parish, there were 4 fatalities and 87 serious injuries.
  • Of the 267,690 licensed motorcycle drivers in East Baton Rouge, there were 2 fatalities and 164 injuries.

One study ranked Louisiana as having “the worst motorcycle drivers” in America, with 49 fatalities per million miles driven. Louisiana bikers also incurred 41 citations for driving drunk, 18 failure to obey tickets, and 47 citations for careless driving.

Motorcyclist safety tips

Motorcyclists are at greater risk of sustaining serious injury when paired against a heavier and better protected motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “motorcyclists are about 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash, and 6 times as likely to be injured.”

Motorcyclists are advised to:

  • Call 800-446-9227 to find the nearest defensive driving course for motorcyclists.
  • Wear proper protective gear such as a DOT-standard helmet and reflective clothing.
  • Maintain motorcycles with regular state-required inspections.
  • Get accustomed to a new bike in a well-controlled area before taking it into traffic.
  • Be familiar with the roads they are traveling, looking out for road hazards like potholes or blind curves.
  • Know the forecasted weather conditions before departing.
  • Proceed cautiously at intersections, yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • Be aware of their surroundings at all times, double-checking blind spots and signaling before changing lanes, passing, or turning.

Driver safety tips

An automobile driver’s life can change in the blink of an eye. No one wants to be held responsible for negligence that kills or disables another person. Motor vehicle drivers must:

  • Avoid distraction – whether it’s drinking, eating, texting, fiddling with the radio or GPS, or talking to passengers.
  • Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, especially when changing lanes or turning at intersections.
  • Predict that oncoming motorcycles will arrive faster than imagined, since they often appear further away.
  • Allow 3-4 seconds of following distance, since many motorcyclists roll off the throttle instead of braking.
  • Wear sunglasses and use visors to reduce glare, so motorcycles are more visible.
  • Avoid making turns or changing lanes when the view is obstructed.

Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer

Need a Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer? Contact Bart Bernard in Baton Rouge or Lafayette. For the past two decades, he has taken on some of the most challenging automobile accident cases – and won. He was ranked among the top 1% of trial lawyers and received the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents Litigator Award in 2015. Bart Bernard has maintained a reputation for securing large settlements and awards for motorcycle accident victims. Contact him today for a free case evaluation.

Additional motorcycle safety resources:

  1. Data Reports – Motorcycle Crashes,
  2. Cyril Huze Blog – Study Reveals Worst Motorcycle Drivers By State,
  3. NHTSA – Motorcycle Safety,

Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip and Fall?

April 13, 2017 Slip And Fall Injuries 0 Comments

caution sign in office slip and fallSlip and falls are one of the most common workplace accidents, accounting for more than 20 percent of all injuries that occur on the job. Injuries sustained in these accidents range from soft tissue sprains, bruises, and cuts, to hard injuries like head trauma, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and severe burns. When injuries are severe, it’s natural to wonder if it’s possible to sue an employer for a slip and fall accident.

How does workers’ compensation work?

Louisiana employers pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums to protect themselves from costly personal injury lawsuits. Under workers’ comp, employees do not need to furnish proof of the employer’s negligence in order to collect; they simply fill out a DWC-1 form at the time of the accident. By law, Louisiana employees have up to 30 days to file a claim.

The employee will have to go to one of the company-approved physicians for treatment. The physician will determine when the patient has reached a level of maximum medical improvement and sign off on a return to work form. In some cases, the doctor may assign temporary partial, permanent partial, or permanent total disability.

Workers’ comp typically covers the cost of medical care, medications, transportation costs, disability-related devices, and other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. Employees receive about two-thirds of their lost wages back from time taken off work to recuperate. In addition to this coverage, workers may receive an additional payment for one of the following:

  • Disability – a lump sum for injuries that are so severe, the employee cannot return to work in full capacity
  • Supplemental earnings benefits – when employees returning to work cannot earn >90% pre-injury income
  • Catastrophic injury – a one-time payment of $50,000 for the loss of limb or paraplegia
  • Death benefits – surviving family members receive a payment to cover the decedent’s losses

Exceptions to workers’ compensation in Louisiana

There are certain circumstances where an employee may sue an employer for a slip and fall accident:

The employee is not “on the clock.”

Workers’ compensation covers accidents that occur when the employee is “on the clock” working. But what about when the employee is on break or commuting to and from the parking lot? What about work parties and other off-hours activities on the premises? For example, in 2014, food service worker Glenda Collura filed a lawsuit against Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen Inc. when she stopped in after hours to pick up food and slipped on water, dislocating and fracturing her arm.

A third party was to blame for the dangerous conditions.

Sometimes employees have a substantial case against a third party, where there is the possibility of recovering a greater sum than what they could recover under workers’ compensation. After all, workers’ compensation does not pay for pain and suffering, which is how many personal injury lawsuits reach the tens of thousands or even millions of dollars. Injuries that lead to permanent disability may entitle employees to a separate cash settlement award paid by a third party such as private sub-contractors working on-site, faulty equipment manufacturers, delivery companies, clients, or others who contributed to the unsafe conditions that directly caused injury.

The employee is a contractor.

Employees are given workers’ compensation as one of their benefits. Independent contractors do not receive the same perks. The only recourse for these individuals is to file a lawsuit and attempt to establish a strong case for employer negligence.

These are just three of the most common “gray areas” that exist under the scope of Louisiana law. Contacting an experienced slip and fall attorney can answer any questions arising from a particularly unique circumstance.

Do Louisiana workers need a slip and fall attorney?

An attorney may not be necessary for an undisputed, minor soft tissue injury eligible for workers’ comp. However, for more serious injuries, Baton Rouge and Lafayette Slip and Fall Lawyer Bart Bernard has experience going to bat for employees whose slip and fall injuries were more severe than workers’ comp would cover. As an experienced navigator of the legal system, Bart Bernard can take depositions, subpoena records, file lawsuit paperwork, and negotiate a settlement offer. Legal consultations are free, and clients pay nothing unless Bart Bernard takes on the case and wins. Call now for a free case review.

Additional “slip and fall at work” resources:

  1. Louisiana Record, Popeye’s Sued By Employee In Non-Work-Related Slip and Fall,
  2. Louisiana Workforce Commission, Workers’ Compensation,

How To Get Compensation For Your Child’s Car Accident Injuries

April 4, 2017 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

child head injury x rayThe majority of children sustain minor injuries or no injuries at all when involved in car accidents. However, the results can be devastating for families of the 13% of children hurt in serious collisions.

“The injury outcome in children can be worse than similar injuries sustained by adults,” reports the National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). “In children, some neurological deficits after head trauma may not manifest for many years,” they add.

If your child has been involved in a Louisiana car accident, it is important to understand who pays and how much they pay. Auto insurance is typically a parent’s first recourse, but a lawsuit is another effective way to cover the cost of rehabilitation.  

Child car accident injuries

According to the NHTSA, the most common injuries among children in car crashes are:

  • Head injuries, such as concussions, contusions, lacerations, and skull fractures
  • Thoracic injuries, such as rib fractures and lung injuries
  • Abdominal injuries, such as upper and lower bowel perforations
  • Upper body fractures of the humerus, radius, and ulna
  • Lower extremity fractures of the pelvis, leg and foot

With head injuries, in particular, it can take years before neurological deficits manifest. Some frontal lobe functions — like higher level reasoning and social/interpersonal skills — do not develop until a child reaches adolescence. Early childhood brain damage may not be apparent until children reach high school. Likewise, brain injuries to the reading and writing centers in a baby or toddler’s brain will not be evident until the child reaches school age.

Every state has what is called a “statute of limitations” for filing personal injury lawsuits. In Louisiana, the deadline is within 1 year of the accident. However, in cases where the injuries were not fully realized until much later, the clock starts ticking when your child receives a diagnosis.

Insurance coverage for child’s car accident

Louisiana is a “fault state,” which means that a police report, camera recording, or eyewitness testimony will be required to establish fault. The driver who is determined to be at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying your child’s medical bills. If you or your child were determined to be partially at fault, the amount you collect will be reduced based on an estimated percentage of your liability.

How much does bodily injury insurance cover in Louisiana?

Louisiana auto insurance minimums are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Insurance can cover hospital, ambulance, and emergency room fees. For some claims, it may also cover follow-up visits and equipment costs (such as crutch or wheelchair use.) Sometimes bodily injury protection contributes toward loss of income, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and legal fees.

What does Med Pay insurance cover?

If you purchased your own Medical Payments auto insurance coverage, you can get an additional $1,000 to cover injuries suffered by you, your child, or another passenger riding in your vehicle.

In 2013, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,443 – higher than the amount insurance will pay. In many cases, insurance companies balk at paying for injuries. They may try to argue that the amount of care your child received was “excessive,” or that the provider you selected “charged too much.”

It is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to lowball the cost of child injuries. Working closely with a personal injury attorney can help you protect your child’s legal rights and gain the compensation you need. If you were injured in the accident, you can also sue on your own behalf.

Collecting compensation with a personal injury lawsuit

Most car accident lawsuits result in out-of-court settlement offers. Lawyers can help you assemble the right paperwork, evidence, medical records, and other documentation to prove you have a sufficient claim. It helps to have an experienced negotiator with access to medical experts, doctors, and independent insurance adjusters who can help estimate the lifetime expenses of your child’s injuries. While necessary medical expenses and economic losses (related to time off work for caregiving) may seem straightforward, it can be difficult to tell if you’re being offered a fair settlement for pain and suffering, physical impairment, or disfigurement.

In light of these complexities, most parents seek legal advice throughout the process. Baton Rouge car accident attorney Bart Bernard has more than 20 years of experience in this arena, whether you are going through a settlement with the insurance company or seeking additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Call today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Additional “Child Car Accident Compensation” Resources:

  1. NHTSA – Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes,
  2. Wallet Hub – Bodily Injury Liability,
  3. Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association – Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics,

When Truck Drivers Fall Asleep At The Wheel

March 29, 2017 Truck Accidents 0 Comments

auto-accident-truck-accident-2Nearly half of all commercial truck drivers admit to “drifting off” while driving a long-haul route. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study reported that 13 percent of commercial truck drivers were fatigued at the time of their crash. The sheer size and weight of the vehicles they’re driving puts truckers at increased risk of causing serious bodily injury and fatalities when an accident occurs. Fatigued truck drivers account for approximately 750 deaths and 20,000 serious injuries every year, according to the FMCSA. In 98 percent of fatal truck accidents, the victim was riding in the passenger car.

Reasons why truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel

A trucker’s log book can contain much evidence pointing to the likelihood of drowsy driving. Drivers are more likely to fall asleep on the road when one or more of the following conditions are met:

  • Driving long shifts – By law, truckers can drive for 11 hours straight before they are required to take a break.
  • Not taking breaks – Truckers must take 10 consecutive hours off after driving for 11 hours.
  • Driving over their allotted amount of hours – Truckers cannot drive beyond 60 hours in a week.
  • Taking medication – Pills for allergies, pain, depression, anxiety, and blood pressure can make a person sleepy.
  • Driving overnight – Lane deviations, longer blink duration, and slow eye movements have been observed.

Unfortunately, not all truck drivers follow the rules or report their activities honestly. Often, we can root out dishonesty by cross-referencing the loads delivered. Driving while intoxicated and driving with sleep apnea (which could be as high as 28%, according to the FMCSA) are other factors that may contribute to a trucker falling asleep on the road.

How a Lafayette personal injury lawyer proves a truck driver was asleep at the wheel

You might think there is a lot of “he said / she said” in these cases where very little is known about the moments before a crash. However, Lafayette personal injury attorney Bart Bernard knows that there is more evidence and testimony than meets the eye.

Your lawyer will first seek to prove that the sleeping truck driver failed to provide a standard “legal duty of care” to ensure the safety and well-being of others – by speeding, ignoring traffic signs or signals, or taking reckless maneuvers. Police reports, witness statements, and past history of traffic citations can all be sources of crucial evidence.

Whenever possible, Bart Bernard calls in accident reconstructionists to examine the accident scene. When a driver has fallen asleep, there are no braking skid marks. Damaged barricades, trees, or fences may indicate a certain speed. Most modern commercial trucks are equipped with black box recorders and/or cameras that capture information such as braking and acceleration patterns prior to the crash.

Who is liable when a truck driver falls asleep while driving?

The truck driver seems like the most logical defendant, but other negligent parties may include:

  • Hiring managers who fail to conduct background checks and verify licensing information prior to hiring the driver
  • Supervisors who turn a blind eye to violations of federal regulations or company protocol
  • Companies who put pressure on drivers to break the law in order to make deliveries quicker

Need a Lafayette or Baton Rouge personal injury attorney?

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a truck accident in Lafayette or Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seek the best possible legal representation from Bart Bernard, who has secured millions of dollars for his clients. All legal services are free unless Bart Bernard wins money on your behalf, so there is nothing to lose by calling today.

Additional “truck drivers asleep at the wheel” resources:

  1. – 6 Medications That Make You Too Drowsy To Drive
  2. FMCSA – CMV Driving Tips – Driver Fatigue
  3. Injury Claim Coach – Asleep at the Wheel
  4. CDC – Drowsy Driving

5 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

February 28, 2017 Motorcycle 0 Comments

Motorbike Accident on the road with a car

Each year, there are roughly 2,000 accidents involving motorcycles in Louisiana, including more than 80 biker fatalities. “Some of it are people not driving up to their ability; some of those crashes involved people not being aware of motorcycles in the area,” said Trooper Bryan Lee with the Louisiana State Police. Most accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including:

1. Left hand turns

The most dangerous situation for motorcycle drivers is approaching an intersection where cars are attempting to turn left. Cars making lefts are involved in 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents. Usually, cars strike motorcyclists who are driving straight through the intersection or attempting to pass. The car driver may misjudge the motorcycle’s speed or fail to realize a motorcycle is coming at all due to blind spots, inattention, or distraction.

2. Driver inexperience

The HURT Report, the most comprehensive motorcycle safety study ever done, found that more than half of motorcycle accident victims had less than five months of experience on the bike they were riding at the time and about 3 years of riding experience in total. Two-thirds of all accidents involved a slide-out from a preventable biker error, such as over-braking, taking a turn too wide, speeding, or under-cornering. The Louisiana Motorcycle Safety Program has trained over 200,000 local riders within the last 40 years.

3.  Alcohol use

The NHTSA reported that 29 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. Comparatively, 22 percent of motor vehicle drivers in fatal crashes were intoxicated at the time. In total, almost half of all motorcycle accidents involve some type of alcohol use. Other factors in these crashes include: low visibility from driving at night, inexperience with an average age between 35-39, and reckless behavior such as riding without a helmet.

4. Speeding

The NHTSA also found that a third of motorcyclists killed in crashes were speeding at the time, compared to 20 percent of passenger car drivers, 17 percent of light truck drivers, and 7 percent of large truck drivers. Some motorcyclists are more likely to speed than others. More than half (57%) of super sport motorcycles were traveling in excess of the posted speed limit at the time of their accidents, compared to 27 percent of cruisers or standards, and 22 percent of touring motorcycles. The HURT Report found that 1 in 1,000 accidents involved motorcycles traveling over 86 mph. Speeding usually results in cars missing the oncoming cyclist entirely, and cyclists being ejected off their bikes.

5. Time of day

The most dangerous time of day to travel by bike is on the weekdays between 3-6pm. During rush hour, the largest percentage of motorcyclists are killed (24%) or injured (34.2%). Around this time of day, there is higher than normal volume of cars, more noise, and glare from the setting sun. Glare or view obstruction was cited in about half of all multiple vehicle accidents, according to the HURT Report. The early morning hours before 9 am are the safest for motorcycle travel.

Need a Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer?

It has been estimated that less than 10 percent of motorcycle riders have sufficient insurance to cover medical or property damage involved in a crash. Passenger car drivers are responsible for 60 percent of collisions with motorcycles, according to a 10-year review of Urban Transportation Research crash data. Get the help you deserve to hold those accountable for your accident and obtain compensation to ease your burden! Lafayette and Baton Rouge Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Bart Bernard is in the Multi-Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, recognized for his outstanding achievements in winning huge settlements for his clients. Contact Bart Bernard for a free case review. All legal assistance is free until the case has been won!

Additional “causes of motorcycle crashes” resources

  1. III – Motorcycle Crashes
  2. USC Traffic Safety Center – The Hurt Report
  3. Florida Sun Sentinel – Car drivers cause most crashes with motorcycles, study finds
  4. Ride Apart – 10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them