When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian or bicyclist, the results are often devastating. Because they lack the protection a car’s frame offers, pedestrians or cyclists often suffer serious injuries or even death. This was the case when a drunk driver hit a 28-year-old cyclist in Breaux Bridge, near Lafayette, LA.
The cyclist died as a result of the collision, while the driver faced charges that include vehicular homicide.
What caused this accident?
A 52-year-old Breaux Bridge man struck a bicyclist from behind with his truck, knocking the cyclist from his bike and causing fatal injuries. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and suffered grave injuries. He later died at a local hospital.
After finding an open container of alcohol in the car, police gave the motorist a breath test. He failed, and they charged him with several counts including an open container law violation, careless operation, and vehicular homicide. The crash occurred on West Mills Avenue in St. Martin Parish.
What can we learn from this Breaux Bridge accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 10,000 people died nationwide in alcohol-related crashes in 2014. This total includes 34 percent of the 737 motorists who died in accidents in Louisiana during 2014. This 34 percent included drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent.
Like other states, Louisiana has strict laws that apply to motorists who drive while impaired. This includes a legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC, and additional penalties for those who have a particularly high BAC or who cause serious or fatal accidents.
While this accident was entirely preventable, wearing a helmet could have also limited the injuries the cyclist sustained. Overall, cyclists do not fare well on Louisiana roads. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12 bicyclists died and many more sustained injuries in 2014.
Currently, Louisiana does not require adult cyclists to wear helmets. However, a study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention shows how important it is to wear this safety gear. In a crash, wearing a helmet cuts the risk of a head injury in half, and reduces head, neck, and face injuries by approximately a third.
Only about 17 percent of cyclists who suffer fatal injuries in a crash are wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
How can the Law Offices of Matt & Allen help me after a Lafayette car versus bike crash?
Cyclists injured in a crash with a motor vehicle often suffer severe, life-changing injuries. These injuries not only leave them in physical and emotional pain, but also with a lot of financial stress.
If a careless driver caused your accident, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Matt & Allen can help you recover the money you need to get back to your previous activities as soon as possible. This includes filing your claim, negotiating a settlement, and fighting the insurance company in court if necessary.
Call us today at 337-237-1000 to schedule a time to discuss your case.