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Louisiana falls well behind the average in bicycle safety

A new report ranks Louisiana poorly for its bike-friendly policies, but commends New Orleans

A recent study by the League of American Bicyclists ranks Louisiana 33rd in the nation for measures designed to promote bicycle use and safety, according to the Times-Picayune. The low ranking comes partly from what the organization says is a lack of safety enforcement, infrastructure, and funding for safe bicycle riding in the state. While the situation is somewhat better in New Orleans, which the same organization has praised for its bicycle-friendly initiatives, that city has nonetheless seen an increase in bicycle accidents in recent years.

Bicycle friendliness

The study ranked the states based on how safe and accessible bicycle riding was in each state, along with how well each state promoted bicycle use. Louisiana had ranked 32ndlast year, but this year fell to 33rd place because of a number of factors, such as a lack of education, funding, and encouragement for new riders.

The report says that the state should dedicate more resources towards getting more people onto their bikes, such as by promoting the health and economic benefits of cycling. It also faults the state for not providing enough funding for programs that would improve the safety and access of bicycle infrastructure, such as by building more dedicated bike lanes. Overall, the report found that Washington was the most bike-friendly state while Alabama was the least bike-friendly.

New Orleans accidents

In New Orleans itself, however, the situation is a bit different from the rest of the state. The League of American Bicyclists has previously commended the city for its bike-friendly policies, which include a substantial increase in the number of bike lanes in the city and an increase in cycling among the general population.

However, according to the New Orleans Advocate, that increase has brought with it a dramatic increase in the number of bike accidents in New Orleans. For example, while bicycle fatalities are still fortunately low in the city, accidents themselves have risen from 129 in 2010 to 308 last year. The increase in accidents is likely due to far more cyclists being on the roads, thus leading to more opportunities for accidents to happen.

Personal injury attorneys

Cycling can be a great way to have fun, get healthy, or just get to work, but unfortunately even a comparatively minor accident can leave a cyclist with serious injuries. Many cyclists are confused about what their rights are following an accident, especially when it comes to recovering compensation from a driver who may have been at fault for the accident.

Fortunately, a personal injury attorney can help. Such an attorney should be contacted as soon after an accident as possible so that he can guide victims through what options may be available to them.