Louisiana bicycle deaths increase

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE – Twenty-four bicycle riders in Louisiana were killed in crashes in 2012, the highest number in a decade.

The increase came in a year in which the number of motor vehicle drivers killed in crashes declined.

“Fatal crashes involving bicycle riders can vary greatly from year to year,” said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. “We're not certain of why these swings occur, but we do know that many of the crashes between bike riders and motor vehicles could be avoided.”

As is the case with most other types of highway crashes, fatal crashes involving bikes are more likely to occur in evening hours. Also, a significant number of bicyclists' deaths involve alcohol.

While many people may think bicycle accidents involve mostly children, the opposite is true. Only five of the fatal bicycle crashes in 2012 involved kids 15 years or younger.