Cyclists know that riding on the shoulder of the road is typically safe. However, most of the streets on and around the Louisiana State University campus do not even have shoulders for drivers of cars to pull over. Most popular student accommodation facilities are from less than one to four miles from the campus, a distance ideal for commutes by bicycles instead of adding even more vehicular traffic to already busy roadways.
Students on bicycles have no other option than riding on the streets, several of which are state highways. Combining these hazards creates circumstances ideal for tragic cycling accidents that could involve severe injuries or worse.
Examples of such accidents include the following:
- A graduate student of kinesiology lost his life in 2015 after a vehicle on Lee Drive struck his bicycle.
- In 2019, two cyclists lost their lives within a 24-hour period after they too were struck by vehicles.
Cyclists and pedestrians are both at risk where streets lack shoulders.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, in collaboration with other agencies, is planning to establish efficient and safe lanes to protect the safety of pedestrians, runners and cyclists throughout the parish. However, for those who have already been struck by vehicles, the improvements will come too late. Fortunately, the Louisiana civil justice system makes it possible for victims of other parties’ negligence to pursue claims for financial relief. They can achieve this by successfully presenting personal injury lawsuits. Similarly, the surviving families of cyclists or pedestrians who lost their lives can pursue wrongful death lawsuits.