We here at the Law Offices of Matt & Allen want the residents of Lafayette, Louisiana to be smart, informed, and safe drivers. The roadways can be a dangerous place, and we are hoping with the help of some safe driving tips, everyone driving can be a little safer.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission provides a straightforward, detailed description of the dos and don’ts of driving laws and road safety for motorists at www.lahighwaysafety.org. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these points and make sure to implement these tips into your daily driving habits. To hold yourself accountable, get a group of friends, or your family, together to all make a promise to safer and more informed drivers.
The first safety point is not just for the teenagers on the road. While Louisiana law states that all drivers under the age of 17 may not use any wireless communications device to send or receive a call or a text message while driving, it is important for ALL Louisiana drivers to follow this rule. If you are an adult, you may not be pulled over and given a ticket for using an electronic device while driving, but distracted driving is extremely dangerous and is the main cause of many accidents.
This will be a tough one to follow. Constant communication with friends and family is the norm. However, when you are behind the wheel of an automobile, it is just not safe, and if you are under the age of 18 and using a cell phone while driving, Louisiana law classifies it as a primary offense and a moving violation. There is a $100 maximum fine for first time offenders and $200 for subsequent offenses. If the distracted driving caused an accident, the fine is doubled.
Similarly, Louisiana law dictates that no person can drive on a public road while wearing headphones of any kind. Not only does wearing headphones make it difficult to hear another driver beeping their horn at you, but it becomes extremely unsafe when emergency vehicles are passing by. The law requires drivers to pull over and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass. If you are wearing headphones and listening to music while driving and you could easily not hear the sirens. Not only could this cause you to get a ticket, but it could also cause you serious harm and injury if you end up colliding with the emergency vehicle. Also, make sure new drivers know what to do when they hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle. It’s easy to panic when we hear a siren behind us, so make sure your teen knows the law ahead of time.
According to the commission’s guidelines, Louisiana law requires all occupants of a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt, and all motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a helmet. When in a car, putting on a seatbelt should be the first thing you and all of your passengers do. If you happen to get into an accident, having a seatbelt on could literally save your life. The same goes for wearing a helmet on a motorcycle. No matter how safe of a rider or driver you are, you cannot be accountable for all of the other drivers and riders on the road.
Another safety point that many people take for granted is the use of headlights. They are required to be used any time between sunset and sunrise; when people and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet; and when windshield wipers are in use. Not having your headlights on when they are necessary not only puts yourself in danger, but puts all other motorists in danger as well.
Failure to follow safety laws can result in fines, license suspension or, worst of all, vehicle accidents. Make sure to follow all of these tips and keep you, and your passengers, safe.
If you do happen to get into a car accident, do not panic. Once you make sure everyone is safe, and get those who are injured to a doctor, contact an experienced and dedicated car accident injury attorney. The lawyers at the Law Office of Matt & Allen are willing to listen to your case and help you and your family in your time of need. Contact our offices today if you need any legal guidance or if you have any questions.