According to research by Louisiana State University (LSU), nearly 3 million motorists drive on the state’s roads each year. As such, it is important that all drivers do their part in keeping the streets safe. This includes following these three Louisiana driving laws and all other traffic rules:
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Avoid cell phone use behind the wheel
- Use headlights when driving at night and during inclement weather
Breaking traffic laws often constitutes negligence. If you were in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible for compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Louisiana Law Requires All Drivers and Passengers to Wear Seat Belts
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), all passengers and drivers in Louisiana must wear safety belts. If you fail to adhere to Louisiana’s seat belt requirements, you may have to pay a fine.
Like other states, there is a specific law in Louisiana that addresseshandles seat belts and children. According to La. R.S. § 32:295, adults must restrain children properly based on their age, height, and weight. This could mean a rear-facing child seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a booster seat.
Seat belts are essential for preventing injuries and fatalities in car accidents. Even with airbags and other safety features, seat belts provide added protection that newer features cannot match. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only about 90.3 percent of vehicle occupants used seat belts in 2020.
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Regulations on Texting and Smartphone Use
Louisiana laws prohibit new drivers from using cellphones while behind the wheel, regardless of whether they are texting, making a call, or using a hands-free device. This includes drivers who have a learner’s or intermediate license.
In addition, Louisiana prohibits sending, writing, or reading texts, regardless of the driver’s age or experience level, per La. R.S. § 32:300.5. This law also applies to posting to social media, writing emails, or handling other text-based communications on the phone.
Finally, there are specific laws regarding cell phone use within school zones. Per La. R.S. § 32:300.8, it is illegal to make a phone call, text, or use social networks for any reason while driving through a school zone. The only exception to this law is if you need to make a call to report an emergency, your life is in danger, or you are using a phone to help avert a criminal act.
Headlights Are Required for Cars and Motorcycles When Needed
Under La. R.S. § 32:301, all Louisiana drivers must turn on their lights:
- Between sunset and sunrise
- When there is low visibility due to poor weather
- If your windshield wipers are in uninterrupted use
If you ride a motorcycle in Louisiana, you must equip your bike with a headlight, and it must be on at all times, even during the day.
There are also numerous laws addressing the size, color, and strength of headlights on motor vehicles. In general, you should never alter your headlights or add a tint. Headlights on modern cars will meet the laws and properly illuminate the road for safety and visibility.
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Traffic Laws Play a Crucial Role in Keeping Everyone on Louisiana Roads Safe
While these are only three of the hundreds of traffic laws in Louisiana, they all play a vital role in preventing accidents and keeping road users safe. This is the purpose of most, if not all, traffic rules, which makes it crucial to follow all of them. While everyone makes mistakes, the more you can avoid them behind the wheel, the better.
Drivers Who Violate Traffic Laws Can Be Liable for Collisions in Louisiana
Violating traffic laws causes crashes. When you experience a collision in Louisiana, you can likely recover compensation if there is evidence of the other motorist’s negligence.
There are four elements to proving negligence, including:
- Duty: The at-fault driver had a duty to do or not do something specific, usually set by a traffic law. For example, a driver has an obligation to stop at a stop sign.
- Breach of duty: The driver failed to uphold their duty. They did not do what was required, often violating the traffic law in question.
- Causation: Their action or inaction caused a collision.
- Harm: The victim or victims suffered harm. This could include physical injuries, emotional distress, or financial losses.
As you can see, traffic laws and violations of these laws play a central role in both criminal citations and civil cases.
Connect with an Attorney from Morris Bart, LLC for Free
If you were in a car crash in Louisiana, you can speak with a personal injury attorney from the Morris Bart law firm near you for free today. We can evaluate your accident to determine if you have a legitimate claim for damages. If so, our lawyers could help you recover money to cover your expenses and losses.
To get a free consultation, call our office today at (800) 537-8185.
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