LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Acadiana has seen multiple fatal crashes in the past week and two of those crashes involved three motorcyclists who were killed when struck by another vehicle.

Motorcyclist 55 years and older account for over a quarter of fatal crashes, and half of motorcyclist killed in crashes happen on weekends. Ron Czajkowski with the Acadiana Regional Transportation Coalition says motorcyclist are much more vulnerable when they collide with other vehicles. “As a motorcyclist, you have the right to the roadway…the entire lane while you’re operating, you’re essentially a licensed vehicle and you have the right to be out there.”

But because motorcycles have two wheels and are smaller than standard cars, they are at a higher risk of being involved in fatal crashes. Czajkowski says most fatal crashes involving motorcycles are because people who drive cars and trucks are not aware of their surroundings.

“It’s’ important for drivers of motor vehicles, cars, pickups, etc. to be very aware of their surrounds and cognizant of motorcyclist being on the roads,” says Czajkowski.

In addition to people being aware of motorcycles on the road, Detective Ken Handy with the Lafayette Police Department says motorcyclist are also advised to be aware of their surroundings and take make their safety a priority. “For your motorcycle drivers I would saw obey your speed limits. Be mindful that when you’re trying to pass someone, it is illegal to pass while in the turning lane or trying to split a line that’s diving in and out of traffic,” says Det. Handy.

Det. Handy says some tips on being safe while driving, especially near a motorcyclist are being aware of your surroundings, driving three to four seconds ahead, eliminate all distractions, and making sure enough space is between the vehicle and motorcycle.

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