Troopers urge extra safety after 4 deadly motorcycle crashes

ABITA SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police is urging driver safety and safe riding practices after four deadly motorcycle crashes across south Louisiana in less than a week.

Troopers said in the most recent accident, Peter Gonsoulin, 51, of Covington, died after slamming into a van that failed to yield Monday afternoon. The wreck happened on LA 435 near Abita Springs just before 3:30 p.m.

According to investigators, the van made a left turn right into the path of the motorcyclist and they collided head-on. Gonsoulin was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office.

Troopers did not report charges filed against the driver of the van. They said Gonsoulin was wearing a helmet, but did not have a motorcycle endorsement on his driver's license. Impairment is not suspected by either driver. The crash remains under investigation.

LSP reminds drivers to safely "share the road" with motorcycles and be on the lookout for them. Officials also encourage riders to follow the safety guidelines listed below:

Be visible:

Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.

Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.

Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.

Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.

Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.

If a motorist doesn't see you, don't be afraid to use your horn.

Dress for safety:

Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.

Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.

Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.

Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.

Remember – the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.

Apply effective mental strategies:

Constantly search the road for changing conditions. Be aware of other traffic, road surfaces and debris.

Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists' actions.

Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.

Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.

Watch for turning vehicles.

Signal your next move in advance.

Avoid weaving between lanes.

Don't ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Know and follow the rules of the road and stick to the speed limit.


Know your bike and how to use it:

Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.

Get formal training and take refresher courses.

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