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Albuquerque Personal Injury Law Blog

It's getting more dangerous for cyclists

Car vs. bicycle accidents typically result in serious injuries for the cyclist, even at low speeds. A cyclist who is wearing a helmet has more protection than one without, but it's also the only protection he or she has. The person in the car likely will not suffer any injuries, but the cyclist could be critically injured or even killed.

If this worries you, then you should also know that the roads have generally been getting more dangerous for cyclists in recent years. For instance, in a 2017 report, the U.S. Department of Transportation noted that 2016 saw 840 fatal cyclist accidents. That, the reports claimed, was the highest fatality total seen in more than two decades -- since 1991. It was also a 1.3% increase from 2015.

Are police chases too dangerous?

Police chases are a staple of movies and a semi-common occurrence in real life, something most people have watched on the news at night -- if they haven't seen one in person. When a driver decides to run, we expect the police to flip on the lights and the siren and give chase.

But should they? Or is doing so just too dangerous?

Why cyclists don't stop at stop signs

First and foremost, cyclists need to follow traffic laws. If that means they need to approach stop signs just like drivers do -- stopping completely before proceeding -- then that's the law they should follow.

However, you have probably seen cyclists roll through stop signs at times. They slow down, coast, look both ways, and then keep on riding. Why do they do this?

Military trial for airman who caused deadly accident

An airman in New Mexico allegedly caused a fatal car crash. As a member of the armed forces, he is now going to have to go through a military trial to determine his fate.

The man was stationed at New Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base. Reports claim that he was speeding when he lost control. This was in March of 2019. The resulting accident led to the death of a woman who was just 39 years old at the time.

7 safety tips for cyclists

Cycling can be very fun and safe, but you must understand that you do face some risks whenever you ride around cars. In an accident, the cyclist faces vastly greater danger than the driver of the car, even at very low speeds. Any accident can be deadly or can lead to life-altering injuries.

With that in mind, here are some safety tips that can help you avoid accidents and their ramifications:

  • Always ride with a bike helmet. Even if you're only going for a short ride, put the helmet on. It is your best defense if you do get hit.
  • Understand when traffic levels are highest, such as at rush hour. If possible, avoid those times.
  • Make it a point to ensure that drivers do see you. This may mean wearing bright clothes during the day. It can also mean wearing reflective clothes at night, mounting lights on your bike or wearing an LED vest.
  • Stay aware. Pay attention to the road around you. Do not listen to music. Try to anticipate the mistakes drivers may make, such as turning in front of you because they don't see you, before they make them.
  • Whenever you turn, use the proper hand signals. Let drivers know what you're doing. The hand signals have the added benefit of drawing attention to you if the drivers did not see you in the first place.

Distracted driving takes 3 forms

Next time you look over at a stoplight and see someone sitting on their phone, take a moment to think about just how distracted that driver is. Keep your distance. Distracted driving causes a lot of injuries and fatalities in accidents every year.

At the same time, it's wise to understand the three types of distraction, all of which are shown by texting and driving. They are:

  • Manual distraction
  • Visual distraction
  • Cognitive distraction

A legal filing can recover compensation for nursing home abuse

The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is not easy, but it is sometimes necessary to provide them with the care they need. Unfortunately, some facilities in New Mexico fail to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and residents are injured, become ill or lose their lives. In some instances, there is outright abuse. People who suspect that a loved one was mistreated at a nursing home should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.

The goal of a nursing home is to give a person the care they cannot get at home. That could involve assistance with medication, physical therapy, being watched while eating, treatment for illnesses and more. The most vulnerable people are those who are unable to communicate or have an illness that makes them seem unaware of what is happening.

New Mexico ranks high on fatal drunk driving accident statistics

During the holiday season, the celebrations can be marred by people choosing to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Auto accidents are often caused by a drunk driver and can lead to injuries and fatalities. This is true in New Mexico and across the United States. Law enforcement encourages people to designate a driver, to take a cab or use a ride sharing app to keep them from heading out on the road and running the risk of a drunk driving accident, especially after parties celebrating the new year. Still, people will choose to drink and drive. In New Mexico, this is a consistent problem not just on holidays, but throughout the year.

Research from Safewise says that New Mexico is fifth worst for drunk driving crashes per capita in the entire nation. The problem often stems from drivers believing they can drive safely despite having consumed alcohol. The New Mexico Department of Transportation says there were 107 fatal alcohol-related accidents with 152 people dying in 2019. That averages three deaths each week. Some accidents have drawn attention because young people were involved. In others, prominent public figures were in the car collisions due to alcohol.

Technological safety can lead to being a distracted driver

In New Mexico and across the United States, it seems that everyone -- young, old and in between -- has a cellphone. Not only do they own one, but also use it incessantly, even behind the wheel. While being a distracted driver is generally linked to the prevalence of cellphone use, it is not the only way for people to be distracted behind the wheel. Because distracted driving is known to be so dangerous and can cause a car collision with injuries and fatalities, it is important to understand other distractions as well.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that safety systems in newer vehicles can be a distraction for drivers. These advancements are becoming more popular, making it a growing risk that an auto accident will happen due to this issue.

Man, 43, killed in fatal motorcycle crash in New Mexico

Motorcycles are a common sight on the road here and throughout the United States. While most riders and drivers of passenger vehicles will share the road, doing everything possible to maintain safety, accidents can happen without warning. Motorcyclists are at high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries and fatalities in these collisions because of the vulnerability they face. They have no protection other than what they are wearing and that is rarely enough to protect them from severe injuries. After a crash, the motorcycle accident victim and the victim's family must think about the future and consider a lawsuit to be compensated.

A 43-year-old motorcyclist died after he collided with a pickup truck at an intersection. Emergency crews and law enforcement were called to the scene shortly after 5 p.m. When first responders arrived, they saw the blue pickup on top of the bike. A witness who is also a volunteer firefighter was giving CPR to the rider. Although the first reports of the crash did not specify which direction the vehicles were going, a witness stated that the motorcycle was in the intersection and the pickup turned left at that spot. The rider was thrown into the air. The investigation is continuing and the driver of the pickup had not been charged.

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