This blog recently discussed protections for victims of bicycle accidents. New Mexico is the second deadliest state for bicyclists. One of the reasons that it is so dangerous for bicyclists in New Mexico is a lack of designated bike lanes, among other reasons. According to a recent report from New Mexico Department of Health, the number of bicyclist deaths in New Mexico, per capita, is second to only one other state and is 50 percent higher than the rate of bicyclist deaths in the United states for the same period from 2010 to 2012.
Also according to the report, a total of 36 bicyclists were killed in bicycle accidents in New Mexico from 2009 to 2013. The report also notes that during 2013, 7 bicyclists were killed in New Mexico, 1,684 received medical treatment in hospital emergency rooms for injuries suffered in bicycle accidents during that same year and 89 bicyclists were hospitalized during that same year. The state epidemiologist for New Mexico reported that New Mexico also has higher rates of car accidents and car accident-related deaths.
New Mexico reportedly is in need of improved infrastructure to protect bicyclists such as more bike lanes to help increase safety for bicyclists. Increased signage has also been suggested. A representative from a bicycle advocacy group notes that improved education for motorists is needed and greater enforcement of traffic laws to help keep bicyclists safe. Advocates note that it is important for drivers to understand that it is important to share the roadways.
Bicyclists can be particularly vulnerable to dangers on the roadways when drivers are negligent and careless. Because of the physical, financial and emotional costs of bicycle accidents to bicyclists, legal protections area available to help them when they have been harmed which they should be familiar with in the event of a bicycle accident.
Source: Albuquerque Journal, “New Mexico is 2nd-deadliest state for bicyclists,” Olivier Uyttebrouck, Feb. 11, 2015