A group of senior bicyclists in the Santa Fe area are describing a recent bicycle accident as a road rage incident. The accident left one of their members, all of whom were on a group ride at the time, in the hospital with serious injuries, including a punctured lung. Two other members also suffered injuries.
The cyclists say that a man drove around them in the left lane while honking his horn repeatedly. He then pulled in front of them and stopped in the right lane, directly in front of the cyclists. The driver then, according to some witnesses, backed up into some of the cyclists, causing them to fall over the car.
For his part, the driver said he merely stopped his car in the right lane, but was not moving at the time of the accident. He said he regretted that some of the cyclists got hurt in the ensuing crash, but he also noted that some of the cyclists gave him a rude gesture as he passed. Other witnesses, who were on their bicycles, denied that there were rude gestures.
The man has been cited for stopping in the middle of a lane of traffic, and he may be cited for illegally backing up on the road, but, to this point, he has not been charged with a crime, either related to road rage or otherwise.
Although it can be frustrating for a New Mexico motorist to have to wait for a bicyclist or group of bicyclists, it is important for everyone on the roads to remember that cyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle on the road. If a driver, whether out of impatience, frustration or just carelessness, hits a bicyclist and causes injuries, the cyclist may be eligible to seek compensation for their losses.
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican, "Cyclists, driver trade blame after crash on N.M. 41," Sami Edge, March 6, 2018