As the weather warms up, more and more cyclists will take to the roads to enjoy the warmer climate and get some exercise in. People of all ages bicycle for recreation and exercise without realizing the danger they are exposing themselves to. Unfortunately, the roads in this country are built with motorists in mind, not cyclists. This means that cyclists have to share the road with motorists who often fail to see them.
A proposal pending before the New Mexico State Legislature would, if passed, increase the criminal penalties for the offense of careless driving. As it stands, drivers can be charged with careless driving when they fail to devote their full attention to operating their vehicle while in motion.
There have been a lot of positive developments with respect to traffic safety over the years. With new safety features in cars and, in some areas, better enforcement of traffic laws, residents of the Albuquerque area might think that the number of traffic fatalities, including fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians, would be trending downward.
While a lot of people in the greater Albuquerque area enjoy riding bicycles both in the city and the surrounding beautiful New Mexico countryside, doing so carries risks. As a previous post on this blog discussed, bicyclists face dangers from loose dogs, poorly repaired sidewalks and, especially, cars and other motor vehicles. While of course bicyclists should follow the rules of the road and pay attention, many of these accidents happen despite the fact the bicyclist was being as careful as possible.
There are a lot people in the greater Albuquerque area who ride bicycles, and they probably understand that with this activity comes certain risks. While one might imagine that the biggest single hazard facing bicyclists is the chance of falling off one's bike, the reality is that the single most common cause of bicycle accidents, at least those which get reported, involves the bicyclist getting struck by a car.
A bicyclist who was riding on one of Albuquerque's streets is fighting to hang on to life after a motorist hit the bicyclist from behind. The driver took off from the scene after the accident. Police are looking for an orange truck with a license plate that has the markings of the University of New Mexico. They say the truck likely has obvious damage to its front bumper.
Bicycling is a popular activity among many in New Mexico, young and old. However, some bicyclists may be more vulnerable than others. A recent study that has been reported in the major national news media indicates that, on average, 600 children, between the ages of 5 and 17, get significantly hurt in bicycle accidents every day. This number was derived from the fact that, between 2006 through 2015, 2.2 million patients in this age group had to visit an emergency room because of a bicycle accident.
There are many people who ride bicycles in New Mexico for fun, for exercise or for other reasons like trying to do their part to help the environment or because it is the most reliable transportation a person has to get to and from where they need to go. However, bicycling carries with it some risks for those who choose to take this mode of transportation.
A previous post on this blog talked about a recent bicycle accident in another city in New Mexico in which the driver of the vehicle involved and a group of bicyclists, some of whom the motorist hit, were blaming each other for the accident. For Bernalillo County residents, this is one of those situations in which having the help of an experienced personal injury attorney in the Albuquerque area can prove to be helpful and even essential for an accident victim who needs compensation for injuries. In fact, our law office encourages our clients to call when there is some dispute about who is at fault for an accident, as this can make a case much more complicated.
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.