Cycling is an eco-friendly way to navigate the city, as well as a great form of exercise. Many citizens in Albuquerque use a bicycle as their main way to get to and from work or run errands, or some choose to ride their bike for recreational reasons. Whenever people are on their bikes, however, there is a risk of an accident occurring.
Typically, when a driver fails to act responsibly, they can cause devastating injuries to cyclists. If you’ve been injured, you may be overwhelmed with how you’re going to recover, afford treatment, and how soon you’re going to get back to work. The Albuquerque bicycle accident lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will fight for you to recover the losses of the accident.
Bicycle Accidents in New Mexico
According to New Mexico Department of Transportation’s crash report from 2018, our state’s pedalcyclist fatalities have been rising drastically in the last five years. Between 2014 and 2018, 28 cyclists died in New Mexico. 2018 also showed the following data:
- 18 New Mexico cyclists were suspected of having serious injuries
- 174 New Mexico cyclists had minor injuries
- 123 bicyclists had possible injuries
Albuquerque is still seeing its fair share of accidents. Recently, a cyclist was struck by a car on Louisiana near Comanche. This accident happened around 8 a.m. in the morning. The cyclist died at the scene.
There are many factors that can cause bicycle accidents. Let’s take a look at what some of those factors can be.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Cyclists often have to share the road with drivers as there may not always be a bicycle lane to ride in. When they’re on the road with drivers, everyone needs to be paying full attention. Unfortunately, negligence can lead to accidents.
- Distracted Driving. Cell phones are one of the main distractions that keep a driver’s eyes from the road. They could be texting, checking social media, or using a navigation app. Other distractions include trying to eat or completing another task—all which put the driver at risk of colliding with anyone near them.
- Inexperience. New drivers may be getting used to sharing the road with other cars, but they may not know how to handle cyclists. Passing cyclists can be a challenge for someone who is new behind the wheel. They may not be used to gauging how far their car is compared to the cyclist. If they misjudge, they could hit the cyclist’s rear wheel and possibly knock them off balance, or sideswipe the cyclist as they’re passing.
- Not Expecting Cyclists. To drivers, cyclists are much smaller and can be more difficult to spot. When a driver is making a turn or changing lanes, they may look for other vehicles, but not cyclists. Intersections are common places for this kind of situation to occur. A driver may be making a left-hand turn and check the lane for oncoming traffic, but not for cyclists. This can result in the car making the turn and colliding with the cyclist.
No matter the reason how your accident happened, our Albuquerque bicycle accident attorney will fight for you to get a fair settlement. Often, a cyclist may have injuries that require intense medical care. Let’s look into how cyclists face more dangers than those in cars.
Why Are Bicycle Accidents Severe?
Cyclists often have terrible injuries after a wreck because they have next to nothing to absorb the impact of the crash. Unfortunately, this means their body will likely bear the brunt of the impact.
Gear like helmets, thick clothing, and gloves do add some protection. However, when a cyclist is struck, they will likely lose balance and fall off their bike. As they fall, they can hit other objects before hitting the ground. Head injuries, bone injuries, and severe cuts and scrapes can occur.
These injuries can take a long time to heal, which can mean hospital stays as well as taking weeks or months to recover at home. If you’re missing work, being able to afford this care may be worrisome—but that’s where our attorneys come in.
Your injuries weren’t your fault and pursuing legal action can bring you the financial peace of mind you need so you can recover without worrying about how you’re going to pay other bills and put food on the table. Our lawyers can help you fight for your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Laws in Albuquerque
Cyclists should always be wary of other drivers on the road and what they can do to make themselves more visible and protected. Additionally, they should be aware of the city’s bike laws so that if they get into an accident, they can be sure they were following the rules of the road for cyclists and can prove that the driver was at fault for the collision.
Here are Albuquerque’s rules for bicyclists:
- Wear a Helmet. A helmet could protect you from sustaining a traumatic brain injury.
- Wear Reflective Clothing. Because a cyclist’s size already gives them a visibility disadvantage, they can make up for it with their clothing. Cyclists who wear bright reflective clothing could catch a driver’s eye and stand out in the road.
- Put Active Lighting on Your Bike. Adding lights to the front and rear of your bike can inform other drivers of your presence as well as help your with visibility. Cyclists riding at night also run the risk of hitting potholes, running over debris like branches or other obstacles in the road, and experiencing unexpected surfaces changes like when a road transitions from pavement to gravel. Cyclists must have lights on their bike when riding at night, but it is also suggested during the day as well.
- Use Bike Lanes and Bike Boxes. When they’re available, you should always ride in bike lanes and bike boxes so that you are safe from drivers.
- Stop Completely at Stop Signs and Red Lights. Just like motorists, bicyclists must stop completely at stop signs and traffic lights. Coasting through without stopping could cause a serious accident.
- Use Hand Signals When Possible. Much like drivers have to use turn signals, cyclists must use hand signals to show where they’re going. If it is unsafe to take their hands off the handlebars, they should not make the signals.
- Don’t Bike Under the Influence. Riding a bike under the influence can be deadly. When a driver is drunk, they can cause serious accidents, and the same is true of bicyclists who are drunk of under the influence of drugs.
Following the rules of the road for cyclists can reduce the chances of getting into a bicycle wreck and may even help reduce the severity of injuries if you’re involved in one. However, a driver’s negligence is something out of your control. They should be held accountable for their actions when their negligence harms you. An Albuquerque bicycle accident lawyer can help you do that.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Helps New Mexico Cyclists
Protecting the rights of the people in New Mexico is what our firm prides itself on. Our lawyers diligently stay up to date on the law and will know which ones apply to your case and how they may affect it. We consult with experts when investigating your case to gather evidence to strengthen your claim as much as possible. An injury shouldn’t prevent you from moving forward with your future. Give our office a call today.