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Bicycle Accidents and Safety Measures in New Mexico

| Oct 31, 2017 | Bike Crashes

Bicycling is popular in New Mexico.  Under state law, drivers are expected to share the roads with bicyclists and to be on the lookout.  Sometimes drivers of cars and other large vehicles are not respectful of bicyclists.  Whether or not a bicyclist has taken safety precautions, New Mexico bike crashes and other accidents caused by a reckless driver can result in serious injuries or a fatality for the bicyclist.

New Mexico has taken steps to improve safety.  The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, for example, posts answers to frequently asked questions about the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code and includes some provisions relating to bicyclist safety online.  Among the provisions of New Mexico’s traffic laws are that, subject to certain exceptions, every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties that are applicable to the driver of a vehicle.  This measure reflects the expectation that bicycles on the road be given the same respect as larger vehicles.

There are also provisions encouraging bicyclists to not endanger themselves.  For example, New Mexico law states that no person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.  Even when bicyclists are not engaging in such behavior, and when bikes have lights, bells, brakes, and other safety equipment, terrible accidents can happen.  New Mexico has recently undertaken an initiative to try to reduce the number of accidents and create a more pleasant environment for people who travel by bicycle.

The Prioritized Statewide Bicycle Network Plan (NM Bike Plan) is considering a safe and connected bicycle network at the statewide level.  Toward that end, the New Mexico Department of Transportation has contracted with Bohannan Huston, Inc. and Alta Planning + Design to develop the NM Bike Plan. The NM Bike Plan is currently scheduled to be completed by summer 2018.

There are opportunities for members of the public interested in the process to participate.  These include an interactive map people can use to indicate where they currently travel by bicycle and where they might like to travel by bicycle in the future if roadways are improved.  People interested in providing input can also fill out a questionnaire on how bicycle travel can be improved statewide and participate in public hearings scheduled to take place in November in Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Farmington.  Since it will take some time until there are changes to the roads statewide, there is a map designed to help bicyclists choose their preferred routes in the meantime.

Bicycle accidents caused by cars can cause fatalities and serious injuries with long-lasting effects.  Following a New Mexico bicycle accident, you or a loved one may be entitled to financial compensation, including in some cases punitive damages.  An award of monetary damages can assist people who are injured and their families with medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the bicycle accident.  To understand more about your case, call New Mexico bike crash lawyer Matthew Vance at the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C.  We provide a free consultation and can be reached at 505-445-1604 or online.

More Blog Posts:

Proposed New Mexico Law Targets Hit and Run Drivers, New Mexico Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2017

New Mexico Court Denies Plaintiff’s Motions in Lawsuit Following Car Accident, Finds She Had Not Been Forthcoming Regarding Medical History, But Dismissal Not Appropriate, New Mexico Injury Lawyer Blog, May 12, 2017