Riding a motorcycle is riskier than driving an automobile. Roughly 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in substantial injuries or death to the motorcyclist. According to NHTSA, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,014 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes. Forty-six of those fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in New Mexico. An estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured during the same period.
Motorcycles are smaller and lighter than passenger vehicles, and riders lack the protection of a vehicle surrounding them. Maintaining control of a bike is more difficult on two wheels because the rider must balance the bike and steer. When collisions happen, motorcyclists are at a greater risk of severe injury or death because they have little protection and no safety belts. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney such as Dominguez Law Firm.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in New Mexico
Motorcycle crashes cause riders hundreds of injuries each day. Unfortunately, those who survive a motorcycle accident are more likely to experience severe injuries and require extensive medical care. You may have heard of the phrase “there are no minor motorcycle accidents.” This is generally true in the sense that motorcyclists who crash are several times more likely to die than vehicle drivers or passengers. When they are not killed, motorcycle riders often have a long road to recovery ahead of them following a crash.
In New Mexico, certain conditions may increase the risks for motorcycle riders getting into collisions.
Road surfaces can become slippery when you encounter rain, snow, or other inclement weather. Motorists and motorcyclists need to slow down and be vigilant in lousy weather.
A vehicle driver or a passenger may fail to notice a motorcycle coming from behind when they stop and open their door. A door collision causes a rider to be thrown from their bike into oncoming traffic. When a driver or a passenger exits the vehicle, they should look to the right, left, and behind.
Driving While Intoxicated
In 2019, 4,733 people operating a motorcycle died in traffic crashes. Of those riders, 1,383, or 29%, were drunk. 4.3%, or 17 of New Mexico Fatalities were alcohol-involved fatalities among motorcyclists.
Driving a cycle under the influence is a crime. Anyone who causes an accident while driving under the influence could face stiff criminal charges, including losing their driver’s license, steep fines, and jail time.
When riding a motorcycle, having even a minor malfunction can cause your bike to throw you, causing a hazardous situation. Before you ride, you should always check your cycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, brakes, headlights, signal indicators, and fluid levels.
Motorcyclists can slow their motorcycles by downshifting instead of using their brakes, so the brake lights won’t come on. Vehicles often follow too closely behind motorcycles. These drivers might misjudge how close they are until it’s too late. Hitting a motorcycle from behind puts the rider at high risk for ejection and severe injuries.
Motorcycle collisions frequently involve an oncoming car turning left or otherwise violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. Other vehicles often fail to check for blind spots or fail to use turn signals and end up cutting a motorcycle off. Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way can cause serious accidents.
Speeding is aggressive driving behavior that puts everyone on the road at risk. New Mexico takes speeding seriously.
Unsafe Lane Departures
Motorcycles are often hard for drivers to see. A driver changing lanes may fail to see the bike in the lane they are moving to before it is too late. Unseen cyclists end up in a collision, pushed off the road, forced into another traffic lane, or in a severe crash.
New Mexico is a Pure Comparative Fault Accident State
Under comparative negligence, your ability to collect damages is based on the percentage of fault of the defendant for the crash. In other words, the person(s) who caused the collision through their reckless or careless conduct can be held responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries and damages. You need experienced motorcycle lawyers to ensure that you are compensated for the damages you suffered even if you bear some fault for the collision.
Hire an Experienced New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney Today
If injuries or damages occurred in the accident, you would be well-advised to hire a New Mexico attorney such as Dominguez Law. Albuquerque personal injury attorney Paul Dominguez will be your advocate. He and his team will seek damages from the negligent parties and hold insurers responsible for the full coverage you deserve.
If you or a family member is involved in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, call Dominguez Law Firm at 505-596-4481 or contact us for a free consultation.