At the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, our Las Cruces personal injury attorneys use our experience to help bring justice to individuals and families who are hurt in traffic collisions throughout New Mexico by pursuing the negligent parties who caused their injuries for financial recovery.
When the injured parties are bicyclists who are hurt during an auto accident, the injuries can be catastrophic and include spine injuries and brain injuries that are life-changing.
Unfortunately, vehicles colliding with bicyclists are not uncommon events.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, last year throughout the U.S. there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety lists that those deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle accident deaths that year, a figure that has tripled since 1975 in bicyclists age 20 and older.
To reduce the number of bicycle accident injuries and deaths in our city, both drivers and bicyclists need to understand how these collisions are occurring.
What Types of Traffic Scenarios Are Causing Bicycle Accidents in Las Cruces?
While there is no limit to who can get hurt when negligent drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle that is much larger and heavier than a bicycle, there are some traffic scenarios that lead to these collisions occurring more often.
- Drivers Failing to Yield at Intersections
Drivers will often make left- or right-hand turns in front of bicyclists, failing to yield the right of way at intersections. Often, drivers underestimate the speed of the cyclist and run directly into them as they travel straight, instead of beating them through the turn.
When bicyclists are moving through intersections lawfully, they are often caught off guard by vehicles that are not following the rules of the road. This makes the rider less likely to see the collision coming, which could lead to catastrophic injuries.
- Drivers Opening Car Doors Without Checking their Surroundings
Often called “Dooring,” these collisions occur when a car door is opened into a cyclist.
Drivers have a responsibility to check their surroundings to avoid hazardous situations, including oncoming cyclists who could be traveling in front or from behind them, before opening the car door.
When bicyclists are injured by a suddenly opened car door, they can suffer severe injuries to their head, neck, and back, or be ejected from the bike, which can lead to broken bones and other traumatic injuries that require extended medical care.
- Failing to Provide Enough Room for Riders in Bike Lanes
Nearly ten years ago, the League of American Bicyclists designated Las Cruces, New Mexico as an official “bicycle-friendly community.”
Upon finally achieving the official designation, bicycle lanes went from covering ten miles of the city to 65 miles.
Unfortunately, even as our city grows to encourage vehicles and bicycles to share the roads, many drivers still fail to give riders the room they require for both to remain safe, as they continue to pass too closely.
Drivers should pass bicyclists as they would any other vehicle: when it is safe to move into an adjacent lane. Because of the vehicle’s size, the driver often becomes aggressive and overtakes the lane, which can lead to severe accidents with serious injuries.
Have You Been Hurt in a Las Cruces Bicycle Accident?
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident in Las Cruces, New Mexico, contact our experienced Las Cruces bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Samuel I. Kane, P.A. by calling (575) 541-3004 to schedule a free consultation today. We will help you pursue the negligent driver who caused your injuries, so you can focus on healing while we pursue the financial recovery you deserve.