New Mexico offers the beautiful scenery, dry weather, and long stretches of road that bikers love. That is why motorcycle riding is so popular in the Land of Enchantment. However, even the most experienced biker knows that great riding conditions like ours also come with risks and hazards for riders. At Keller & Keller, we support every biker’s right to be treated with respect and caution on our roads, and we proudly represent motorcycle riders who have been injured in crashes with negligent drivers. Here, we take a look at the ways drivers cause accidents, and the injuries bikers can suffer as a result.
Causes of Albuquerque Motorcycle Crashes
Sure, some bikers speed and take unnecessary risks. When these riders crash, they have only themselves to blame. However, all too often, motorcyclists are seriously injured and killed by drivers of cars and trucks who fail to give them the space they need to maneuver safely. Some of the mistakes drivers make that cause motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Unsafe lane changes. Failing to signal and check blind spots before changing lanes is a common cause of motorcycle crashes on highways. Cars either don’t see the biker or don’t think it’s worth the extra effort to make a safe lane change.
- Left-turn accidents. Right-of-way errors committed by drivers always turn out worse for the motorcycle than they do for the car. When a car turns in front of a motorcycle, the impact can be fatal for the biker.
- Speeding. A speeding driver is much less likely to see and avoid a motorcycle in his blind spot or even directly in front of him. When he does see the biker, the driver won’t have time to stop or steer out of the way.
- Impaired driving. A drunk driver is less observant than a sober one and will have slower reaction times. This is a recipe for disaster for a motorcycle rider sharing the road.
- Distracted driving. In the few seconds it takes to check a text message, a car travels the length of a football field. Over this distance, a motorcycle is easily missed by a driver who is not paying attention.
- Sudden stops. Slamming on the breaks at a yellow light or to avoid an obstacle in the road will cause a fender bender with anyone who is behind you, but when that vehicle is a motorcycle, it becomes a much more serious accident.
These kinds of driver mistakes happen hundreds of times a day in New Mexico, but when a motorcycle is involved, the chance of a serious injury or death is much higher.
Motorcycle riders are clearly vulnerable in a crash. Even when they are wearing a helmet and other protective gear, they are at risk of sustaining a serious injury. Typical serious injuries we see in our clients include the following:
- Head injuries. Helmets do a rider a lot of good, but they don’t prevent every type of traumatic brain injury. If a biker’s head hits the pavement or is jerked back and forth with force, he is likely to suffer a brain contusion that can cause life-altering brain damage.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries. Being thrown from a bike to the pavement can also cause spinal cord damage that leads to full or partial paralysis. An injury to the spinal cord in the neck could be catastrophic.
- Broken limbs. Motorcycles are heavy, and when a bike lands on the rider in a crash, bones are often fractured in the arms and legs. These can be complex fractures that take months to heal if they ever do.
- Pelvis and torso trauma. A dislocated hip, fractured pelvis, or broken ribs can require long-term, complicated treatment, and the rider may never regain the mobility and health he had before the crash.
- Road rash. While it might seem like the least serious injury on this list, road rash can strip skin down to the bone and require skin grafts, just like a thermal burn. Road rash can also lead to dangerous infections.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
At Keller & Keller, we have helped enough victims of motorcycle crashes to be very familiar with the kinds of challenges they face. Catastrophic injuries, biased insurance adjusters, and courts that blame the victim are all challenges we have met on behalf of our clients who were injured in motorcycle accidents in New Mexico. If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle crash, contact our Albuquerque office to find out how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.