A quick Google search for motorcycle accidents in the Albuquerque area pulls 333,000 results.

Couple on a motorcycle

The majority of the crashes resulted in the death of the biker – and a large percentage involved a distracted car or truck driver.

  • A biker was killed on I40 last December. Witnesses at the scene said that a dark vehicle may have forced the biker into a wall, but the vehicle fled the scene and was never found
  • A motorcyclist was hit by a car on I40 and died at the scene
  • A man in his 20s with a baby on the way was killed on Tramway
  • A large sedan struck and killed two cyclists while trying to make a turn

These are just a few examples of the type of accidents that killed or maimed bikers in the past year.

Driving while distracted is harmful to bikers

Relaxing rides through the deserts of New Mexico are a common theme for people who ride motorcycles – bikers often cite taking in the beautiful Albuquerque scenery as the reason they purchased their motorcycle.   Sometimes bikers can be distracted by the view, but far more often, it is the driver of the car or truck that fails to see the biker.

Common distractions that cause vehicle drivers to strike motorcycles include:

  • Conversing with passengers
  • Eating
  • Talking or texting on cell phone

Distracted driving is rampant in Albuquerque.  A recent Department of Transportation report noted that instances of distracted driving has increased steadily since 2013.

Michael Sandoval, New Mexico Department of Transportation division director, said that he tracks trends, and inattentive or distracted car and truck drivers are a huge problem for motorcyclists.  “A split second can be the difference between your life and death,” Sandoval said, “and we don’t want people to take that for granted.”

He added that inattentive activities, like eating, playing with the radio or putting on make-up are detrimental – but the absolute worst is cell phone or mobile device use while driving.

Crash reports and fatalities  

Department of Transportation data indicates that there have been more than 47 fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving in New Mexico in the past year. The department thinks the numbers may actually be higher, but there was no way to prove it. Crashes are based on the information available to the officer at the time, “and people are not likely to admit some behaviors,” Sandoval said.

Next steps

If you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle crash, call attorney Brian Branch at 505-207-4401 immediately and make an appointment for a free case evaluation.

Bikers – worth the risk

Because of high crash injury rates, riding a motorcycle is incontrovertibly more dangerous that riding in a car or truck.  But most bikers say that it is a calculated risk, and for the freedom and view, it is well worth the potential peril.

NewsCastic lists a few super scenic rides through New Mexico – with the best cheeseburgers along the way:

  • Turquoise Trail
  • Abiquiu Reservoir
  • Ruidoso to Alamogordo
  • Santa Fe to Taos

Since our founding in in 1997, attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Brian K. Branch have been providing aggressive representation with compassion for the victims of accidents throughout New Mexico.  Please call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation today.