Certain intersections throughout New Mexico continue to see far too many traffic collisions.
While dangerous or antiquated design plays a role in some of these crashes, heavy traffic, dangerous drivers, distraction, and the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians are also among the most common causes of serious or fatal injuries.
Wherever two roads meet, the risk of traffic collisions increases exponentially. However, distracted driving has made intersections exponentially more dangerous. Pilots call it "task saturation": the point when performance demand overwhelms operator capacity. You are on your own at your local neighborhood intersection, but safety will demand your full attention.
Intersections are dangerous for even the safest drivers because they bring together all of the risks of the road. A focus on intersection safety is a critical component to reducing the number of traffic deaths in New Mexico and throughout the U.S., where traffic deaths have increased in the past two years at the fastest rate in half a century.
Common Risks of Intersection Accidents in New Mexico
The National Safety Council recently highlighted three risks at intersections:
- Inadequate design: While roundabouts, dedicated bike lanes, street lights and other infrastructure improvements are becoming commonplace, New Mexico still has many older, poorly marked intersections and crossings. In many areas, intersections are handling far more traffic than they were ever designed to accommodate.
- Distraction: Intersections demand the full attention of each driver.
- Bicyclists and pedestrians: Make no mistake about it: if you strike a cyclist or pedestrian with your vehicle, they are likely to be seriously or fatally injured. There is no such thing as a minor bicycle or pedestrian accident. Pay attention and yield the right of way.
Determining Fault after Intersection Collisions
Determining who is at fault can be a complex matter in cases involving accidents at intersections. However, an experienced auto accident attorney in New Mexico will carefully review the issue of causation and fight to hold responsible parties accountable.
Proving causation and identifying all responsible parties can be critical to making a successful injury claim. A traffic citation from law enforcement may go toward proving negligence on the part of an at-fault driver. However, New Mexico's comparative negligence law allows plaintiffs to collect damages in many cases, even if they are found partially at fault for causing a collision.
These are complex cases and the presence of serious or fatal injuries often prompts insurance carriers and other defendants to make an issue of causation. The sooner you reach out to experience legal help, the sooner all causes of your accident can be determined and all responsible parties identified. In the event of a crash, contact Szantho Law Firm today.