With summer in full swing, more people than usual are walking, running, biking, and enjoying the warm weather. More pedestrians on the roadways — even if they’re in residential neighborhoods like Cabezon, Enchanted Hills, and Solar Village — means more danger for walkers and drivers. It’s difficult to avoid pedestrian accidents in Rio Rancho. Unfortunately, New Mexico ranks first in the nation per capita for pedestrian fatalities. In 2020, 54 people lost their lives this way, most of them in the Albuquerque area. How can you avoid pedestrian accidents in Rio Rancho, both as a walker and driver? Read on to find out.
Ways to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents in Rio Rancho While Walking
There are seven key ways you can stay safe while recreating or traveling as a pedestrian along the road.
- Avoid peak hours. According to data from the University of New Mexico (2015-2019), the rate of pedestrian crashes begins rising beginning at 3 p.m. The rate begins to fall again around 9 p.m. So, one easy way to avoid pedestrian accidents in Rio Rancho while walking is to recreate or travel during alternate hours. Fewer accidents occurred during morning hours between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. If you do go for walks at night, increase your visibility by carrying a flashlight, wearing a headlamp, and/or wearing reflective clothing.
- Avoid peak days of the week: Most pedestrian-related crashes occur on weekdays, so another way to stay safe is to opt for weekend bike rides or runs along roads.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol: Alcohol and/or drugs are involved in many pedestrian accidents, including fatal ones. In New Mexico, alcohol is involved in 55% of pedestrian crashes, and drugs are involved in 24%. Alcohol and drug use can impair judgment, coordination, and slow reaction times needed to stay safe on the road.
- Avoid roads with high-speed limits: Vehicles traveling at faster speeds are more likely to hit pedestrians and are more likely to cause serious injuries if they do so. So avoid roads where vehicles are traveling at increased speeds.
- Cross at designated crosswalks or intersections.
- Avoid distractions. Using earbuds and checking your phone can cause you to become distracted and not notice oncoming traffic.
Ways to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents in Rio Rancho While Driving
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of pedestrians, drivers can still cause accidents. To make sure you aren’t one of those drivers, follow these guidelines.
- Stay aware. Look out for pedestrians, just as you watch for other drivers and obstacles. Don’t check your phone or take part in other distractions that could keep you from noticing a pedestrian.
- Slow down and use caution. This is especially important when driving in difficult conditions, such as nighttime when many pedestrian-related accidents occur and in construction zones.
- Be prepared to stop and look carefully before turning through a crosswalk. Always yield to pedestrians.
- Exercise school-zone rules at crosswalks. In other towards, don’t pass vehicles at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing you can’t see.
- Follow the speed limit. More pedestrian-related accidents occur at higher speeds.
- Never operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
How Sanchez and Piñon Can Help
If you’ve experienced a pedestrian accident and are seeking representation, contact Sanchez and Piñon, Rio Rancho’s auto accident and injury attorneys, for a free consultation. While other attorneys talk, we listen and provide a personal level of representation. We can discuss how to fight for the compensation you deserve.