Driving here in New Mexico can be an unforgettable experience, particularly when not using the interstate. The smaller two-lane roads often are quite scenic with picturesque small towns, unique locally owned businesses, and the calm of an open road with few vehicles nearby. Does this lead to safer travel? The answer, which may surprise you, is “no.” Less traveled two-lane roads pose many challenges to drivers.
Why so dangerous?
There are many hazards that drivers face, especially those from cities and surrounding communities who have little experience using rural roads. These include:
- Animals: The interstates tend to have high fences on each side and other precautions that reduce the number of livestock and wildlife who venture onto the highway. Rural roads have no such safeguards against crossings.
- Passing slower vehicles: Passing on a two-lane road involves such skills as timing and accurately recognizing the distance of oncoming traffic. One mistake leads to a head-on collision.
- False security: Drivers tend to let their attention wander because light traffic and wide-open spaces offer a false sense that they are safe from hazards.
- Fewer lights: Darker backroads make it challenging to identify hazards.
- Less maintenance: Public roads with light traffic often have fewer road signs, and the surface may have cracks, potholes, or quick fixes that are soon forgotten and quickly deteriorate.
- Driving under the influence: Light traffic in isolated areas leaves some less worried about drinking and driving or getting caught doing it.
- Medical care: Minutes count after a crash resulting in severe injuries. EMTs rarely get to crash sites quickly, and an isolated country road can be an hour or more from a hospital or clinic.
Crash victims can take legal action
Depending upon the circumstances that caused the injury, it may be necessary for victims or their families to discuss the matter with an experienced personal injury attorney based here in New Mexico. These legal professionals can provide insight into legal options based on the details of the injuries. It may be possible to file a suit against a reckless driver, a municipality in charge of the road, or another party responsible for the injuries.