In pedestrian accidents involving cars, the person on foot is much more vulnerable than the one driving. To prevent injuries and fatalities, road safety legislation sets out strict guidelines regarding right-of-way. Here, Balderrama Law Firm LLC in Carlsbad explains what residents of New Mexico need to know. Note that rules vary from one state to the next, so it’s always important to look up your local laws.
Who Has the Right of Way?
In general, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a car crash than vehicle occupants. To protect those on foot, New Mexico law stipulates that drivers must yield to pedestrians—even if they are violating right-of-way rules.
When approaching a crosswalk, drivers are obligated to slow down and give pedestrians the right of way. They must also yield when entering or exiting alleys, driveways or parking lots.
For practical reasons, pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly leaving the curb and entering the path of a moving vehicle. Since cars need time to slow down, the driver may be unable to yield—increasing the odds of a dangerous pedestrian accident.
When it comes to areas outside of a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians must yield. If a traffic control device such as a crosswalk signal is in use, those on foot may cross only using the marked crosswalk between two adjacent intersections.
Consequences of Breaking the Law
As a driver, failure to abide by right-of-way legislation in New Mexico will result in three demerit points on your driving record. Keep in mind that too many points will result in losing your license. You will also have to pay $80 in fines and administrative costs.
Further, if you hurt somebody in a pedestrian accident, you may face a costly personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Practical consequences aside, abiding by these rules is simply a matter of safety—for yourself and those around you.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident and want to take legal action, Balderrama Law Firm LLC can help. A native of Carlsbad, NM, personal injury attorney Frank Balderrama is dedicated to providing his community with top-notch legal care. With fully functional and attorney staffed offices in both Albuquerque and Carlsbad, he has been serving clients all throughout New Mexico who have been unjustly injured for nearly a decade. To request a free case evaluation, fill out the online form or call (575) 234-1111.