Outside Magazine, with one of their offices based in Santa Fe, covers outdoor activities throughout the nation. While the magazine would undoubtedly prefer to focus its stories on the joy of biking and other outdoor recreation, the writers find themselves often in the business of reporting bad news. Serious bicycle accidents have led to many headlines, with some stories covering the deaths of the magazine’s staff members and loved ones.

Simply put, the danger of riding a bicycle in New Mexico has never been greater. Yet, the popularity of cycling has risen at the same rate as deaths in collisions with motor vehicles.

Bicycle fatalities at an all-time high

For bicyclists over the past 30 years, it has been the proverbial best of times and worst of times. The period between 1990 to 2010 saw annual fatal bike accidents in the U.S. decrease from 859 to 623, a drop of 27%. In the following decade up until 2018, fatalities skyrocketed 38% to 857 annually, the highest number since the start of the ’90s, effectively wiping out any progress made from the previous 20 years.

Pedestrian accidents also followed the same crisis-level “U-shaped curve.”

The popularity of biking in New Mexico has grown significantly over the past several years. The current coronavirus pandemic has increased bike riding to unprecedented levels. Lockdowns have resulted in the highest number of people walking and biking, while motor vehicle travel has never been lower.

Everyone wants life to get back to normal, but the inevitable return of past traffic levels could come at the expense of those who ride bikes. Drivers and bicyclists are encouraged to keep an eye out for each other — and follow the rules of the road.

Outside Magazine will also be tracking bicycle accidents and deaths in 2020, as well as “exploring the systemic changes that could reverse the needless surge in cycling fatalities.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to know your options for getting the proper medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with, and they typically try to avoid providing the coverage and compensation that accident victims need. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess your case, determine the best course of action, and work to maximize your medical care and financial compensation while you focus on healing.