Shoulder drops, uneven lanes, potholes and the like can be rather annoying to those traveling in cars or other four-wheel vehicles. However, for motorcyclists in New Mexico and elsewhere, these road hazards can be very dangerous. If one must perform an evasive maneuver while riding a motorcycle and finds one of these hazards in his or her path, what should have been a life-saving maneuver could quickly turn into quite the opposite, resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death.
The Paseo Del Norte overpass in Albuquerque is a major concern right now for motorcyclists. Apparently, the right lane is a bit higher than the left lane. This can make it difficult for motorcyclists to switch lanes while traveling on the overpass.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is aware of the issue. However, it does not feel as if the uneven lanes are a cause for concern yet. If it feels that the situation becomes unsafe, it says it will fix the pavement. In the meantime, the uneven lanes are not expected to be fixed until April or May, which is when night-time temperatures usually start to rise.
The uneven lanes are the result of a missing top coat, according to an NMDOT spokesperson. The final coat of pavement has not been put down because it is reportedly not warm enough at night for new asphalt to adhere to the existing surface. NMDOT officials say that they do not think the difference in height between the two lanes is even two inches. However, the slightest difference is enough to cause a motorcyclist to lose control of his or her motorcycle, which can result in a serious accident.
Catastrophic injuries are common results of motorcycle accidents. New Mexico motorcyclists who take extra precautions and keep their eyes peeled for any major road hazards may still fall victim to unexpected hazards. If an accident occurs due to the negligence of another individual, then the victim can typically file a personal injury claim against that individual. The same holds true for municipalities and states in many cases. Government entities are expected to maintain roadways so that they are safe for all vehicles and can be be held responsible when they fail to do so.
Source: kob.com, "Motorcyclists worried about uneven pavement on Paseo overpass", Stephanie Claytor, Feb. 13, 2015