Victims of texting accidents finally have the law on their side

New Mexico travelers awoke Tuesday to safer roadways. At least, in theory.

On July 1, 2014, a law banning texting while driving went into effect statewide.

On its surface, the law appears to take a hard stance against cell phone-related distraction. It prohibits even drivers stuck in traffic or stopped for a red light from reading or sending a text message and also extends to e-mail or using the Internet.

In March, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed the bill into law. Violators will face a $25 fine for a first offense and $50 for subsequent violations.

Exceptions to New Mexico texting ban

Of course, exceptions to the law exist. Drivers may send a text message in order to contact emergency assistance. 

The law contains no language pertaining to global positioning systems or navigation systems in vehicles. Drivers may still talk and text while using a hands-free device.

In all, 44 states and Washington, D.C. have banned texting for all drivers.

New Mexico had already banned teens with provisional licenses or a learner’s permit from texting while driving. Albuquerque is one of several cities that already has a distracted driving ordinance on the books.

The deadly truth about texting while driving

According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the University of New Mexico, driver inattention was the top contributing factor in 2,835 accidents with injury in 2011 and 44 fatal accidents. Overall, driver inattention was considered the top contributing factor in 10,163 accidents in 2011, roughly 24 percent of all accidents.

NMDOT has produced a dramatic TV spot warning of the dangers of texting while driving. But many throughout the state have expressed concern over enforcement and wondered publicly whether the nominal fine provides an effective deterrent.

Victims of distracted driving accidents

An experienced personal injury attorney can be vital to victims of accidents caused by distraction, such as texting and driving. Why should you consider speaking to an attorney about your distracted driving accident?

First, the seriousness of injury that can occur in distraction collisions means that insurances companies want to intervene as quickly as possible, as this can help limit their exposure. Working with a lawyer can ensure full compensation for your injuries.

Secondly, distraction accidents usually involve multiple vehicles. That means the insurance company will be performing an investigation; an investigation should also be performed on your behalf.

Finally, semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles with policies worth $1 million or more are frequently involved in distraction accidents. An investigation by a qualified attorney means that all policies will be accounted for when compensation is pursued.

Victims of texting accidents always receive Keller & Keller’s Zero Fee Guarantee. Our clients never pay a consultation fee and we only get paid when we make a recovery for you.

Contact one of our qualified personal injury attorneys in Albuquerque by calling 1-800-253-5537. Otherwise, simply fill out the contact form below to send us your information.

Jim Keller
Partner at Keller & Keller
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