New Mexico may be the deadliest state in the country for distracted driving. According to an analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) conducted by the cell phone information clearinghouse Let’s Talk, New Mexico has more deaths per million residents caused by distracted driving than any other state. With our long, flat roads, it’s no wonder so many New Mexicans choose to occupy themselves with tasks other than driving, but this can be a deadly decision. When you are injured, or a loved one is killed in a crash caused by a distracted driver, our experienced car accident attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Distracted Driving Laws in New Mexico Are on the Victim’s Side
New Mexico is among the majority of states that now ban the use of hand-held devices while driving. In our state, it is illegal to do the following behind the wheel:
- Type on a mobile device, including texting, emailing, or entering search information
- Read text-based messages
- Talk on a hand-held cell phone
- For drivers with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses, it is illegal to use a mobile device of any kind, whether hand-held or hands-free.
In addition, New Mexico has a law against driving without “devoting your full time and entire attention” to operating your vehicle. This could include irresponsible actions such as:
- Eating and drinking
- Setting a mapping app or device
- Adjusting the car radio or climate settings
- Applying makeup
- Talking to passengers
- Tending to young children in the back seat
- Unsecured pets in the vehicle
We’ve probably all been guilty of doing one or more of these things while driving, but if one of these actions takes your attention from the road and causes an accident, you would be at fault. If you were hit by another driver, the cause of the crash should be investigated and, if there is evidence of possible distracted driving, the driver should be held accountable.
The Threat of Distracted Driving Is Real
According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, driver inattention was the leading cause of all crashes across the state in 2018. Distracted driving accounted for 21.5 percent of injury crashes, 20.3 percent of property damage-only crashes, and 8.3 percent of fatal crashes. Nationwide, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports the following results of its annual traffic safety culture survey:
- More than half of the drivers surveyed reported having driven while talking on a hand-held phone in the previous 30 days.
- 41.3 percent reported that they read a text message while driving
- 32.1 percent admitted to typing a text message while driving
Because driver inattention is often coupled with another behavior, such as speeding or drinking alcohol, it can be difficult to identify all distracted driving crashes. However, the accident investigators at Keller & Keller are experienced in securing evidence of distracted driving, such as cell phone records, traffic camera footage, witness testimony, and evidence found at the scene of the crash.
Our Team Will Help Identify Distracted Driving as a Cause of your Albuquerque Car Crash
Because New Mexico is a fault state, knowing whether the driver who caused your accident was distracted behind the wheel may be very important to your personal injury case. The Albuquerque car accident lawyers at Keller & Keller will consider this possibility when building a claim against the at-fault driver. We offer a Zero Fee Guarantee to anyone who was injured by a distracted driver. This means that a consultation with any of our personal injury lawyers is free, and the only way our firm receives payment for its legal services is if a recovery is made on your behalf. Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with our Albuquerque law office today. We will help you hold the at-fault driver responsible so that you will get the full compensation you deserve to recover from your injuries. Contact us as soon as possible after a car accident so that we can get to work investigating the cause of your crash.