As of 2019, New Mexico had the unwanted distinction of being the state with the highest number of distracted driving fatalities. For every million residents in the state, 61.6 deaths occur in accidents involving distracted driving. Distracted driving is a major issue these days. While most people understand the threat distractions pose to themselves and other motorists, it doesn’t stop them from texting while driving or partaking in other dangerous behaviors.
Our team at Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C. has seen just how damaging distracted can be when it comes to accidents and injuries. We are ready to help investigate the root cause for why the at-fault driver was distracted and help you prove your case.
Texting, emailing, instant messaging, and other ways of conveying messages electronically from a handheld device are all prohibited while driving in New Mexico. Even sending a message while stopped at a stop sign is not permitted. If caught texting while driving, a motorist could be subject to a fine or a charge of reckless driving, depending on the circumstances. You are permitted to use a device that is voice operated or handsfree, however.
Talking on a mobile device while driving is also permitted, unless you’re a commercial driver. In this case, operators of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses, and vans, are not allowed to talk or text on a handheld device when operating a vehicle. They are permitted to use voice operated or handsfree devices, as well as electronics equipment that is incorporated into the commercial vehicle itself. A commercial driver caught disobeying this law would also be subject to fines and other possible charges.
While only texting and talking on mobile devices is explicitly prohibited by the law, there are many other driving distractions that can prove just as hazardous. Eating while driving draws your attention away from the road, as well as cause you to take your hands off the wheel. This impacts your ability to respond to a sudden situation, such as a stopped care in your lane.
Even talking with a passenger can cause a distraction in your vehicle. No matter how long a person has been driving or how confident they are in their abilities, a person’s full attention should be paid on the road at all times to prevent a serious accident.
Proving fault in a car accident case, even one that involves distracted driving, can be difficult. That’s why you need a skilled legal representative during your case, one that will offer practical legal guidance as well as emotional support.
Here are Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C., we genuinely care about our Albuquerque clients. We’re your neighbors and we want to see you make a full recovery after an accident. We also want to see the responsible party brought to justice, both for your peace of mind and to deter others from making the same mistakes.