“Distracted driving” is a term commonly used in the news, and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9 individuals are killed and more than 1,153 individuals are injured every day due to car accidents involving a distracted driver. These numbers are staggering.
Unfortunately, we see the evidence of this all too often in our own New Mexico community. Lives of victims and loved ones turned upside down because of accidents that were completely preventable.
What is Distracted Driving?
The term “distracted driving” seems pretty self-explanatory, but let’s get into what it means.
Driving while trying to do nearly anything else at the same time can be categorized as distracted driving. With so many gadgets at our fingertips and new technology popping up constantly, it’s no wonder that so many drivers are distracted.
When you hear “distracted driving,” cell phones are likely one of the first culprits that came to your mind. Talking, texting, and emailing while driving are major offenders. Each action (even hands-free) means an increased risk of an accident — one that could seriously harm the distracted driver and others on the road.
In our busy world, it is sadly natural to reach for your phone as soon as it buzzes with that new text, email, call, reminder, or notification. However, cell phones are not solely to blame in diverting the attention of drivers away from what should be their primary focus.
What Causes a Driver to be Distracted?
Some of the activities that lead to distracted driving are:
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting music players, including the radio
- Utilizing a GPS system
- Reading directions, a newspaper, magazine, or book
- Grooming or checking appearance in the rearview mirror
- Looking at the scene of a recent accident
- Talking to others in the vehicle
- Watching a video
- Looking at a billboard
- Looking at a plane, helicopter, or (common in New Mexico) a hot air balloon
Distracted Driving Can Have Serious Consequences
The CDC reported that nearly half of all United States high school students, who are 16 years of age or older text or email while driving. To boot, it’s reported that activities such as texting and emailing typically take the attention of a driver away from the actual act of driving “more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions.” The United States Government Website for Distracted Driving states that, when texting, the average amount of time that the distracted drivers’ eyes are off of the road is 5 seconds. They proceed to explain that, if the distracted driver is traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, 5 seconds is long enough to drive the distance of an entire football field.
Distraction.gov reports that 10% of drivers under 20 years of age who were involved in collisions which were fatal were found to be distracted when the accident occurred. In addition, 1 out of 4 teenage drivers respond to a text received at least once each time they are behind the wheel.
These are not ideal statistics for our young drivers!
Distracted driving can not only lead to serious injuries for the driver but other drivers sharing the road. Doing so also threatens the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, who are more susceptible to catastrophic injuries or wrongful death if involved in an accident.
Evidence of Distracted Driving
When an auto accident is caused by a distracted driver, that driver is typically found to be at fault for the majority of the accident. However, adequately demonstrating that the driver was distracted can be challenging. There are discovery and recovery methods, but, it often takes the help of an Albuquerque distracted driving lawyer to find them. As an example, it can be possible to recover cell phone activity, even if it was deleted.
Speak with Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Distracted driving is never an excuse. At Baskerville Law LLC, we provide outstanding legal representation to those who have been hurt in an accident or suffered harm due to the negligence of a distracted driver. We aggressively pursue the best interests of our clients, taking insurance companies head-on and teaching the negligent party a valuable lesson.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a distracted driver in New Mexico, take action and call us today at (505) 312-4291. Consultations with our experienced auto accident attorney are always free, with no obligation to retain us. And if you do decide to work with us, you're always backed by our no-fee guarantee which ensures we only get paid if we win you compensation.