Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. When a person’s attention is taken away from actual driving, this significantly increases safety risks to the driver, their passengers, and others on the roadway. There are many forms of distracted driving that can lead to safety risks on the roadway, including any action that takes a person’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the roadway, or mind off of driving.
Distracted Driving Dangers Are Real
The information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that around eight individuals lose their lives each day across the US as a result of distracted driving. We know that many others are injured as a result of distracted driving behaviors. The CDC breaks distractions down into three main types:
- Visual – this involves a person taking their eyes off the roadway
- Manual – this involves a person taking their hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – this involves a person taking their mind off of driving
New Mexico and Distracted Driving
When working to examine the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, we think it would be beneficial to look right here in our state for some concrete data about how this affects our residents and visitors. When we look at data available from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, we can see that the types of distracted driving that caused the most crashes during the latest reporting year include the following:
- Eating, drinking, or doing something else inside the vehicle
- Various distractions coming from outside of the vehicle (roadside hazards, emergency vehicles, etc.)
- Manually operating an electronic device (including texting, scrolling the Internet, taking pictures, etc.)
- Becoming distracted due to a passenger inside the vehicle
- Talking on a handheld device (with or without a hands-free system)
Unfortunately, distracted driving led to a significant number of fatalities and injuries in New Mexico during the latest reporting year, and this is a continuing problem from year to year in our state. No matter how minor a distraction may seem to the person behind the wheel, the reality is that taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, even for a few seconds, can be deadly. The CDC states that if a person is operating a vehicle at 55 mph, sending or reading a text message is like driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed.
What if You Get Into a Crash With a Distracted Driver?
If you or somebody you love has been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, your number one priority must be seeking medical care. There are two reasons for this. First, seeking medical care ensures that all injuries, even the possible unseen ones, are treated quickly. Additionally, seeking prompt medical attention establishes a direct link between any injuries you sustained and the actual crash. Speak to an Albuquerque accident lawyer to learn more.
If you suspect that the crash was caused by the actions of a distracted driver, we encourage you to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. If there were any eyewitnesses who saw that the other driver was distracted, get their names and contact information written down before you leave. You should reach out to an established Albuquerque car accident attorney who can help handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf.