New Mexico became the forty-second state to ban texting by all drivers. Governor Martinez recently signed a bill into law that prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. Previously, New Mexico enacted law that prevented teens from texting while driving if they had a learner’s or provisional license. The new law makes it illegal to send or read emails and text messages, or perform internet searches on hand-held devices and phones. Punishment includes a $25.00 fine for the initial violation and $50.00 for any subsequent violations. The law provides the exception of contacting medical or emergency services.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 421,000 people were injured in a motor vehicle crash in 2012 due to distraction. 3328 people were in fatal accidents. While fatal accident decreased from 3360 in 2011, general injuries jumped from 387,000 in 2011. Distracted driving includes adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player; using a navigation system; watching a video; talking to other passengers in the car; performing personal grooming; eating and drinking; using a cell phone or smart phone; and texting. According to the NHTSA, the largest group to be involved in a distracted-driving accident are teenage drivers, who made up 11% of the fatal crashes. Cell phone use was the greatest type of distraction for drivers between 15 and 19 years old.
New Mexico requires all drivers to drive safely on the road. In a civil action, if another driver fails in their duty to drive safely and the failure leads to an accident involving one or more vehicles, they can be held liable for the damages they caused. This damage can include, but is not limited to, property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. The recent passage of the law to ban texting while driving codifies the expanded definition of what safe driving must look like in the state of New Mexico. If texting or even general cell phone use by the accident-causing driver is involved, proof of such use can show the at-fault driver was negligent and this negligence caused the accident and the injuries stemming from the accident. Eye witness statements and subpoenaed cell phone records can help reveal whether or not the driver was distracted, and it is important to have an experienced New Mexico Distracted Driving Attorney to assist you in this crucial investigation following the accident.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is essential to have attorneys who will aggressively litigate and negotiate your case so that you can fully recover from your injuries. Damages are designed to help make the person “whole”, or return them to the condition they were in prior to the accident. The attorneys at Parnall Law Firm, LLC utilize all legal avenues available to maximize the monetary recovery you need and deserve. If you have been injured in an auto accident, call one of our attorneys today for a free, confidential consultation at 505-332-BERT or 505-268-6500.