Thousands of New Mexico car accidents result in serious injuries and property damage. In 2022, 467 people died in motor vehicle accidents statewide. Many of these crashes could have been avoided had other drivers acted more responsibly and driven more safely.
- Drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicle at higher speeds.
- Drivers have less time to brake once they recognize a hazard.
- Safety features are less effective at higher speeds.
Speeding was also cited as a contributing factor in 4.1% of injury crashes, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Alcohol and drug use are responsible for a significant number of traffic accidents in New Mexico. Drug impairment was listed as a contributing factor in 12.5% of crash-related fatalities in 2021, the last year for which data is available. Alcohol impairment was a contributing factor in 12% of crash-related fatalities in 2021.
Drugs and alcohol can negatively impact a person’s ability to drive safely by:
- Impairing their judgment
- Lowering their inhibitions
- Decreasing their depth perception
- Making them more sleepy and likely to fall asleep behind the wheel
- Reducing their reaction time and coordination
All impaired driving crashes are preventable.
Driver inattention is believed to be a contributing factor in 18% of traffic accidents in New Mexico and 12.6% of fatal traffic crashes in the state in 2021. Today’s drivers may find it difficult to pay attention because there are many distractions, including:
- Talking on the phone
- Using GPS
- Interacting with an infotainment system
- Adjusting vehicle controls
Drivers who are distracted may not notice a hazard until it is too late.
Drowsiness affects drivers in ways that are similar to alcohol, such as slower reaction times and blurry vision, thereby increasing the possibility of a serious crash.
Failing To Yield The Right-Of-Way
The New Mexico Department of Transportation reports that failing to yield the right-of-way is a contributing factor in 6.3% of crashes in 2021. These crashes can occur when a vehicle turns into the path of an oncoming vehicle, crashes into another driver at an intersection, or backs out into oncoming traffic.
Wrong-way driving is a particularly dangerous action that can pose a significant risk to others. Drivers do not reasonably expect other drivers to be driving the wrong way. By the time they see them, they may not be able to avoid a serious collision.
Engaging in street races, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signals, and other reckless driving practices also cause a significant number of fatal and serious injuries every year.
Human error was cited in 75.7% of fatal New Mexico car accidents in 2021. Other human errors that contributed to New Mexico car accidents include:
- Running stop signs
- Following too closely
- Making improper turns or lane changes
- Improper overtaking
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to yield to emergency vehicles
Most car accident claims are based on driver error or “negligence.
Contact a New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer for Help With Your Injury Claim
If you were injured in any of these types of accidents, contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can investigate the accident and explain your legal options. You may have the right to recover damages from the at-fault driver. Most car accident attorneys offer free consultations, so there is minimal financial risk in seeking legal assistance