Albuquerque Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys Explains New Mexico’s Texting While Driving Offense
According to distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving, in 2014 over 3,100 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving motor vehicle accidents. These numbers increased from the year before, and the trend has been on the rise from the years prior to that.
Distracted driving due to cell phone use is also steadily increasing, particularly for new drivers in their teens and in their twenties. This age range of drivers accounts for the vast majority of all distracted driving accidents, especially due to cell phone use while driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, motor vehicle accident caused by a cell phone in use kill over 450 people year each in the United States.
Motor vehicle accidents caused by cell phone use and other distractions are all very preventable. Because of this, most times when there is a distracted driving accident the driver who is distracted is negligent as a matter of law. This is particularly true in New Mexico for texting while driving, which has been codified as a violation of the traffic law. This allows the victim(s) of an Albuquerque texting while driving accident to recover the compensation they deserve to help them recover from their injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an Albuquerque texting while driving motor vehicle accident, contact the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE consultation. Our experienced Albuquerque motor vehicle accident attorneys can explain your rights and review your case to see what compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at (505) 966-9308.
New Mexico Law Prohibits Texting While Driving
New Mexico law prohibits a motorist from texting while driving. Under NM 66-7-374, “[a] person shall not read or view a text message or manually type on a handheld mobile communication device for any purpose while driving a motor vehicle, except to summon medical or other emergency help or unless that device is an amateur radio and the driver holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the federal communications commission.”
Further, this section defines “driving” as “being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise, but ‘driving’ excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of or off of an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which it can safely remain stationary[.]”
Additionally, this section defines “text message” to include any instant message, electronic mail (e-mail), any text or image communication, or any command or request to an internet site. Thus, this section would also preclude any of the popular apps such as Facebook or Snapchat, which send images or videos as a form of communication rather than just text.
Liability in Albuquerque Texting While Driving Accidents
Where a motorist violates NM 66-7-374 and texts while driving, and such violation causes a Albuquerque motor vehicle accident, the violating motorist may be negligent or negligent per se.
Negligence is where a person owes a duty of care to another, breaches that duty of care, and such breach causes damages to another person. This is a common law theory of liability, which is judge made law, and is the common theory in most personal injury accidents—including motor vehicle accidents.
Alternatively, since there is a statute prohibiting certain conduct, the motorist violating the texting while driving law may be negligent per se. This theory of liability is premised off of a statutory violation which will automatically find the violator negligent as a matter of law if the statute protects against the harm which was caused to the person(s) protected by the statute. Meaning here, the statute protects against distracted driving accidents (this is the harm). It protects other people on or near the roadway (the person(s) protected by the statute). Thus, when a motorist violates the texting while driving statute and causes a motor vehicle accident, the theory of negligence per se will allow victims to recover for their injuries by finding the violator negligent.
Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Texting While Driving Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an Albuquerque texting while driving accident or any other New Mexico distracted driving accident, call the experienced Albuquerque motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 384-6322 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.