Improper Passing Causing an Auto Accident in New Mexico


May 14, 2021

 by Caruso Law Offices, P.C. | 

Injured by a Driver Making an Improper Passing Causing an Auto Accident

There are many rules of the road that all motorist are expected to comply with. There are two main purposes for these rules. Some of the rules are meant to help administer an orderly flow of traffic. Other rules are duel-purpose and meant to help keep other motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and others safe. This means that they could be used to help administer proper driving and safe passage. One example of a traffic law applying to both is the statutory section governing driving on the right side of the road. When a motorist fails to do this, improper passing causing an auto accident in New Mexico could result in liability against a defendant.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced auto accident lawyers in New Mexico understand that improper passing causing an auto accident can result in serious or catastrophic injuries. The vehicle being passed could result in the serious injuries, but also oncoming vehicles and passengers in the vehicle doing the improper passing. Damages can include significant pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earnings, medical bills, and other losses related to the crash. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident occurring in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, or anywhere else in NM, ask our bodily injury law firm how we can help protect your rights to compensation.

To assess an improper passing causing an auto accident in New Mexico, it is important to understand the rules of driving on the right side and when a person is lawfully allowed to pass another.

Driving on the Right Side in New Mexico

Driving on the right side of the road is governed by NM stat section 66-7-308, which provides that all motorists must drive on the right side of the roady except when:

  • Overtaking and passing another vehicle
  • When the right half of the road is closed
  • When the roadway is divided into three marked lanes
  • When the road is marked as a one-way road

When a Person Can Pass Another Vehicle

Overtaking and passing a vehicle on the left is not always allowed. But it can be done in certain situations as prescribed by statute. The governing statute is NM stat. section 66-7-310, which provides under sub (A) that “the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle[.]”

Total Requirements to Pass Safely

Thus, the requirements to pass safely include:

  • The passer can do so at a safe distance of the vehicle to be passed
  • The passer would not impede traffic or cause a hazard to an oncoming vehicle
  • The passer cannot drive in the right lane gain until it is safely clear again

Failure to Pass Safely

The failure to pass safely could result in serious or catastrophic personal injuries, especially when a motorist could collide with another vehicle head on. When improper passing causing an auto accident injuries an innocent person in New Mexico, that defendant may be liable on the grounds of statutory law violations (negligence per se) or straight common law negligence for failing to act as a reasonably prudent motorist under the circumstances.

A defendant who is found liable for unsafely passing another could be found negligent. This means that a defendant could be required to pay compensation to the victim. Sometimes it is obvious and a defendant will pay immediately. But most times a defendant’s insurance carrier will fight you to undermine, underpay, or even deny an otherwise valid claim.

Need Help With an Auto Accident in New Mexico? We Can Help Victims of an Improper Passing Causing an Auto Accident

If you or a love one were seriously injured in a New Mexico auto accident, ask our experienced personal injury lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. in Albuquerque, NM for help. We handle many different types of personal injury claims, including those resulting from improper passing causing an auto accident.

Learn how we can help you during a FREE consultation by calling (505) 273-2978 to meet with our compassionate and well-trained team. We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 273-2978 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.

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