The risks posed by young Las Cruces drivers

We here in Las Cruces are proud of New Mexico State University. While our community benefits greatly from the presence of the renowned school, there are also risks inherent in having large numbers of young drivers in their teens and twenties navigating our streets.

Far too often, there are accidents involving distracted drivers. AAA says that when it analyzed dash-cam videos of teenage drivers in the moments prior to crashes, several distinct behaviors emerged.

The three behaviors common in many of the motor vehicle collisions involving teenage drivers:

  • In 15 percent of the crashes in the AAA study, teen drivers were talking to or attending to passengers in the vehicle right before the accident occurred.
  • In 12 percent of the crashes, teen drivers were either talking or texting or otherwise using their phones in the moments before impact.
  • In 11 percent of crashes, the drivers were looking at something or attending to something inside the vehicle.

Those dangerous behaviors result in more than 1,000 people dying each year in accidents involving teenaged drivers.

AAA says the trend emerging among those young drivers is not a good one. Fewer of them are talking on their phones and more of them are texting. As we know from other research, looking at a phone to compose or read a text means a driver's eyes are off of the road for precious seconds. In that time, pedestrians can step off of sidewalks and into the street, cars ahead can come to sudden stops, vehicles can approach in intersections -- all unpredictable and common events that require drivers to be focused on their vehicles and traffic.

Most of those common events are easily, routinely dealt with by drivers. But when the driver isn't even looking or isn't even aware that circumstances have changed, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

Those harmed by distracted drivers can pursue maximum compensation with the help of an experienced Las Cruces personal injury attorney.

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