Many drivers in New Mexico use their cell phones while in their car, and this increases the chances of getting in a car accident. While distracted driving is a problem in general, texting has been shown to be one of the most dangerous of activities while driving a motor vehicle. The state has put laws into place that prohibit certain phone use, and there are other strategies that can help decrease accidents due to texting.
According to the University of New Mexico, 25% of collisions are caused by texting while driving and this results in over 300,000 injuries every year. Drivers who text are even more likely to get into an accident than someone who drives drunk. What is scary is that 77% of young drivers are confident they can text and still drive safely, which is a big issue. To help cut down on this type of driving behavior, the state has passed laws that ban texting and image communication when driving. Drivers of any age who are caught breaking these laws can face a number of penalties.
According to AAA, the biggest consequence of texting and driving is causing injury or death to another person. For the luckier ones, a traffic ticket is issued, but this can result in unintended outcomes such as:
- Court costs and attorney fees
- Suspended driving rights
- Increased insurance rates
Additional programs have been implemented for teenage drivers, as they are at high risk for using their phone while on the road. The graduated licensing system restricts not only cell phone use but also the number and types of passengers who can be in the car. Teens are also encouraged to ask more experienced drivers how they stay focused and to speak up if another driver is using his or her phone in an irresponsible manner.