Distracted Driving On the Rise, and New Mexico Drivers Are No Exception

- Samuel Kane

Researchers are increasingly reporting that distracted driving, and in particular cell phone usage, is a growing threat to the safety of American drivers. A recent report analyzed driving patterns in 2017 and found that drivers use their phones more than 33% of the time, despite the constant reports of the risks associated with cell phone use while driving. Read on for more about the results of the study, and contact a skilled Las Cruces personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt in a distracted driving crash in or around Las Cruces.

Study finds high rate of cell phone use while driving

EverQuote, an insurance marketplace, recently released a study based on their app, EverDrive, that tracked the cell phone usage of drivers across the country. The report utilized 781 million miles of driving data from 2017 to evaluate the habits of American drivers, including the frequency of speeding, phone use, unsafe acceleration, hard braking, and hard turning.

The report found that drivers use their phones on more than a third of their trips. Among drives with phone use, the average commute was 29 minutes, and drivers used their phones for an average of three minutes. The authors emphasized that taking your eyes off the road for even 5 seconds to send a text is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. If someone causes an accident while using a cell phone, they are likely at fault and could face significant liability for any damages or injuries caused.

Distracted driving laws have a positive effect

The study found that, for the most part, the strength of distracted driving laws was correlated with the frequency of cell phone use while driving. The safest driving states had the strictest cell phone use laws, and the most lax states had the highest cell phone usage. New Mexico law bans texting while driving, even while stopped at a stop sign or traffic light, but does not prohibit the use of hand-held phones for calls.

New Mexico drivers among the worst in terms of cell phone use, about average for other bad habits

The report found that Midwesterners were among the safest drivers, while those in the northeast had the worst habits. New Mexico drivers varied depending on the specific habit, but ranked among the worst for cell phone use: New Mexico drivers used cell phones during 40 percent of recorded trips, compared to around 33 percent for other states like Wyoming and California. On the other hand, New Mexico drivers only engaged in hard braking 21 percent of the time, compared to upwards of 30 percent in northeastern states. New Mexico drivers were in the middle when it came to speeding: 35 percent of trips, compared to as little as 20 percent in some midwestern states and over 50 percent in the northeast.

If you’ve been injured in a New Mexico crash with a distracted driver, get seasoned and effective legal help with recovering the money you’re owed by contacting the skilled and passionate Las Cruces personal injury lawyer Samuel N. Kane for a free consultation at 575-526-5263.