Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic that has reached the streets of New Mexico. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association, approximately 71% of teens and young adults have reported sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle. An even higher 78% say that they have read a text message while driving.

Distracted driving is more than just sending text messages, however. And some of the statistics can be staggering. Did you know that:

  • 10% off all drivers under age 20 who were involved in fatal car accidents were driving while distracted.
  • 421,000 people across the country were involved in an accident with a distracted driver.
  • 660,000 people are driving while distracted at any given moment during the daytime in the United States.
  • 30% of teen drivers admit to having lengthy conversations over text message while operating a car.
  • 10% of adults admit to having lengthy, multi-text conversations while operating a motor vehicle.
  • Parents who engage in distracted driving habits, like sending text messages, are more likely to have teenagers who engage in the same type of behavior.

Driving while distracted, for any reason, is completely preventable. If you find yourself paying more attention to a conversation, food or the music, it’s okay to pull over for a minute until you can regain your concentration. Help prevent injuries on the road by devoting your full attention to driving.

New Mexico Cell Phone Laws

New Mexico law allows cell phone users with graduated driver’s licenses to use hands-free devices while operating a car. You must use a hands-free device if you are operating a motor vehicle. Recently, Governor Susana Martinez also signed a law that bans texting while driving everywhere in the state. If you are caught engaging in distracted driving while using a cell phone, you can face a citation and fines assessed by the state. It’s not worth it to use your cell phone while driving!