Monday, March 18, 2013

Driver Distractions in New Mexico Car Accidents

Did a driver distraction cause your car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident or collision? Why are driver distractions so dangerous to Albuquerque, New Mexico drivers?

By:  Mark Caruso, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney (Albuquerque, NM)

When a driver is involved in an accident, one of the first questions raised often investigates the true cause of the accident. If driver distraction played a key role in the accident, it is very important for an injury victim to investigate the incident and determine which type of driver distraction caused the auto accident.

Being involved in a car crash is never an ideal situation that a person would like to be in. Unfortunately, many people will be involved in at least one motor vehicle collision over their entire lifetime. If you were injured in a crash, it is very important for you to evaluate the situation and determine what may have caused this serious collision. Whether the accident was a side-impact crash (T-Bone collision), a head-on accident, or a rear-end collision, determining whether a distracted driver was the cause of the accident can be the source to financial recovery.

What is driver distraction and why is this action considered to be so dangerous? All throughout the country, distracted driving causes many auto accidents and claims many lives each year. In fact, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 3,000 people were fatally injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. There are three different categories that each individual type of distraction falls under, including manual, visual and cognitive distractions. These categories are not mutually exclusive in the sense that some interferences with driving may fall under one, two or all three categories. The three categories are defined as follows:

Manual Distractions: These involve taking your hands off of the wheel. A person can engage in a multitude of actions that can constitute manual distractions, including texting, eating, grooming, changing the radio station, smoking, using a navigation system, and more. Even taking the hands off of the wheel for a split second can have catastrophic consequences should the vehicle travel over a speed bump, pothole, or another type of road block. When a person takes his or her hands off of the wheel, the driver, passengers, and others on the road are immediately at risk to be involved in an accident. If a driver is unable to maintain control of his or her vehicle due to having one or no hands on the wheel, an accident may be inevitable.

Visual Distractions: These disruptions in driving can be extremely dangerous because they involve taking your eyes off of the wheel. Whether you are reading a text message or looking in a mirror, this action is very dangerous. The U.S. DOT estimates that taking the eyes off of the wheel for 4.6 seconds at 55 mph is the equivalent of driving an entire football field with a blindfold on. Other forms of visual distraction can include watching a video, looking at passengers, or even looking at a nearby traffic collision while continuing motion.

Cognitive Distractions: This is one that involves taking your mind away from what you are currently doing. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, day dreams, or even drives while intoxicated, he or she is engaging in a cognitive distraction. Texting or talking on the phone can constitute a cognitive disturbance during driving because a person must devote attention to the message being sent.
The U.S. DOT predicts that a person is 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if they are driving while texting. Although 35 states have prohibited the use of text messaging while driving, many people are still doing so and causing serious collisions as a result. Because texting and driving is considered to be a manual, visual and cognitive distraction, it is one of the most dangerous and lethal types of driving impairments in the country.

If you or someone you love has been involved in any type of accident, it is very important to talk to an attorney to determine if some form of driver distraction has led to the accident. The government works hard on promoting safe driving techniques, and has even declared April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

While many accidents are unavoidable, those that are caused due to driver distractions can be avoided by following the rules of the road and refraining from engaging in any type of visual, manual or cognitive distraction. For more information about auto accidents, distracted driving, and filing a claim for an accident you have been involved in, contact Caruso Law Offices at 505-883-5000

Albuquerque, New Mexico personal injury attorney Mark Caruso is a former insurance company attorney who now represents the victims in car accidents against insurance companies.  With 31 years of experience and the commitment to help you get the most money possible, you will recover every penny that the law says that you deserve.  Ask about our 29% discounted contingency fee for cases that settle without a lawsuit.


  1. Automobile accidents are quite common and it can happen any time or anywhere to anyone. It happens to almost each one of us. Accidents leave behind not only injuries to people and their vehicles, but also numerous mental stress, confusion and worries over your financial crisis and so on in case the injuries leave victims unable to work for a period of time. However with the help of a good Car crash lawyer or Car Accident Lawyer, now you can be able to fight the legal battle with more confidence with all necessary expertise in your hand. While any attorney can probably handle a car accident, best results come from attorneys who specialize in this field. They know the laws and the insurance companies as they work with them every day.

    Car Accident Lawyer

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jacob. I agree with your comment 100%. So many attorneys try to specialize in too many areas of the law. Our law firm only handles vehicular accident cases and injury cases that cause personal injury or wrongful death. There have been several instances over the past years where we are contacted by victims who have had lawyers who really did not know what they were doing because they tried to make a "quick buck" trying to do a car accident case for a friend or relative. We have stepped in to clean up the mess and get the case back on target.