Driving While Under the Influence of Electronics

We are a tech society. Some people wouldn’t think of leaving their house without a cell phone for a minute–not even for a quick trip to the supermarket.

Did you know that driving while using a cell phone delays reactions as much as having a blood alcohol level near the illegal value of .08 percent? [University of Utah]

Sending or receiving texts while driving is like driving a football field blind. Taking your eyes off the road for just 4.6 seconds is equivalent to driving 55 mph down the field blind. [VTTI]

When using a hand-held device, you are four times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident serious enough to cause injuries to yourself. [Monash University]

Many laws are in place that address electronics usage while driving, but do you know what they are?

Video Screens

In New Mexico, it is illegal to have a screen that can be seen by the driver.

Law: It is unlawful to operate any motor vehicle equipped with a television screen upon which images may be projected or shown if the screen is within the normal view of the driver of the motor vehicle unless the television is used solely as an aid to the driver in the operation of the vehicle. As used in this section “television screen” does not include closed circuit monitors or computer terminal monitors used by law enforcement agencies in law enforcement motor vehicles.
Statute: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-7-358 (2008)
Penalties: No penalty specified.

Cell Phones

Currently, New Mexico has no statewide limits on cell phone usage while driving with the exception of student drivers.

Several cities, however, have their own laws restricting cell phone usage, including texting while driving:
• Albuquerque
• Santa Fe
• Las Cruces
• Gallup
• Taos
• Espanola

In Albuquerque, for example, the law is hands-free, not cell-free. This includes texting. You must use a device that allows you to use the phone without holding it. This can include a Bluetooth, corded ear piece, or speaker.
Statue: F/S O-06-57
Penalties: $100 for the first offense. $200 for subsequent offenses.
Exceptions are allowed when the phone call is for an emergency, such as calling 911 or a hospital.

If you feel you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, please contact us for a free case evaluation.

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Scott Atkinson (264 Posts)

Scott concentrates on serious personal injury cases. He believes that a catastrophic injury does not just affect the victim; it also dramatically impacts the victim’s family. Scott is in Albuquerque to fight for you to recover your New Mexico accident losses!