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Accidental injuries put American lives at risk

When people get behind the wheel in New Mexico, they could actually be taking their lives in their hands. Statistics issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that for Americans aged 44 and under, the leading cause of death is accidental injury. In 2016 alone, 61,749 people were killed due to unintentional injuries; this number is more than twice the total of those killed in the same age group by cancer and heart disease combined. There were a number of different types of fatal accidental injuries, but the most common were motor vehicle crashes and poisonings.

People can take action to increase their ability to stay safe on the roads. Every year, 2 million people are injured and 32,000 more killed due to auto accidents. Driving safely can help drivers to avoid dangerous crashes; this includes abiding by traffic laws, including the speed limit, and avoiding driving while drowsy, drunk or distracted. With the rise of the smartphone, distracted driving is a growing problem.

Texting while driving not only takes a driver's eyes and mind off of the road ahead, it also takes his or her hands away from the wheel. Traveling at 55 mph, a driver can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to read or send one short text message. In 2016, 3,450 people died as a result of crashes caused by distracted driving and many more were injured. This has prompted increased legislative action to prohibit mobile phone use while driving.

While drivers can act to protect themselves, other dangerous or negligent drivers can still pose a danger on the road. Car accidents can cause severe injuries and permanent disabilities, and accident victims might opt to work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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Albuquerque, NM 87102

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