Human error is behind many car crashes in New Mexico and across the U.S. By knowing what these mistakes are, drivers can see where they themselves might be able to improve. First of all, it is important to avoid distractions. Smartphones and infotainment systems are becoming more and more common, but even ordinary actions like talking with a passenger or eating and drinking will make a driver inattentive to the road.

Driving under the influence, either of alcohol or drugs (including prescription and over-the-counter drugs), is another factor. These substances will slow reaction times and impair drivers’ judgment. Those with certain medical conditions can suffer uncontrollable episodes like seizures, stroke and heart attack. Falling asleep at the wheel can also be a medical episode since some have obstructive sleep apnea.

Drivers who are lost or unfamiliar with another state’s traffic laws are more prone to crash, too. For instance, states differ on the legality of making a right turn on red. Drivers may miss seeing a burnt-out traffic light because, not knowing the area, they do not expect a traffic light in the first place. Poor vehicle maintenance is another culprit in auto accidents. Drivers should not be heading out with squealing brakes or bald tires. Other times, defective auto parts contribute to a crash and are the fault of the automakers.

Many other factors can be mentioned from bad weather to animals crossing the road, and some of them are beyond a driver’s control. However, if a car crash is caused by the negligence of a motorist, occupants of other vehicles who have been harmed might find it advisable to have a lawyer’s help when seeking compensation for their losses.