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.
When car crashes occur, the two organs of the human body most often injured by abdominal trauma and susceptible to heavy bleeding are the liver and the spleen. A person can live without their spleen, but the liver is an organ that is vital to life. Depending on the severity of the injury, the liver might be surgically repaired, but even then, deadly complications can result from severe liver trauma.
New Mexico drivers should know that about a third of all traffic fatalities are related to drunk driving. At the highest risk of dying in drunk driving crashes are drivers under 24, motorcyclists and those with prior DUI convictions. Young adults are at a higher risk than older adults even when both have the same BAC. This could be because young drivers are inexperienced and tend to travel in groups, making them more prone to distractions.
Teenagers in New Mexico and elsewhere are most likely to engage in distracted driving, according to a recent study. The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in September.
Court records indicate that the Thanksgiving holiday is a time of increased drunk driving in New Mexico. From Wednesday to Sunday around Thanksgiving 2018, law enforcement arrested 53 people for drinking and driving in Bernalillo County. During the same four-day period in 2017, 49 arrests were made. One 26-year-old man was allegedly seen by police going 115 mph on I-40, racing another car, when he was stopped and arrested for DWI.
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.
Driving in bright sunlight can present some safety issues. There is a 16 percent higher chance of having a life-threatening crash in bright sunlight compared to normal weather, but there are steps that people in New Mexico can take to make it less dangerous.
For many people in New Mexico, driving on Halloween can result in severe car accidents and the injuries that follow. As people go out to Halloween parties and spend the night trick-or-treating, they could face an escalated risk on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Halloween night is the most dangerous time for drunk driving. More people are killed in DWI-related crashes between 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 than at any other time of the year.
Many people in New Mexico are curious about the potential of self-driving cars to change the future of transportation. While several car accidents involving autonomous vehicles have made the news, these crashes usually involve something of interest or noteworthy to the general population. However, many more mundane crashes occur in areas where self-driving cars are being tested, and most of them are the fault of human drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released figures for fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017. In 2015 and 2016, fatalities rose, but it appears that trend began to reverse in 2017. However, based on the report, people in New Mexico may be safer from fatal crashes in rural areas than urban ones. This is a departure from 2015 and earlier years when there were more fatal motor vehicle accidents in rural locations.