Texting and Driving in Albuquerque

There is a growing concern that affects road safety—texting and driving. The prevalent issue of distracted driving in Albuquerque affects every driver.  Here we will spend time examining its impact on the community, the legal implications, and, most importantly, the measures we can take to make roads safer for everyone. 

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that involves driving while engaging in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road. This can include anything from using a cell phone, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or even talking to passengers.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents and can have serious consequences, not only for the driver but also for other road users. Together we will examine potential consequences of distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Types of Distractions

Various distractions can affect a driver’s focus while driving. Some common distractions include eating and drinking, texting and talking on cell phones, grooming, and using navigation systems.

Eating and drinking while driving can cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, leading to reduced focus and increased risk of accidents. Texting and talking on cell phones continue to be major distractions that take attention away from the road, increasing the likelihood of collisions.

Texting and Driving in Albuquerque

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, it is illegal to text while driving. The state law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld mobile communication device or viewing electronic messages while driving.  This includes texting, emailing, and browsing the internet. 

The consequences for violating texting and driving laws in Albuquerque can result in fines and points on the driver’s license. Drivers who are found to violate these laws may face fines of up to $25 for a first offense and up to $50 for subsequent offenses. [2]

To combat texting and driving, the city has taken measures such as increased law enforcement presence and public awareness campaigns to educate the community about the dangers of distracted driving.

Local resources and organizations offering support and education on texting and driving include the Albuquerque Department of Transportation, which provides information on safe driving practices and resources for distracted driving prevention.

As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 660,000 drivers engage in texting while driving, leading to approximately 390,000 injuries each year. [1]

Texting and Driving in Albuquerque

Exception to the Rule

There are exceptions to bans on using electronics when driving, including using GPS navigation systems, integrated hands-free devices, and voice-operated commands. These exceptions allow drivers to use their cell phones to navigate or make calls without physically handling the device.

Teenagers and inexperienced drivers who have a learner’s permit are prohibited from utilizing electronic devices within a vehicle, even if these devices are in hands-free mode.

If the vehicle is stationary or parked, it is completely legal to send a message or call. Exceptions are also granted for emergency calls, allowing drivers to dial 911 in urgent situations, but it is advisable to pull over before making such calls.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Albuquerque

Distracted driving is a prevalent issue in Albuquerque, leading to numerous accidents with serious consequences. Common causes include momentary inattention, failure to recognize stops or traffic lights, excessive use of mobile devices, and careless or reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

  • Momentary Inattention: Distracted driving, such as texting or adjusting the radio, can lead to collisions. To avoid distractions, turn off or silence your phone and minimize conversations with passengers.
  • Failure to Recognize Stops or Traffic Lights: Gather witness statements, obtain traffic camera footage, and review the police report to address this issue. Consulting with a car accident attorney can help use evidence to seek compensation for damages.
  • Use of Mobile Devices: New Mexico strictly prohibits texting or talking on handheld devices while driving. Awareness of and adherence to these laws is crucial to prevent penalties and promote safe driving habits.
  • Careless or Reckless Operation: Reckless driving, including distracted behaviors, can lead to severe consequences, injuries, and fatalities. Penalties in New Mexico for reckless driving include fines, license suspension, and potential imprisonment.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Albuquerque

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Distracted Driving Accidents in Albuquerque

In Albuquerque, there are strict laws and ordinances in place to address distracted driving. Here are six ways individuals can minimize the risk of distracted driving accidents in Albuquerque:

  • Practice Hands-Free Habits: Utilize hands-free devices for calls and navigation to minimize manual distractions and set up Bluetooth connectivity in your vehicle for safer phone use.
  • Set Phone on “Do Not Disturb”: Enable the “Do Not Disturb” mode on your phone while driving to avoid notifications and incoming calls.
  • Plan Ahead: Program your GPS and playlist before starting your journey to minimize the need for adjustments while driving, review directions, and plan stops for calls or messages before getting on the road.
  • Secure Belongings: Ensure personal items, such as phones or snacks, are secured before driving to prevent reaching them while on the road.
  • Take Breaks for Communication: Pull over in a safe location to address important calls or messages rather than attempting to multitask while driving.
  • Stay Informed and Educated: Stay updated on the risks of distracted driving and commit to being a responsible and attentive driver. Participate in awareness campaigns and use available resources to learn about the dangers of distractions on the road.

By adopting these individual practices, drivers can contribute to a safer road environment and reduce the likelihood of distracted driving accidents. Each person’s commitment to responsible and focused driving plays an important role in enhancing overall road safety.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Distracted Driving Accidents in Albuquerque

Facing auto accident injuries in Albuquerque?

Consult with Goldberg & Loren’s experienced auto accident lawyers for personalized legal assistance and support. 


[1] NHTSA Survey Finds 660,000 Drivers Using Cell Phones or Manipulating Electronic Devices While Driving At Any Given Daylight Moment. (n.d.). US Department of Transportation. https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/nhtsa-survey-finds-660000-drivers-using-cell-phones-or-manipulating-electronic-devices

[2] Fines for Cell Phone Use by State | Autoinsurance.com. (2024, January 30). Autoinsurance.com. https://www.autoinsurance.com/research/cell-phone-use-while-driving/

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