Based on data compiled by the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico is one of the most dangerous states for people who drive and ride in cars. While the state’s overall motor vehicle fatality rate is approximately 28% higher than the national average, New Mexico’s number of child deaths related to car accidents is the second-highest in the country.
Parents and guardians must take the necessary steps to keep children safe on our roadways. The following are just some of the steps that you can take to protect your loved ones.
Distracted driving causes many accidents in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico. While driving, you should never text or perform any other type of activity that takes your mind, eyes, or hands off the road. By eliminating distractions like eating, putting on makeup, or getting dressed while driving, you can greatly reduce your chances of ending up in an accident.
Discuss the Dangers
A large number of car accidents in New Mexico occur when people combine the operation of a vehicle with consuming alcohol or drugs. If you are intoxicated by any substance, you should not operate a vehicle. You should also make sure that new, teenage drivers realize the dangers that driving intoxicated can create.
Purchase the Appropriate Safety Seat
New Mexico law requires children to ride in approved safety seats until they are 7 years of age and weigh 60 pounds. Between the ages of 7 and 12, children should use booster seats. If a child is under the age of 1 and weighs less than 20 pounds, that child should be placed in a rear-facing car seat. Placing the child in an appropriate car seat for the child’s age is critical to making sure that the child remains safe.
Remember the Risks if a Child Stays Inside a Vehicle
If you ever leave your child alone in a vehicle, remember that various dangers can jeopardize a child’s life including heat, strangulation, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Children have been killed or injured by playing with keys that have been left in a vehicle’s ignition. The best way to avoid these various risks is to simply avoid leaving a child alone inside a vehicle.
Understand the Danger of Trunks
There are countless cases in which small children have died or suffered brain injuries after becoming locked in a vehicle’s trunk. The combination of high temperatures and limited air in trunks can have tragic consequences. While children should be taught that trunks are dangerous to play in, you should also make sure that your trunk is equipped with a release hatch in case the child crawls inside.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If your child is severely injured or killed in a car accident and another driver is responsible, remember that a skilled lawyer can fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact Slate Stern Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.