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8 Common Causes of Car Crashes in Santa Fe

8 Common Causes of Car Crashes in Santa Fe

Shapiro Law Team September 27, 2023 Car Accidents

Even though Santa Fe is known for its walkability, most residents use a car to get around the city. Unfortunately, car accidents happen every 14 minutes in the United States—and New Mexico’s Department of Transportation records Santa Fe as one of the most accident-prone cities in the state. Why do car accidents happen, and what can you do if you’ve been involved in a crash?

Shapiro Law Team is Santa Fe’s premier car accident law firm. If you or a loved one was recently involved in a traffic collision, contact us to speak to an experienced attorney at no cost. Let’s take a look at the eight most common causes of car crashes in Santa Fe, how to respond following a collision, and how you can help keep roads safe.

What were the injury and fatality percentages in the 2021 New Mexico crash?

2021 New Mexico Crash Highlights

New Mexico has seen its share of dangerous and fatal car crashes. In 2021:

  • 19% of crashes were hit-and-runs
  • 30% percent of crashes resulted in an injury
  • 1% percent of crashes resulted in a fatality

The most prominent contributing factors to these accidents include distracted driving, failing to yield, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reports show a person was injured in a crash every 29 minutes on any given day in 2021. Most of these crashes were due to the driver’s inattention.

What Type of Car Accident Is the Most Common?

Rear-end collisions are often regarded as the most common type of car accident in the United States. This type of crash usually happens when another driver is tailgating, or following too closely. The driver won’t have enough time to brake and will collide with the car in front of them. Distracted driving is also a common cause of rear-end traffic collisions.

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What is the most common injury to occur in collisions?

Injuries Commonly Caused by a Car Accident

Shapiro Law Team sees car accidents of all sizes and severities, including injuries. Oftentimes, car accident victims suffer injuries causing lifelong issues. These catastrophic injuries could cost millions of dollars in medical expenses over their lifetime. Common injuries we see from car accidents in Santa Fe include:

  • Whiplash
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Herniated disks
  • Bone fractures
  • Broken ribs/chest injuries
  • Muscle sprains or strains
  • Joint and ligament injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Fatal injuries

What are the leading causes of crashes in New Mexico?

Common Causes of New Mexico Car Accidents

1. Driving Too Fast for Conditions

Speeding is dangerous. Whether a driver is in a rush to work or experiencing road rage, speeding makes it hard to observe the road. If you’re speeding, you may not be able to react in time should a bicyclist or pedestrian cross the street. Red lights are often run as a result of speeding as well. Keep yourself and your fellow drivers safe by abiding by Santa Fe’s posted speed limit and refrain from aggressive driving.

2. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Impaired driving, or driving under the influence, includes drivers who are drunk or drugged. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a top contributing factor to car crashes in Santa Fe. A driver is considered impaired if he or she gets behind the wheel with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) percentage of 0.8% or higher. If you plan on visiting the bars, call a rideshare or take a designated driver with you.

3. Driving While Fatigued

Driving a vehicle while fatigued can have the same effect as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re driving while tired, your reaction time is significantly slowed and you run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, putting yourself and others at risk.

4. Distracted Driving

Today’s vehicles are fashioned with the latest gadgets and devices. If you’re adjusting your device, responding to a text, eating a quick lunch, drinking, or even talking to your passengers, you are a danger to others. If it takes your attention off the road, even for a split second, it’s considered distracted driving. Put your phone away, and wait to eat your meal until you’ve safely parked your vehicle.

5. Failure to Obey Traffic Signals

Many drivers fail to obey traffic rules and signals like lights and stop signs. Failing to yield the right of way at a traffic light or intersection can cause catastrophic accidents resulting in significant injuries. Ensure to follow the rules of the road and yield to the right of way at all times.

6. Illegal Passing and Lane Changes

Passing on a solid yellow line is dangerous and illegal. Drivers need to always follow the rules of the road and ensure their blind spot is clear from any surrounding vehicles. Always make sure you have enough room to pass a vehicle safely, and remember not to speed when doing so.

7. Inclement Weather

Sometimes a car accident isn’t caused by driver negligence. Sometimes it’s caused by Mother Nature. Weather can change in the blink of an eye, and when it does, it can create hazardous driving conditions. If the weather is too hazardous to drive in, pull over and wait until it passes.

8. Road Condition

Dangerous road conditions like potholes and other obstacles may cause accidents. If poorly maintained roadways are not cleaned up and obstacles are not removed, drivers can wind up in potentially life-threatening situations.

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What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident in Santa Fe

Car accidents are devastating. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to take action fast. Call the police, file a report, and take pictures at the scene if it’s safe to do so. Gather the names and information of any eyewitnesses, and seek medical attention right away.

Once you seek medical attention, call the traffic collision attorneys at Shapiro Law Team. We’ll walk you through the complexities of the legal process, ensuring you get maximum compensation for your damages. Call us for a free, confidential consultation.

How to Obtain a Traffic Accident Report in Santa Fe

Calling the police is your ticket to reporting an accident in Santa Fe. If possible, stay on the scene and call the Santa Fe Police Department. A police officer will arrive on the scene to document:

  • The time, date, and location of the accident
  • The names, numbers, and addresses of all parties involved
  • Eyewitness statements
  • A description of injuries and damages
  • Any potential causes of the crash

Reach Out to Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorneys at Shapiro Law Team

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury in New Mexico is three years from the date of the injury. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call a reputable car crash attorney today. Shapiro Law Team is well-equipped to handle the most complex collisions in Santa Fe, and we fight to win fair compensation for you and your family. Contact us for a free consultation.

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