The American Automobile Association calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers.
More than 1,000 people are killed each year in collisions involving teen drivers. But those accident risks increase another 14 percent through the summer months, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
AAA is focusing specifically on the risks of nighttime driving and speeding. The foundation reports more than one-third of all fatal teen traffic accidents occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., while nearly one-third of deaths involve teen drivers who were speeding.
Preventing Teen Car Crashes in New Mexico
Parents must take an active role, not only in teaching a teen to drive, but in remaining active in reminding them about the risks and responsibilities associated with having a driver’s license. While many parents are good at having such conversations at the end of the school year, we are now entering the height of summer driving risks as we head toward autumn.
AAA’s Keys2Drive program provides a guide to teen driver safety. Parents must also lead by example; teens often mimic the driving behaviors of their parents and mentors. Additionally, a recent report by WalletHub found that drivers in New Mexico and neighboring Arizona are among the nation’s most dangerous.
Personal Injury Laws and Teen Driver Liability in N.M.
New Mexico law imposes liability on parents when they sign a child’s application for a driving permit or driver’s license. N.M.S.A. § 66-5-11 (1978) holds a parent responsible when a teen commits a willful or negligent act in operating a motor vehicle.
While teaching your teen how to be a safe and responsible driver is critical to keeping them safe on the road and prevent other road users from being injured, reviewing your auto insurance policy is another critical step. New Mexico auto insurance law requires minimum liability coverage of just $25,000 per person/$50,000 per incident. Perhaps even more importantly, NMSA § 66-5-215 does not require motorists to purchase uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This is critical coverage that provides resources to you and your family in the event of a collision with a driver who lacks insurance or who does not have enough insurance to pay for damages. If you do not carry UM/UIM coverage, we highly recommend adding it to your policy.
In the event that you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you should speak to an attorney at Szantho Law Firm to discuss your options.