It appears from the preliminary investigation into a tragic two-vehicle crash that occurred last month that the effects of drowsy driving have taken the lives of two more New Mexicans. The drivers of the two vehicles, which collided head-on, were both killed. Passengers in each vehicle were airlifted to a Texas hospital with serious injuries. According to a local news source, the crash occurred at around 6:40 AM near milepost 60 on State Road 18 in Lea County, between Lovington and Hobbs.
The article indicates that the driver of the southbound vehicle, a 24-year-old man from Lovington, fell asleep while driving and drifted into the northbound lane of traffic, crashing head on into the other vehicle, which was being driven by a 30-year-old man from Los Lunas, New Mexico.
Inattentive and drowsy driving remain among the most concerning dangers for drivers today, and the dangerous decision by a driver not to pull over to rest all too often results in a deadly New Mexico auto accident, as happened last month. Drowsy driving accidents are the most common on rural highways with little to no nighttime lighting and high speed limits, and they often involve vehicles colliding with each other head-on. These factors unfortunately help to explain why accidents involving sleeping drivers have a comparatively high chance of resulting in serious injury or death. Because of this danger, drivers must know to always stop and rest if they are feeling drowsy behind the wheel. Rest stops and expanded shoulders are available for drivers to pull over, and it is always better to be late than to be responsible for a tragedy and potentially encounter significant civil and criminal liability.