The winter weather has begun to make driving in Albuquerque and other cities in New Mexico extremely difficult for motorists as the roads are filling up with snow in some areas and black ice is beginning to form in others. Sadly, the winter weather is now another factor we can add on to the list of those that are known to cause serious and fatal car crashes along with distracted and negligent drivers. In fact,  KOB 4 recently reported on one accident that occurred when snowy conditions were present that was responsible for claiming the life of a good Samaritan from Albuquerque who was simply trying to help an officer in need.

KOB 4 reported that on Wednesday, January 2nd, Officer Dusty Francisco with New Mexico State Police was responding to a crash on I-40 East at around 1:00 a.m. when his vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-truck. Pat Cisneros, who worked as a tow truck driver for Madrid Towing had stopped to assist Officer Francisco but quickly went from being a good Samaritan to a victim himself. Shortly after stopping, a commercial truck approached the accident scene and crashed into the tow truck, Cisneros, and the patrol vehicle.

Cisneros was pronounced dead at the scene and the officer sustained minor injuries as a result of the accident. While the source cited that officials were working to determine if speed was a factor in the crash, Officer Francisco provided a statement about the inclement weather Albuquerque is currently experiencing and how drivers need to slow down and be careful to prevent these types of incidents from occurring.

The news outlet highlighted that Cisneros left behind a wife and family, and his employer, Gerald Madrid, told KOB 4 that “he died doing what he loved,” helping others.

Tips for Driving Safely in the Winter

Because the winter weather adds a significant amount of risk to the roadways, below are a few winter driving tips the AAA Exchange offers that are expected to help prevent an auto accident from occurring.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • Drive slowly. Despite what the speed limit signs tell you or the speeds other drivers are traveling at, reduce yours significantly that you have ample time to react in the event you need to move out of the way of a stopped vehicle or if traffic begins to slow.
  • Increase your following distance, which is usually three to four seconds, to eight to ten seconds.
  • Avoid hitting your brakes too hard and try applying threshold braking which is when you “keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.”

For more helpful winter driving tips, visit AAA Exchange’s website.

Aside from driving more cautiously during the winter months, you are also encouraged to keep an eye out for any tow trucks and maneuver carefully around them. The truth is, tow truck drivers are also considered first responders, so they need to be treated accordingly. Therefore, consider moving over a lane when approaching a stopped tow truck or if you are unable to do so, reduce your speed and keep an eye out for the driver who might be tending to the accident victim or trying to load a car up on to their truck.

As for anyone who was recently involved in an auto accident in Albuquerque, NM or a neighboring city that was caused by the winter weather, a negligent driver, or both, you are encouraged to contact Albuquerque auto accident attorney Brian K. Branch. Accidents, especially those that occur on wet and icy roadways, tend to be some of the more severe collision we see and read about. And if the crash you were involved in left you suffering from any type of injury or has impacted your life in more ways than one, my office wants to help you seek justice for the unfortunate circumstances you are now forced to live with.

To find out how the Law Office of Brian K. Branch can help you and your family during this tough and stressful time, give us a call now at 505-207-4401 to learn more.