New Mexico Car Accident Facts and Figures
Car accidents are among New Mexico’s leading causes of injury and death. However, many people are unaware of just how devastating and common motor vehicle crashes are in the state. Knowing more about the state’s traffic collisions – including their frequency, common contributing factors, and geographic trends – can help motorists in New Mexico drive more carefully.
The New Mexico car accident attorneys at Parnall Law Firm believe that being aware of possible safety concerns can empower motorists to drive defensively to avoid collisions. That’s why our team has put together this helpful guide to New Mexico car accident statistics.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you don’t have to face this challenging time alone. Our New Mexico car accident lawyers can help you pursue the compensation and justice you deserve after a crash caused by someone else. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options.
Overview of Car Accident Data Collection
Several federal and state agencies, local law enforcement, and insurers collect data on car accidents in New Mexico. Assessing the data across all these sources provides the most comprehensive picture of accident trends throughout the state. Some of the most prominent collectors of data on New Mexico car wrecks include the following:
- The New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS)
- The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)
- Law enforcement agencies that file New Mexico car accident reports
- Automobile insurance companies
Key Car Accident Statistics in New Mexico
According to the state transportation department, traffic accidents are prevalent on New Mexico’s public roads. For the most recent years with available data, there were:
- Nearly 41,000 accidents in 2021
- Over 36,000 accidents in 2020
- More than 48,000 accidents in 2019
According to statistics from one recent year, one person was injured in a crash in New Mexico every 29 minutes. That same year, New Mexico had an average of one fatal car accident almost every day.
Crash statistics from New Mexico’s Indicator-Based Information System (NM-IBIS) show a profound disparity between urban and rural traffic fatalities. Rural counties saw 1.5 times as many car accident deaths as more heavily populated counties.
The most common types of collisions in New Mexico in one recent year include the following:
- Over 10,000 rear-end collisions
- Over 8,000 T-bone crashes
- Over 3,000 sideswipe accidents
- Nearly 1,300 head-on collisions
Understanding traffic fatality rates by region can help drivers know where to be particularly alert behind the wheel. Significant geographical trends related to New Mexico car accidents include the following:
- The region with the greatest number of traffic deaths in recent years is the Northwest, including the cities of Farmington and Gallup, which saw an average of 35.9 deaths per 100,000 population.
- The Southeast, including Roswell and Carlsbad, came in second with an average of 20.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
- The Northeast, home to Santa Fe and Taos, was third. This region had an average of 17.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
- Fourth was the Albuquerque Metro Area, with 16 deaths per 100,000 population.
- Finally, the Southwest, including Las Cruces and Alamogordo, had an average of 15.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
Overall, Bernalillo, Doña Ana, and Santa Fe counties had the highest number of total traffic collisions. Drivers in these counties should exercise particular caution and remain aware of their surroundings on the road.
The most common causes of traffic accidents are driver error, such as distracted driving and failure to yield the right-of-way. However, several other factors contribute to collisions in New Mexico, including the following:
- Mechanical defects – Faulty brakes, lights, or windshield wipers can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles or impact their vision, making collisions more likely.
- Animals in the roadway – Deer, elk, and cattle on the road can lead to crashes when drivers swerve to avoid hitting them.
- Bad weather – Rain, snow, and icy conditions can cause slick roads and increase braking times, leading to more car accidents.
- Day of the week – New Mexico car accidents are most likely to occur on Fridays. Alcohol-related accidents are most common on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fatal crashes are most likely to happen on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Time of day – Regardless of the day of the week, most crashes in New Mexico occur between noon and 6 p.m.
While these factors are largely beyond a driver’s control, every road user must be appropriately careful for the conditions. If another motorist fails to adjust their driving, they may be liable for any resulting accidents and injuries.
While traffic accidents are a deadly problem across the country, New Mexico is more dangerous than most states regarding traffic deaths. While the national rate of fatal accidents is 12.7 per 100,000 population, New Mexico’s rate is 19.5. Only Mississippi (27.8), Arkansas (21.5), and South Carolina (20.8) have higher rates. These statistics demonstrate the dangers drivers face when taking to New Mexico’s roads and highways.
Contact Parnall Law Firm to Speak with a New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer
Suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a car accident can be traumatic and life-changing. In addition to the physical and psychological pain you may suffer, the accident may cause financial stress. Medical expenses and lost income can make healing seem impossible. However, you don’t have to face these difficulties alone.
The New Mexico car accident attorneys at Parnall Law Firm understand the challenges people face after devastating car crashes. Our compassionate lawyers will put their experience, skill, and knowledge to work to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Let us handle the legal complexities of your case so that you can focus on recovering. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.