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New Mexico Ranks High in Motor Vehicle Fatalities

The final numbers for motor vehicle accidents in 2018 have come in. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle crashes here in the United States. This is an astronomical number, but it is lower than recent decades thanks to improvements in safety features, stricter guidelines for driving under the influence and other regulations.

Some will likely be surprised to find New Mexico on this list, but the number of fatalities for the NSC ranking is based on the number of fatalities per 100,000 drivers. The other top states are Mississippi (21.2 fatalities), South Carolina (20.34), Alabama (19.39) and Wyoming (19.21).

Looking at New Mexico's numbers

Using information from the NSC, analysis of our state's numbers determined that:

  • There were 18.47 fatalities per 100,000 drivers
  • Farmington was the most dangerous city to drive in with 26.8 fatalities per 100,000 drivers.
  • There were 387 total fatalities in the state.

At least some of these deaths could have been prevented by the use of seatbelts.  Other contributing factors include:

  • 90 percent of commuters drive a motor vehicle to work
  • The average commute time is 22.3 minutes
  • Fatal accidents occur more often on rural roads
  • The sparse population means higher speed limits

Do you have a false sense of security?

Drivers can help themselves by exercising safe driving habits here in Albuquerque and the surrounding area, but sometimes that is not enough. Other drivers may be distracted, drive under the influence or make poor judgment calls, which can lead to injuries and death to other drivers. Victims and their families often will need to seek the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney when this happens to get the compensation they deserve.

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