The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, in the United States, there are about six million vehicle accidents every year. In 2019, the US Department of Transportation released a report stating that 33,244 of the estimated total accidents were fatal. Within the same DOT report, New Mexico was identified as the third-leading state in motor vehicle accident deaths. In this article, we'll discuss the most dangerous roads in New Mexico regarding fatal accidents.
If you've been in a vehicle accident, whether it's a car accident, commercial truck accident, motorcycle accident, etc, call or text our personal injury lawyers in Santa Fe at 602-345-1818. Alternatively, you can fill out our convenient and secure contact form, and we will reach out to you to set up a free initial consultation.
Dangerous New Mexico Interstates
Interstates span statelines, and because of this, increased commercial truck traffic is seen. Getting into an accident is bad enough, but when the accident is with a semi-truck, the risks and potential for severe injury or death skyrocket. In combination with big trucks, hurrying commuters and unfamiliar out-of-state travelers only increase the dangers on New Mexico interstates. According to various data and news reports, these are the most dangerous interstates in New Mexico:
- Interstate-40: In 2019, CBS reported I-40 as one of the most dangerous interstates in the country, with an average of 40 fatal crashes per year.
- Interstate-25: New Mexico's longest road is I-25 measuring in at 462 miles. By numbers, it's also the state's busiest interstate.
- Interstate-10: This isolated stretch of road makes it difficult to get emergency services to the scene quickly. With a large number of semi-trucks traveling the road, coupled with high winds, I-10 ranks among the most dangerous roads to travel in New Mexico.
Dangerous New Mexico State and US HIghways
Interstates aren't the only dangerous roadways in the state. Several New Mexican highways are considered to be among the most dangerous in the country, too. Here's a list of roads that have seen significant accidents and fatalities over the years:
- US-550: The Santa Fe New Mexican has coined this state highway as the “killing zone.” The media outlet also reports that from 2013 - 2015, only I-40 had more fatalities than the 175-mile long US 550.
- US-285: This strip of highway has garnered another troubling name among the locals: “death highway.” This highway, built initially for rural use, today, sees a lot of commercial truck use and hosts tons of traffic.
- NM-567: This highway is an especially distressed roadway in New Mexico. The scenery is beautiful, but the road is rough with gravel and potholes abound. At night, the pavement defects, plentiful animal life, and sharp curves make this road especially dangerous.
Other Dangerous Roads in Santa Fe, NM
Outside of the interstates and highways, some of the most dangerous Santa Fe streets involve pedestrian accidents. Cerrillos Road, St. Francis Drive, St. Michael's Drive, Alameda Street, and Airport Road (in order from most to least) have the highest concentration of pedestrian-involved accidents. New Mexico is a leading state in the number of pedestrian-involved accidents, and officials have been working to implement improvement plans to see those numbers, hopefully, decrease. In August of 2021, the New Mexico Department of Transportation released a large multi-year plan to address the problems, which includes using better data, implementing better driver education and pedestrian safety campaigns, and developing new infrastructure designed to make streets safer for walking.
If you've been hit by a vehicle in New Mexico, our Santa Fe lawyers can help you. Contact us for a free consultation where we will review the facts of your case and provide insight on the legal options available to you to help you financially and physically recover.
Tips for Safe Driving on NM Roads
Staying safe on the road means practicing safe driving and being aware of your surroundings. Here are a few tips to ensure you stay unharmed while driving around New Mexico:
- Don't drink and drive - Alcohol is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Avoid driving under the influence. At worst you may cause someone's death, at best you may walk away with a DWI on your record.
- Drink responsibly - Alcohol is also a large cause of the pedestrian-related accidents discussed above. Make sure you watch your surroundings, especially when crossing the street.
- Don't drive while distracted - Distracted driving causes a large number of crashes each year, including commercial truck accidents. Don't mess with your radio or touch your phone while you're behind the wheel.
- Wear your seatbelt - Seatbelts truly save lives. Buckling up could save you a world of pain.
- Be aware of your surroundings - This cannot be said enough. While driving, always know what other drivers around you are doing. Watch the roads for potholes, parked vehicles, and wildlife.
- Follow the rules of the road - Laws are in place to keep you safe. Don't use excessive speed, run red lights, ignore stop signs, etc. You have a duty to adhere to the law while behind the wheel, and failure to do so may result in severe legal consequences.
Consult an Accident Lawyer in Santa Fe
Unfortunately, turning on the news or doing a quick Google search outlines just how dangerous these roads are, with injuries and deaths reported constantly. Most car accidents are preventable. Keeping this in mind and taking steps to minimize your risks, can literally save your life. Tragically, accidents do happen. If you've been hurt in one, Impact Legal's expert attorneys are on your side. Within our firm, we have experienced motorcycle, car, and semi-truck accident lawyers ready to help you heal and recover. Don't think you're alone and out of options – call or text us today at 602-345-1818 to schedule a free consultation. We'll tirelessly fight for your rights and recovery.
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