How Often Does Someone Die in a New Mexico Car Accident?
September 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
New Mexico has many car accidents for its population size. The state has a population of about 2.1 million and saw 40,769 traffic accidents in 2021. The state’s crash statistics translate to roughly two car crashes for every 100 New Mexico residents. This number is shockingly high.
Unfortunately, this also translates to high fatality numbers. According to one study, New Mexico is the fifth-most dangerous state for drivers in the country. The state’s injury and fatality statistics make New Mexico more dangerous than states with larger populations and heavier traffic, like California and Texas.
Quantifying New Mexico’s Car Accident Deaths
According to the state’s Annual Traffic Crash Report, New Mexico had 483 traffic deaths in 2021. To quantify how often people die in New Mexico crashes, you can simply divide the number of hours in a year by the total fatalities. This calculation gives you one traffic death every 18 hours.
The state’s 483 traffic deaths include 105 pedestrian and six bicyclist fatalities. If you exclude pedestrian and bicycle accidents, you have 372 car accident deaths. Again, dividing the number of hours by the number of deaths, you get one death every 23.5 hours.
But these numbers lack one important element: context. As a result, they do not tell the whole story.
Car Accident Death Rates
According to an insurance industry study, New Mexico has 22.7 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents and 1.79 deaths per 1 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The national averages are 12.9 deaths per 100,000 residents and 1.37 deaths per 1 million VMT.
By both measures, New Mexico is much more dangerous than the U.S. as a whole. And the difference is staggering. The state has almost 76% more deaths than the national average on a population basis and 31% more deaths than the national average on a VMT basis.
Risk of Death Among Car Accident Victims
In 2021, 99,470 people were involved in traffic accidents. This number included drivers, motorcycle operators, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Of this total:
- 483 died
- 17,971 suffered non-fatal injuries
- 81,016 escaped injury
Using these numbers, you can quantify New Mexico’s traffic deaths in a few ways. First, you can compare fatal to non-fatal injuries. In 2021, 2.6% of people injured in traffic accidents suffered a fatal injury. Put another way, for every 100 people injured in traffic crashes, between two and three suffered fatal injuries.
Second, you can compare the risk of death to the total number of people involved in crashes. If you got into a crash in 2021, you had a 0.49% chance of dying. In other words, out of every 200 people involved in traffic crashes that year, one person died.
Risk of Dying in a Car Accident Compared To Other Causes of Death
You can compare car accident fatalities to other causes of death. New Mexico’s most recent death numbers come from 2020, when COVID-19 was the third most common cause of death. In non-pandemic years, New Mexico’s top three causes of death were heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.
In 2020, heart disease caused 152 deaths per 100,000 residents, and cancer caused 129 deaths per 100,000 residents. Unintentional injuries led to 86 deaths per 100,000 residents.
But this category included several types of accidents unrelated to traffic crashes, including:
- Poisonings, including unintentional drug overdoses
- Suffocations and drownings
Only about one-quarter of unintentional injury deaths result from traffic collisions. This means that you are about seven times more likely to die from heart disease and six times more likely to die of cancer than from a traffic crash.
Compensation For Fatal Car Crashes in New Mexico
Sadly, the risk of death in a New Mexico car crash is high by almost every measure. But you can pursue compensation for a family member’s fatal crash through a wrongful death claim.
Contact the Arizona Car Accident Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711