The Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New Mexico
For the sixth year in a row, New Mexico has held the unpleasant distinction of being the deadliest state for pedestrians.
In 2021, the Governors Highway Safety Association listed New Mexico as the state with the greatest per capita rate of pedestrian deaths. Since 2016, when the state's mortality rate was 3.45 per 100,000 residents, it has topped the GHSA's last year.
In 2021, the state's mortality rate was 4.77, a close to 25% increase from 2020. Florida ranked second on the list with a 4.13 rating.
In New Mexico, 103 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2012, the highest number ever recorded for the state. Tragically, the Albuquerque metropolitan region also had a record number of 49 deadly pedestrian accidents.
Statistics on New Mexico Pedestrian Accidents
According to the GHSA, pedestrian collisions increased by 11.5% in 2021, resulting in 7,485 pedestrian deaths - the highest figure in four decades. Pedestrian collisions have been on the rise for years throughout the country.
In a press release, the GHSA described the most recent total as heartbreaking and intolerable.
Officials added that state authorities and drivers must address the underlying causes of the pedestrian safety issue in New Mexico—speeding and other risky driving habits, poor infrastructure, and roads intended for car speed rather than safety—to reverse this trend and assure pedestrian safety.
The GHSA is currently examining data for 2021; however, research indicated that in 2020, 17% of all traffic fatalities included pedestrians, and the proportion of those involving speeding increased by 8.6%.
Pedestrian Accident Data in New Mexico
Given the technological advancements that have led to more visible street crossings and car sensors that detect obstacles, it may be surprising that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. However, for each advance in safety we make, we often take two steps back. Among the causes that contribute to the rise in deaths are the following:
- Bigger vehicles. The larger the vehicle, the more harm it does, especially when it comes to pedestrians. Since there are more pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers on the road than ever before, it is not surprising that more pedestrians are being killed when impacted. The most popular vehicles in New Mexico are full-size pickup trucks, which partially explains the high pedestrian death rate here.
- More people. With approximately one million inhabitants in the metropolitan region of Albuquerque, downtown areas have gotten more congested. Workers, shoppers, and nightlife enthusiasts swarm the city's sidewalks at the same time when car traffic is heavy. The busier a place is, the greater the likelihood that pedestrians may be struck, even while using crosswalks or sidewalks.
- Distraction. Who does not now own a smartphone? This technology has proved to be a significant distraction for both automobiles and pedestrians. As drivers gaze down at messages or Waze instructions, it is possible for them to miss a pedestrian entering a crossing. Similarly, pedestrians who are ignorant of their surroundings because they are engrossed in their phones endanger themselves.
Tragically, as pedestrian death rates have reached their highest level in 28 years, injury rates have also grown. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that almost 130,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from collisions.
When Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Occur?
The 2015 Community Report from the New Mexico Department of Transportation reveals an unusual five-year trend relating to accidents and seasons. Specifically, December is the month with the greatest number of accidents from 2011 to 2015.
Over the last five years, the average number of accidents in December has been roughly 3,970 each month. Only October comes close, with an average of 3,846 accidents every year. With the exception of 2013, December has been the most accident-prone month every year, other than 2013.
There may be a number of factors at play here, including increased holiday traffic and chilly weather. Meanwhile, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersections are not the most frequent site of fatal pedestrian accidents; just 18% of deaths occur there (NHTSA). Additional NHTSA data includes:
- 80% of fatal pedestrian accidents occur in metropolitan areas.
- The majority of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at night.
- More than two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities are men.
- Adults aged 50 to 59 comprised the largest number of pedestrian fatalities.
- Nearly 20% of children under 14 killed in road accidents were pedestrians.
Other Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New Mexico
Given the prevalence of DUI-related crashes in New Mexico, one might be forgiven for concluding that drunk driving is the state's leading cause of pedestrian accidents. Instead, driving inattention or distraction is the most common cause of accidents involving pedestrians.
In 2015, driver attention contributed to 21,890 of the state's more than 62,780 accidents due to human error. In 2015, failing to cede the right-of-way was the second leading cause of crashes, contributing to 6,600 accidents.
Contact an Accident Lawyer in New Mexico
Generally, walking is considered a harmless pastime, yet, in rare instances, merely strolling down the street might put your life in danger. There are careless and negligent drivers on the road, and if you've been injured by one, you have many alternatives for recovering your losses. Accidents involving pedestrians often result in severe injuries, including pain and suffering, mobility difficulties, scars, and mental stress.
Thankfully, you are entitled to compensation when a reckless motorist causes such a life-altering incident. Filing a personal injury claim is the best method to achieve justice and monetary recompense after a pedestrian accident. Contact an Albuquerque pedestrian accident lawyer at Will Ferguson & Associates to initiate your claim immediately.
If we determine that you and your family are eligible for compensation, we will handle every aspect of your legal claim and provide you with seasoned legal counsel from a reputable Albuquerque automobile accident attorney team. When you meet with our team for your first free consultation, we will determine the best next steps for you and yours based on your potential claim and case details.
Please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Throughout every step of the claim process, our team will work diligently and thoroughly to ensure that justice is served. Your accident has likely altered the course of your life, and you deserve justice for that; retain an Albuquerque pedestrian accident attorney to ensure you get it.
Dial (505) 243-5566 to obtain a free case review from Will Ferguson & Associates today.