Albuquerque is known for green chile, Balloon Fiesta, great weather, beautiful views and a very rich history and culture. Unfortunately, Albuquerque is also known for high rates of car theft, drunk driving and fatal car accidents. Headlines from this summer and heading into the last few months of the year clearly show just how dangerous Albuquerque’s roadways are.
Recent Crashes and Crash Statistics
These headlines from the past few months likely sound familiar:
- “Morning rush: fatal crash closes I-40 westbound…” (July 11, 2018)
- “Multiple fatalities after bus crash in New Mexico” (July 15, 2018)
- “Motorcyclist killed in NE Albuquerque crash” (August 3, 2018)
- “Coors and Montaño closed after fatal accident” (September 8, 2018)
- “Two people hospitalized after five-car crash on I-40” (September 12, 2018)
- “Deadly crash on I-25 near Bernalillo” (September 22, 2018)
Statewide, New Mexico fares no better. Statistics from 2016 (the most recent year statistics are available) show that the number of fatalities resulting from car crashes per 100,000 people exceeds the national average—19.3 compared to 11.6.
What Makes Albuquerque’s Roadways So Dangerous
Albuquerque’s grid-like city design makes it easy to navigate, traffic lights are in working order and the city just does not have the traffic congestion of major metropolitan areas. So, what makes roadways so dangerous?
A number of factors may contribute:
- More low-light hours with later sunrise and earlier sunset as winter approaches
- Glare (and pedestrians and drivers being unaware of when the sun is in another driver’s eyes)
- Road construction
- Road rage
- Drunk driving
Some of these factors are out of drivers’ control, but most of these factors are the result of poor decisions made by people behind the wheel.
How to Make Albuquerque’s Roadways Safer
The good news is that because so many roadway safety factors are under driver control, we can all contribute to safer roadways by:
- Putting cell phones away before driving
- Staying focused while driving (not eating, primping or daydreaming)
- Obeying speed limits in construction zones (and everywhere else)
- Slowing down in wet and low-light conditions
Roadways may also be safer if negligent drivers know that they will face the consequences. If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a car accident, pursing the justice you deserve may also benefit your entire community.