New Mexico authorities concerned about motor vehicle fatalities

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, December 6, 2012

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes were among the top 10 causes of death in the nation every year from 1981 to 2009. Because of such reports, many groups are working to minimize the number of fatal car accidents that occur in New Mexico. Sadly, the numbers seen in some counties are much higher this year than last.

In Doña Ana County, south of Albuquerque, there have been 28 fatalities due to car crashes so far this year. Compare this to the same time last year, when only 14 fatalities had been associated with motor vehicle accidents. That number is exactly half of the figure seen this year, which is likely to grow over this month and next month because the holidays are known as a time when many people drive drunk.

Take the alcohol-related crash that took the life of a driver and five others. The head-on collision occurred on Interstate 10 in 2004 when one of the cars was traveling in the wrong direction. Friends of the male driver said that he had been drinking before the accident.

Though alcohol is often a cause for such crashes, it has only been involved in 21.4 percent of fatal crashes in New Mexico this year. In 2004, 42.2 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were tied to alcohol.

In order to push these rates down, New Mexico State Police examine the five counties that have the highest percentages in this category. Plans to address their concerns include DWI checkpoints in each of these counties during the holiday season.

According to the police chief in Las Cruces, U.S. Route 70 is the site of many of the city's accidents. Last month, three people were killed on that stretch of road.

Source: Las Cruces Sun-News, "Deaths from car crashes down each year; 28 killed this year in county," James Staley, Nov. 24, 2012